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Where does language come from (and where is it going)?

Where does language come from (and where is it going)?

Nick Spencer talks to Alexandra Aikhenvald, Foundation Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre and Distinguished Professor at James Cook University in Australia. 22/06/2021

Languages come and languages go – but mostly nowadays they go. According to the Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages, nearly 90% may have died out by the end of the century.

What do we lose when we lose a language? Indeed, what is a language? What does it do? How does it work? And what does it say about human beings and our shared culture?

In this episode of Reading our Times, Nick Spencer talks to Alexandra Aikhenvald, Foundation Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre and Distinguished Professor at James Cook University in Australia, about her book I Saw the Dog: How language works. 

 


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Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, most recently ‘The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable’ (Bloomsbury, 2017), ‘The Evolution of the West’ (SPCK, 2016) and ‘Atheists: The Origin of the Species’ (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Posted 22 June 2021

Identity, Language, Reading Our Times

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