Public Lecture featuring Robert Stainton, Distinguished University Professor from the University of Western Ontario.

“Do languages really exist?”

Location:  Dominion-Chalmers, 355 Cooper Street

Date: Thursday, March 7th

Time:  7:00 pm

Light refreshment to follow.

Abstract:  

This accessible presentation centers around a seemingly absurd question: ‘Do languages really exist?’ Though the answer seems perfectly apparent, recall that until very recently it seemed obvious that genders and races “really existed”. What’s more, many influential linguists and philosophers have recently provided plausible grounds for answering ‘No’. The aim of the talk is not to answer the question, but rather to consider i) what exactly is at issue (in particular, what is meant by ‘languages’ and ‘really exist’) and ii) why it matters, academically and socially, whether the skeptics are right.

All are welcome!

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