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What’s in a Language? Anthropology Professor Speaks on the Origins of Language

  • Posted by: Kiran Qureshi
  • Posted Date: February 4, 2009
  • Filed Under: Events & Exhibits

Lowell Gustafson“The Science of Humanity: Tongues, Stones, and Bones” is the theme of this year’s Anthropology Lecture Series hosted by Falvey. Lowell Gustafson, Ph.D., professor of political science and associate dean of social sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, will host the first lecture with his presentation, “Speaking Up: The Origins of Language” on Tue., Feb. 10, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the first floor lounge of Falvey.

Linguistics, or the study of language, is one of the main sub-fields of anthropology. It is also one of the most important things that define what it means to be human. Many languages are spoken around the world, and which language we speak, be it French, German, Chinese or Arabic, can often serve to divide us. However, the fact that we have language is common to virtually all human beings.

But what is language? When and how did it originate? How did it reach the highly sophisticated level it is at today such that it significantly distinguishes humanity? Why did human beings start to speak up in the first place? Dr. Gustafson will offer insights and answers into these questions.

Dr. Gustafson has been teaching at Villanova University for the past 23 years. He offers classes in political anthropology, Latin American politics and international relations. His research interests focus on the same areas

This is the first of three presentations that make up the Anthropology Lecture Series for the spring semester.

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Last Modified: February 4, 2009