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Language Studies

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American Tongues - Linguistic Attitudes in the U.S.
Southerners talk too slowly. New Yorkers are rude. New Englanders don't say much at all. Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows the cliches about how people in the various parts of the country handle the English language. American Tongues…
Hanzi - Exploring Language and Culture through Chinese Typography
How does language shape identity? What role does handwriting play in the digital age? HANZI encourages audiences around the world to revisit and rethink their own culture, language and identity. HANZI explores international design, visual culture, and identity through the…
Language and Mind with Noam Chomsky
One of the most gifted thinkers of our time, Noam Chomsky has revolutionized our understanding of language, its use and its acquisition. Now, Language & Mind brings Chomsky into your classroom, where he takes your students on a guided tour…
Let There Be Words - What is Language?
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
What precisely is language and how did humans acquire it? In an effort to answer these essential questions, this program journeys back to prehistoric times in search of languages origin. But this is not a passive discussion, as Noam Chomsky;…
The Language You Cry In
THE LANGUAGE YOU CRY IN tells an amazing scholarly detective story that searches for -and finds- meaningful links between African Americans and their ancestral past. It bridges hundreds of years and thousands of miles from the Gullah people of present-day…
The Mind of Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky revolutionized our understanding of language, cognition, and the nature of the human mind. Join host Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences theory) as he leads you on a fascinating journey through the life and mind of Noam Chomsky. From an…
That's Not What I Meant with Deborah Tannen
Deborah Tannen revolutionized our understanding of gender and communication. Debunking the misconception that communication would be transparent if we simply "said what we meant," Tannen counters by suggesting that we do say what we mean--only we say it in our…
Essentials for Success with Spanish
Episode 1 of Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language
Begin by exploring key principles of effective language learning. Consider a core approach to building comprehension, focusing on linguistic cognates, context, and the use of conjecture. Then, do a spirited review of definite and indefinite articles, singular and plural nouns,…
Life and Death - Language Preservation
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
It is predicted that within a century more than half of the worlds languages will become extinct, but as languages are lost, new ones emerge naturally or are constructed. In this program, Noam Chomsky; Esperantist Thomas Eccard; endangered languages researcher…
Tongues of Heaven - Saving Native Languages
This film explores the challenges facing young indigenous people as they struggle to learn the languages of their forebears before they go extinct. Set in Taiwan and Hawai'i, territories where languages of the Austronesian family are spoken, this experimental documentary…
Yeah You Rite! - Language in New Orleans
The culture of New Orleans represents the mixing of many rich traditions: French, Spanish, African, Irish, Italian. At the heart of this unique culture lie its speechways, the subject of Yeah You Rite!, a close-up video profile of a single…
The Brave Class - The Power of Political Speech
What hides beneath a political speech? Can the world be changed with words? THE BRAVE CLASS reveals the methods of political language in our way of understanding the world. We comprehend reality through an invisible and yet extremely important filter:…
The Present Tense and Prepositions
Episode 2 of Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language
To build conversational skill, practice the present tense with verbs ending in "ar," "er," and "ir." Then learn some vital irregular verbs and how to use them. Continue with prepositional pronouns (as in "near me" or "next to her"), and…
Pronouncing Classical Latin
Episode 1 of Latin 101
Salvete! Greetings! Ease into your study of Latin by admiring its beauty and impressive history. Then focus on the letters and sounds of the restored classical pronunciation, which approximates the way Latin was spoken in the classical era. Finally, cover…
Mother Tongues - Global Languages
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the worlds languages--25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earths population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then…
Mosquitoes and High Water - The Islenos of New Orleans
In the bayous and swamps east of New Orleans reside members of one of America's least-known ethnic group, the Spanish-speaking "Islenos" of St. Bernard Parish. Their ancestors came to this country over two hundred years ago from the Canary Islands…
Civilization to Colonization - Written Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
Writing is a relative latecomer to the history of language. This program tracks its emergence in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica and its down through the millennia via conquest--usually violent, sometimes benign--and colonization. The creation of creoles and pidgins resulting from…
Constant Change - The Spread of Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
In this program, John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language; Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah; Brian Joseph, of The Ohio State University; and population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza examine factors that contributed…
Marie’s Dictionary - The Last Fluent Speaker of Wukchumni
This film profiles Marie Wilcox, the last fluent speaker of the Native American language Wukchumni and the dictionary she created in an effort to keep her language alive. Preserving the Wukchumni language has become Wilcox's life. She has spent more…
Why Egypt Needed Hieroglyphs
Episode 1 of Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Before learning how to read and write hieroglyphs, you have to understand why ancient Egypt had to invent some form of writing. Central to this introductory lecture is a study of the Narmer Palette, whose writing would set standards and…