TITLE: Teachers As Scholars: Controlling Language
DATE: October 17, 2018
LOCATION: Montclair State University-University Hall, ADP Center Room 1143
INSTRUCTOR: Alice F. Freed, Ph.D.
Who and what controls how we use our language? Do we as speakers of English control how we speak? Do other people determine what we say? Or does the English language itself somehow control everyone? Some groups deliberately work to bring about changes to English – modifications that they believe will benefit society. Educators instruct us how to speak and write and in so doing seek to stop language from changing. And meanwhile, the language continues to evolve on its own oblivious to any of these efforts. All three phenomena, language reform and language prescription (both methods people use to try to control language) and language change (a fact that we cannot control) take place side by side. This seminar explores the dynamics of these aspects of the life of English and seeks to understand the interplay of the opposing forces.
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