Colin McEnroe Show: The Life Of Languages

From Esperanto to Itelmen and Na'vi, what makes languages work?

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Jonathan David Bobaljik.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Paul Frommer.
Photo:Kim Nowacki, Flickr Creative Commons
Colin McEnroe Show: The Life Of Languages
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Colin McEnroe Show: The Life Of Languages

There are a lot of made-up languages with big fans. You may have heard of Na'vi from the movie Avatar, or Elvish from Lord of the Rings. Among fans, many of these languages have found a home on the web, where they continue to be developed and studied.

At the same time, thousands of real languages around the world are facing extinction.

Jonathan David Bobaljik is a UConn professor working to save the dying language of Itelmen. Today, only about 20 people speak Itelmen in the entire world.

Later in the segment, Paul Frommer explains what it was like to invent a language for James Cameron's blockbuster movie, Avatar.

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