2017 Faculty Research Lecture

The 51st Annual Faculty Research Lecture was given by Professor Sandra Chung on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Music Recital Hall in the Performint Arts Complex. Click here to listen to the lecture.

Language Through the Lens of Diversity

The ease and efficiency with which children acquire their first language(s) reveals that the capacity to know and use language is deeply human. It also raises the possibility that all languages have the same design--universal characteristics that make language acquisition possible. Are these views challenged by the great diversity of the world's languages? In this talk, Sandra Chung explores this question from the perspective of Chamorro, an understudied language spoken in Micronesia.  She suggests that while language diversity is real, language universals emerge when 'small' languages are investigated in the same depth as first-world languages.