21/1 – Linguistic Code Breaking

Module Leader:
Anna Szlávi
2021-2022 Summer
Immersion 1
Natural Sciences

Are you excited about languages? Do you like logical riddles? Are you thrilled to be challenged? Would you even be up for creating your own language? Then Linguistic Code Breaking is for you. This module aims to show you that linguistics is much more intriguing and diverse than what you think based on your “grammar” classes. Through solving actual linguistic puzzles, you will learn the essentials of linguistics and develop your analytical skills. The aim of the module is to cover the most basic types of linguistic phenomena, such as the phonology, morphology, and syntax of human languages, while also introducing you to the connection linguistics has with other disciplines such as computer science, sociology, or history. Each session you will be challenged to break linguistic codes related to the weekly topic. Some of these problems can be seen as purely logical puzzles, but since their medium is always the structure of some natural language, each problem illuminates a peculiarity that certain human languages exhibit. Each week you will learn a new language you have never heard of, and by the end of the module you will have the chance to create (the foundations) of your own invented language.

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