Word games as experimental linguistics

Frankly speaking, I have no clue what “experimental linguistics” is supposed to mean. I have no idea even after reading through this document. But, despite that, I found this paper to be a very interesting read.

Well, when I began this paper, I imagined “word games” to mean something more broader in sense than what is mentioned here. Let me prepare you all – this paper basically talks about the “PigLatin” kinda word games and not “scrabble” kinda games or other such things.

So, read a bit on PigLatin? Proceed further now.🙂

Actually, I am new to PigLatin and this paper has some nice examples to explain what it is. So, I proceeded ahead. So, there are a few surprises that PigLatin can throw at you – expect the unexpected sorta confrontations. Using such cases, the author tries to explain how language word games can be used to get some insights on the syllabic structure and working of a language.

There are two case studies, with word games from two other languages called: Awara (Yes, its the name!!) – from Papua new guinea and Komo – from Congo. Both the case studies helped the linguists get a better understanding on how language worked and how people worked with the language.

It was all pretty interesting to read. Only that, it left me wondering about such experiments with Indian languages. I don’t even know if there are this kind of games in our languages, which will help understand the structure of the language. Surely, there are a lot of games to “learn” the language but, are there any to “understand” its working?

As I write this – I wonder how these kind of experiments work for “invented languages”🙂 The working of these languages is theoritically laid down by their makers. How about verifying them experimentally?😉 “Experimental Linguistics” – Literally!!

Heres the link to this report.

Author: Michael Cahill

Published in: on October 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very interesting, indeed.🙂

  2. ఇలాంటివి చాలా ఉన్నాయి, తెలుగులో కూడాను.
    చిన్నప్పుడు చాలా ఆటలు ఆడేవాళ్ళం.

    ఉదా: క భాష, జ భాష. (భాష ==> కభాకష)
    అలాగే ఒక పదానికి చెందిన మొదటి రెండు అక్షరాలను మార్చి మాట్లాడటం మనిషి ==> నమిషి(కోడు లాంగ్వేజీ లాగా)

  3. nice and intersting idea


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