Sunday, February 20, 2011

Alexander Adelaar on historical linguistics

Want to know what a world expert linguist does? Visit the Melbourne University podcast series UpClose Episode 127 is about Alexander (Sander) Adelaar, Dutch born expert on Malay/Indonesian languages. Listen online or download to your computer or mp3 player: An ocean away: An African nation's roots in Southeast Asia. Especially helpful is his answer when asked to give a brief description of the mechanics of what an historical linguist does: "hunting for regular correspondences". Looking for who's related to who in language families. How does linguistics work with archeology (incisions in animal bones?), mythology and even maternal mitochondrial DNA research? Look up Austronesian languages on Wikipedia to see a good map of distribution of this language family. UpClose Episode 127, 25 MIN 13 SEC , MP3 FORMAT You can listen and/or read a transcript

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