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Published on Nov 16, 2016
The film Arrival came out last week, with a linguist as its hero! The movie deals with xenolinguistics and how we could learn to communicate with aliens. The studio asked linguists from McGill University to consult on the movie, and we recently got a chance to talk with professors Jessica Coon, Morgan Sonderegger, and Lisa Travis about their experiences! We discussed:
- their involvement in the movie - their thoughts on analyzing alien speech and writing - the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and linguistic determinism - linguistic fieldwork - language variation and finding it in sci-fi
And much more! There are some spoilers for the movie, but nothing major.