Linguistic Relativism

Event poster

The Clarke Forum to wrap up its semesterlong  focus on language and its cultural influence  

Dickinson will host “Linguistic Relativism: Language, Culture and Thought,” a lecture by author John Baugh about the ways in which human language and thought processes have been influenced by cultural circumstances. It will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room.

Baugh will explore the diversity of human cultures and how they are reflected in the diversity of languages. Human language is unique in its ability to communicate complex thoughts through spoken, written and signed forms, and every culture has a unique influence on its forms of communication. From childhood, we gain our language in the specific context of our own culture.

Baugh is the Margaret Bush Wilson Professor in the Arts & Sciences and professor of African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. His research is interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of ethnography, anthropology, linguistics and sociology. He has written several books, including Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice and Out of the Mouths of Slaves: African American Language and Educational Malpractice.

The event is sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of English, American studies and Spanish & Portuguese

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Published November 17, 2014