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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
 
Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2019

The 2019 Cambridge Festival of Ideas takes place from 14 – 27 October 2019. The Festival, now in its 12th year, celebrates the enormous impact of arts, humanities and social sciences on our daily lives and encourages lively discussion about many of today's most challenging global issues. Read on for a selection of Language Sciences related talks at this year's festival. 

To pre-book, visit www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk or call 01223 766766. Bookings open Monday 23 September 2019.

 

Wednesday 16 October

MOTHER TONGUE OTHER TONGUE CELEBRATION

4PM – 8PM: WED 16 OCT

With poems performed by the winning poets, and featuring a Slam Poetry session led by champion Slam Poet Joelle Taylor. Sponsored by the OWRI Language Acts & World Making Project at Kings College London and Murray Edwards College

Murray Edwards College, Huntingdon Road, CB3 0DF

 

Friday 18 October

SWEARS, BEARS AND MOTHER-IN-LAWS: FORBIDDEN WORDS

7.30PM – 9PM: FRI 18 OCT

Prof. James Clackson, Comparative Philology, shows how processes of linguistic taboo work across different societies, and how they change over time. He demonstrates how some of our current English vocabulary reflects our ancestors’ avoidances of unspeakable words.

Frankopan Hall, Jesus College, Jesus Lane , CB5 8BJ

 

Saturday 19 October

INVISIBLE WOMEN: DATA BIAS IN A WORLD DESIGNED FOR MEN

11AM – NOON: SAT 19 OCT

Author Caroline Criado Perez in conversation with Prof. Ann Copestake, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Technology, on whether women are in danger of being sidelined by the technology revolution. Followed by book sales.

Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site, 10 West Road, CB3 9DZ

 

HAS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGED HOW WE READ?

11AM – NOON: SAT 19 OCT

Researcher Tyler Shores on how the move from books to screens is affecting our reading habits, whether digital distraction alters how we take in information and what this means for the future of reading.

LG18, Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site, 10 West Road, CB3 9DZ

 

THE CATALAN LANGUAGE: 10 MILLION EUROPEAN VOICES

EXHIBITION

11AM – 6PM: SAT 19 OCT

This exhibition uncovers key facts about Catalan, whether or not it is a minority – and minoritised – language, and how the notion of it being a minority language can be changed.

Foyer, West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, CB3 9DP

TALK

11AM – NOON: SAT 19 OCT

Catalan is often perceived as a minority language or a residual variety. Canthis image change? Afra Pujol I Campeny’s talk also explores what other languages are there in Europe waiting to be heard internationally.

Recital Room, West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Road, CB3 9DP

 

THE HISTORY OF FRENCH

2PM – 3PM: SAT 19 OCT

Most people know that the French language is based on Latin - so why is it not more similar to other Romance languages? L’Alliance Française presents Christopher Johnson who speaks about why the French language is so different.

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics, Lecturers’ Common room, Sidgwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND SOCIAL CHANGE

2:30PM - 3:30PM: SAT 19 OCT

This talk considers how specifically language-based AI systems (for example, speech recognition, machine translation or smart telecommunications interfaces) have affected and transformed modern society. A talk by Dr Stephanie Ullmann and Dr Marcus Tomalin from the Giving Voice to Digital Democracies project at CRASSH.

Room SG1/2, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site 7 West Road, CB3 9DP  

 

DISEMPOWERING HATE SPEECH: HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA LESS HARMFUL

4PM – 5PM: SAT 19 OCT

The psychological and societal harms that offensive language can cause are undeniable. This talk by Dr Stephanie Ullmann and Dr Marcus Tomalin from the Giving Voice to Digital Democracies project at CRASSH, explores a more ethical and usercentred method for delimiting the spread of hate speech online on social media platforms.

LG19, Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site, 10 West Road, CB3 9DZ

 

Monday 21 October

WHAT'S NEW IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?

The third edition of David Crystal’s Encyclopedia of the English Language was published this year. There have been huge developments in English in the 15 years since the previous edition. David discusses some of the most important changes, in relation to global English, Shakespeare and the internet.

6PM – 7PM: MON 21 OCT

St John's College Old Divinity School, All Saints Passage, CB2 1TP

 

Wednesday 23 October

WHY DO LANGUAGES KEEP EVOLVING?

2PM – 3PM: WED 23 OCT

Esther-Miriam Wagner, Acting Director of the Woolf Institute, discusses why languages keep changing, the differences between the various types of languages, how people create new language forms and force languages apart, and what makes easy-to-learn languages.

Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, CB3 0UB

 

Friday 25 October

DEVELOPMENTAL LANGUAGE DISORDER AWARENESS

10AM- 1PM: FRI 25 OCT

On average, 2–3 children in UK classrooms experience language and communication difficulties. The exhibition aims to raise awareness about Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), its impact on the daily experiences of children and how language development can be supported.

Ground Floor, Donald McIntyre Building, Faculty of Education, 184 Hills Road, CB2 8PQ

 

Saturday 19 October – Sunday 27 October

POP-UP WORLD OF LANGUAGES

Join us on a journey to uncover the hidden treasures of languages through our family-friendly, hands-on activities and games. Languages are fun and all around us. Come and be inspired by the work of our flagship research project Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies

10AM – 5PM: SAT 19 OCT to SAT 26 OCT
11AM – 5PM: SUN 20 OCT and SUN 27 OCT

‘Escape the Grafton’ on Ground Floor, The Grafton Centre, CB1 1PS

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Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.

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