Upload

Loading icon Loading...

This video is unavailable.

Unique languages, universal patterns

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to dislike Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to add Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s video to your playlist.

Uploaded on Feb 23, 2012

MIT News - February 23, 2012

To the chagrin of anyone who knows one of these languages but not the other, English and Japanese appear to be frustratingly different tongues governed by drastically different rules. And yet, under the surface, English and Japanese have deep similarities, as MIT linguist Shigeru Miyagawa argues in his new book, Case, Argument Structure, and Word Order, published this month in Routledge's "Leading Linguists" series.

In turn, the similarities between English and Japanese underscore a larger point about human language, in Miyagawa's view: All its varieties exist within a relatively structured framework. Languages are different, but not radically different. Dating to the 1950s, in fact, much of MIT's linguistics program has aimed to identify the similar pathways that apparently unrelated languages take.

"There is this very interesting tension in language between diversity and uniformity," says Miyagawa, the Kochi Prefecture-John Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at MIT. "Human languages are diverse in stunning ways. Each one has some unique property that distinguishes it from 6,500 or maybe 7,000 other languages. But when you look as a linguist, you begin to notice that there are uniform properties shared by languages."

Read more at MIT News: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/un...

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

The interactive transcript could not be loaded.

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Ratings have been disabled for this video.
Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.

Loading icon Loading...

Loading...
Working...
Sign in to add this to Watch Later

Add to