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Teaching linguistics through conlanging

From:Estel Telcontar <estel_telcontar@...>
Date:Saturday, June 4, 2005, 18:50
I haven't been around the list much lately, but I just popped in and
saw that there was some discussion about teaching linguistics through
conlanging, which I though I'd add to.

One of my profs here at the University of Calgary uses the construction
of a mini-conlang to teach children about linguistics.  Every year a
group of kids of approximately 10 or 11 years old comes to the
department and two of the profs give them an introduction to what
linguistics is all about.  One prof gives an introduction to phonetics,
and all the neat and weird sounds that languages have, and I think also
spectrograms.  The other prof, Darin Howe, gets them to invent a
mini-language.  He has them pick 3 consonants and 3 vowels, and then
come up with a specified number of nouns and verbs (and maybe
adjectives too, I forget.)  Then he talks to them about the different
orders they could be put in to make a sentence, and has them pick an
order. This gets them thinking about language and sounds and syntax in
a fun way.  Apparently the kids really enjoy it.


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Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>