Languages of the World: A Six Part Course with Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig

Languages of the World: A Six Part Course with Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig


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More than 7,000 languages are spoken in the world today and their variety seems unbounded. This linguistic diversity tells us a lot about the development of human language and thought. It also serves as an important tool for understanding the history of human civilization and what it means to be human. 

During this six-week course, we will acquaint ourselves with the diversity of human languages, examine how languages evolve, and trace historical relationships among languages. 

Together we will take a whirlwind tour of the world’s language with stopovers in six mystery locations (a different location each week) and through examining the languages spoken in those places, we will learn the story of populations migrating, splitting, evolving, and interacting, and their languages changing and evolving.

  1. Languages of Central Europe – Languages, Language families, and Dialects
  2. Languages of the Caucasus – Sounds: Typical and “Exotic”
  3. Languages of Eurasian Steppes – Word structure: Agglutinative vs Fusional languages
  4. Languages of Oceania – Grammars: Simple and Convoluted
  5. Languages of the Balkans – Language Contact
  6. Languages of California – Life, Death, and Rebirth of Languages

Asya Pereltsvaig received a PhD in Linguistics from McGill University and has taught at Yale, Cornell and Stanford, as well as in several U.S. and European universities. Her expertise is in language and history, and the relationship between them. Her most recent books, Languages of the World: An Introduction, 3rd edition (2020) and The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics (2015) were published by Cambridge University Press.

How does it work?
This is a six-part course held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule above for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

When will I receive the Zoom link?
The link used to enter your Zoom room will be the same for each lecture in the course. It will be sent to the email address that was used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each session's start time.

Is there a reading list?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided via email at the course's conclusion. 

How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time included for Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $210 USD for six lectures.

Is a recording available?
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording within 48 hours of each event's conclusion.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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