Language Studies

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Speaking in Tongues - 4 Kids. 4 Languages. 1 City. 1 World.
At a time when thirty one states have passed "English Only" laws, four pioneering families put their children in public schools where, from the first day of kindergarten, their teachers speak mostly in a foreign language. Speaking in Tongues follows…
American Tongues - Linguistic Attitudes in the U.S.
Southerners talk too slowly. New Yorkers are rude. New Englanders don't say much at all. Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows the cliches about how people in the various parts of the country handle the English language. American Tongues…
Let There Be Words - What is Language?
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
What precisely is language and how did humans acquire it? In an effort to answer these essential questions, this program journeys back to prehistoric times in search of languages origin. But this is not a passive discussion, as Noam Chomsky;…
Poto and Cabengo
Part of the Series: Criterion World Documentaries Collection
Grace and Virginia are young San Diego twins who speak unlike anyone else. With little exposure to the outside world, the two girls have created a private form of communication that's an amalgam of the distinctive English dialects they hear…
Mother Tongues - Global Languages
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the worlds languages--25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earths population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then…
The Language You Cry In
The Language You Cry In tells an amazing scholarly detective story that searches for -and finds- meaningful links between African Americans and their ancestral past. It bridges hundreds of years and thousands of miles from the Gullah people of present-day…
Constant Change - The Spread of Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
In this program, John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language; Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah; Brian Joseph, of The Ohio State University; and population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza examine factors that contributed…
Tongues of Heaven - Saving Native Languages
This film explores the challenges facing young indigenous people as they struggle to learn the languages of their forebears before they go extinct. Set in Taiwan and Hawai'i, territories where languages of the Austronesian family are spoken, this experimental documentary…
Life and Death - Language Preservation
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
It is predicted that within a century more than half of the worlds languages will become extinct, but as languages are lost, new ones emerge naturally or are constructed. In this program, Noam Chomsky; Esperantist Thomas Eccard; endangered languages researcher…
Yeah You Rite! - Language in New Orleans
The culture of New Orleans represents the mixing of many rich traditions: French, Spanish, African, Irish, Italian. At the heart of this unique culture lie its speechways, the subject of Yeah You Rite!, a close-up video profile of a single…
Mosquitoes and High Water - The Islenos of New Orleans
In the bayous and swamps east of New Orleans reside members of one of America's least-known ethnic group, the Spanish-speaking "Islenos" of St. Bernard Parish. Their ancestors came to this country over two hundred years ago from the Canary Islands…
Civilization to Colonization - Written Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
Writing is a relative latecomer to the history of language. This program tracks its emergence in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica and its down through the millennia via conquest--usually violent, sometimes benign--and colonization. The creation of creoles and pidgins resulting from…