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The Linguistics of Arrival

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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.

If you want to know more about what alien languages look like, check our previous video: https://youtu.be/QVqDpY-11UM

If you want to learn more about our interviewees, here are their websites:
Jessica Coon: http://jessica.lingspace.org/
Morgan Sonderegger: http://people.linguistics.mcgill.ca/~...
Lisa Travis: http://people.linguistics.mcgill.ca/~...

Captions coming soon! And we'll see you next time with a regular topic video.

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