Sunday, February 5

I luv Language structure, don't u?

This week has been one of a little self reflection and finally productive splat in a drawn out process of finding a passion and wondering what in the world I will be doing when I graduate and (maybe) start my real life. Over the last few years I have grown more and more into a love for language and linguistics. Which got me thinking, why not do my second undergrad in that? One thing that holds me back is that I don't want to pay for another undergrad, of slightly less importance, an issue of pride.
Throughout school I always had great marks in math and science, people said smothering things like "She's the next Prime Minister" (ok, I get the "encourage the child" but what?) or "Maybe you'll be a Neurosurgeon". I bought into it all and now I still have pangs of failure whenever I realize that I'm not either of those things. Somewhere in highschool I lost myself and lost my goals and my passions and I am still finding my way out. I have this part of me that needs to prove myself by taking some ridiculously difficult degree. But linguistics, now there is something to be passionate about!
I found a way to spend two semesters in Spain (or Mexico) once I finish my 4 years at Guelph. It would be without the pressure of taking 5 classes (just 3 per semester!) and plenty of time to travel, not to mention my life dream to become bilingual (geeky? likely)

Which directs me to one of my favorite books. I have read this book twice and I NEVER read books twice. It is called "Spoken Here" by Mark Abley. It explores languages that are threatened and endangered. Languages like Yuchi that have only 13 fluent speakers left, all over 70. One of the most fascinating things about the language is that there is "man talk" and "woman talk". Not hockey vs. nail painting but actually different words for the same things depending on whether the speaker is male or female!
There is also a tribe in Australia that does not have a separate word for blue or green (just one word) because they don't distinguish between the two, but have 5 words for yellow! What we call yellow would actually 5 very distinct colours to these people....

This is getting long, read the book, inevitably I'll indulge myself with some reading tonight and mention a few more facts tomorrow!

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