45 – The Genius of Australian Indigenous Languages and why they are important to us Rachel Nordlinger – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Tuesday 29 October
Australian indigenous languages exhibit many interesting and unique properties that have contributed greatly to our understanding of how human beings process and perceive the world around them. Much of this knowledge, however, has remained within the purview of language scientists, and the broader Australian community still has little awareness of how fascinating Australian indigenous languages are, and what they teach us about the nature of language more broadly. In this talk Professor Nordlinger discusses some of her favourite features of these languages - ranging from unusual grammatical properties, to intriguing word meanings, to questions they raise about how languages are learned and processed. In doing so, Professor Nordlinger presents the true genius of these languages, and argues that, as well as being important to the communities who speak and treasure them, they should be valued by all of us who are interested in what it is to be human.
56 - Poetry Pilgrims: poetry appreciation - Wait List Only Anne McQueen Thomson – 8 fortnightly sessions from 12.30 to 2.00 on Wednesdays 14 August to 20 November
Anne will lead this poetry discussion group. (It is not creative writing). We read and discuss a variety of poems from a variety of authors and from different eras. Our explorations include the context of each poem, something of the author’s background and the strengths and weaknesses and style of each poem. We will advise in advance the poems for each session. Our hope is to learn something of the world of poetry, to become more open to taking pleasure in different kinds of poems and more articulate in discussing our reactions, all in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere.
61 - The Readers Marjorie de Saint-Ferjeux - 18 weekly sessions from 10.00 to 11.45 on Thursdays 1 August to 28 November
Members of the group take it in turns to read aloud, possibly getting to know books that otherwise might not have been considered. Listening to a book gets into your head and enlivens your understanding; there is time for a brief discussion. In semester 2 we continue with Proust’s In Search of Lost Time vol. 4 ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. We used the Penguin Modern Classics edition ISBN 0-14-303931-8. If unobtainable try for the Penguin Vintage Classics edition ISBN 0-8129-6964-2, or look to buy on the internet. If new to Proust, there are good notes on Wikipedia and the list of characters would be most valuable.
70 - Some thoughts on the art of translation and my translations from French Literature Penny Hueston – 1 session from 2.00 to 3.45 on Thursday 17 October
All the Way, Marie Darrieussecq. (French title: Cleves) Publication 2013 Little Jewel, Patrick Modiano (French title La Petite Bijou) 2015 Max, Sarah Cohen-Scali, February 2016 Men Marie Darrieussecq ( French Title Il Faut Beaucoup Aimer Les Hommes) 2016 Being There, Marie Darrieussecq (French title Être ici est une splendeur) 2017 Evacuation, Raphael Jerusalmy, 2018 Our Life in the Forest, Marie Darrieussecq (French Title Notre Vie dans les Forets) 2018 The Baby, Marie Darrieussecq Forthcoming March 2019
74 - Creative Writing Janet Allen – 8 fortnightly sessions from 10.00 to 12.00 on Fridays 2 August to 22 November
The writers’ group meets fortnightly to share work members have produced and comment on the effectiveness of the piece. Each member writes on a theme of personal choice or topic or technique set for that meeting. Everyone has the opportunity to present their work regularly.
76 – Current Usage and Abusage: what’s happening with grammar and punctuation? Prof Kate Burridge – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Friday 22 November
To create a work of art such as a standard language is to enter into a partnership with natural process - Standard English can never be a finished product. As Geoffrey Chaucer expressed it in the 1300s “Ye know ek, that in forme of speche is chaunge”(Troylus and Criseyde). Variability is the vehicle for language evolution. Features that might be viewed as mistakes in grammar are also what provide the basis for real change. Many of them will drop by the wayside, it’s true and some will remain variation - but there will also be a number that take off and eventually make their way into the repertoire of Standard English. Unfortunately, predicting change is one of the trickiest (most tricky?) tasks confronting linguists. We can take note of what we imagine to be the changes underway, but we will never be sure they will run their full course. Clearly language professionals such as editors and dictionary makers are also in a tricky position. There is never a magic time in linguistics change when misuse becomes use. It is murky and it is messy.