HSS Research Seminar Series: Bettina Beinhoff, 'Constructed Languages Between Cultures'

Events — Talk Helmore 201 & Microsoft Teams
20 February 2023, 17:00

Constructed languages are increasingly popular in film and TV, such as Avatar (with Na'vi), The City and The City (with Illitan) and the Hobbit (with Tolkien's Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin). These languages contribute to the characters and their identities; therefore, these languages must reveal certain key traits. However, we have very little understanding of how audiences respond to these languages and how they develop attitudes towards them. The constructed languages mentioned above have been developed by individuals with English as their first language and an anglophone primary cultural context. It is likely that this context will have influenced the language they designed. However, the films and TV series have a much wider reach and are viewed by audiences with different language and cultural backgrounds. These international audiences might differ in how they perceive these languages. In this talk, I will present a study that explores how such diverse audiences evaluate several constructed languages to find out if the first language and cultural context make a difference in how these languages are perceived.

Bettina Beinhoff is Senior lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She is Co-Director of the Anglia Ruskin Research Centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies (ARRCIMS) and of the Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF).

Free refreshments will be served from 4.45pm.

Elvish inscription on a golden ring
Image of PG Wodehouse books

Event contact: Jeannette Baxter and Melanie Bell: HSSresearch@aru.ac.uk