As well as all the exciting activities we have around the room at the Dublin Language Garden, we will also be running a busy programme of talks around a variety of topics in the study of language, from the reasons why we study linguistics, to the experience of learning English as a second language.
Keynote and shorter talks
“Linguistics Landscapes of Joyce’s Ulysses”
Most Linguistic Landscape research examines the public use of written language in physical forms such as street signs, shop fronts, posters, and graffiti. This talk looks at James Joyce’s Ulysses as a work which creates a Linguistic Landscape of its own by fusing Joyce’s view of the ‘real’ Dublin with the perspective of his literary imagination.
“On understanding the complicated relationship between culture and language”
This talk is concerned with exploring the nature of the multifaceted relationship between culture and language through an examination of culture, worldview, common ground, and language. We examine briefly the application of language in the service of culture, touching upon the Irish cultural narrative. We ask: what exactly is language, and discuss some approaches to characterising language in the functional-cognitive space that are sensitive to culture issues.
“Looking at the Novel”
Too often literature is analysed purely in terms of the stream of words or narrative. Yet print is a visual medium. The appearance of the text is also crucial to fully understanding novels. Although spelling, punctuation and typography are neglected in literary studies, they contribute significantly to how a novel is interpreted. Linguistics – the scientific study of language – offers to illuminate how these elements communicate meaning within the novel as a medium.
Frankie’s talk will take place during the ‘Night Garden‘ part of the evening, and therefore may contain explicit language.
Let’s face it – many of us will have used foul or offensive words at some point in our lives. These words exist in the language for a reason, and they reflect more than just an emotional outburst. In this talk, we discover that offensive words are very much steeped in culture and tradition. Questions we will be exploring include: why do we offend with words; why can’t we do without offensive words; what kind of offensive words have people been known to say cross-culturally; what do certain offensive words mean in English and in Chinese etc.
Adrian’s talk will take place during the ‘Night Garden‘ part of the evening, and therefore may contain explicit language.
What’s a ‘lightning talk’?
A Lightning Talk is a 5 minute talk in which the speaker has to try to explain their topic in as simple and engaging a manner as possible. They don’t have as much time as our keynote and shorter talks to go into detail, they simply have to capture the audience’s interest in the 5 minutes they have, while also getting their point across – quite the challenge! It’s a great way for researchers to hone their communication skills and ‘pitch’ their research.
“Offensive Language in Irish Sign Language”
While no focused academic work has been conducted to date on taboo and offensive language in Irish Sign Language (ISL), in this talk, I draw on work completed for American Sign Language and British Sign Language and present some examples for ISL.
We will see that we can find examples that relate to often cited sources for taboo language: e.g. bodily function, sexual acts, religious references. However, for sign language users, there is another category that maps to how one self-identifies and is identified as a member of the Deaf community, namely hearing status. Even a cursory review of Irish Sign Language shows that offensive vocabulary draws on a number of sources. These include gestural sources from the dominant “hearing” culture, highly iconic signs, as well as more abstract content.
Lorraine’s talk will take place during the ‘Night Garden‘ part of the evening, and therefore may contain explicit language.