Article

Learning Linguistics by Doing: The Secret Virtues of a Language Constructed in the Classroom

Federico Gobbo 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1University of L’Aquila
Corresponding Author : Federico Gobbo, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione, Ingegneria e Matematica (DISIM) University of L’Aquila, via Vetoio, IT-67100 L’Aquila, Italy. Phone: 0039-3455135665; Email: federico.gobbo@gmail.com

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jul 24, 2013; Revised: Aug 21, 2013; Accepted: Sep 04, 2013

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017

Abstract

The teaching of second languages in school classrooms is often conducted through the use of ‘direct’ and ‘immersion’ methods, while grammar is reserved for the first language. However, pupils spontaneously raise important questions for general and theoretical linguistics which could be better addressed through an interlinguistic comparison of first and second language grammars in the pupils’ repertoires. This paper explains the method used in a pilot experiment in fieldwork. The experiment was conducted in the fourth class of a Montessori primary school, where pupils constructed from scratch a posteriori language to be used for secret communication among themselves―but not to be used with the rest of the school. During the process of the construction of this language, all aspects were discussed in the class: phonetics and writing systems, morphology and syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The main educational result was the increase in pupils’ metalinguistic awareness, as well as the confidence that they gained in their own language proficiency.

Keywords: language learning; constructed language; interlinguistics

REFERENCES

1.

Bausani, A. 1974. Le lingue inventate: linguaggi artificiali, linguaggi segreti, linguaggi universali. Rome: Astrolabio Ubaldini.

2.

Blanke, D. 1985. Internationale Plansprachen. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

3.

Comrie, B. 1989. Language Universals and Linguistic Typology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

4.

Frommer, P. 2009. Some Highlights of Na'vi. Language Log 19. Available at URL <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1977>.

5.

Gobbo, F. 1998. Verbigerazione fantastica. Italiano & Oltre 3.4, 151-154.

6.

Gobbo, F. 2005. The Digital Way to Spread Conlangs. In S. Posteguillo et al. (eds.), Language at Work: Language Learning, Discourse, and Translation Studies in Internet 45-53. Castellon: Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume I.

7.

Gobbo, F. 2008. Planning Languages and Language Planning: The Contribution of Interlinguistics to Cross-Cultural Communication. In F. Boers et al. (eds.), Multilingualism & Applied Comparative Linguistics I 24-60. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

8.

Haspelmath, M. & E. König. (eds.) 1995. Converbs in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

9.

Lakoff, G. 1990. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. Chicago, IL: University of Chigaco Press.

10.

Mattei, C. (1889) 1996. Volapük. Nozioni compendiose. Fara Editore. Reprint. Available at URL <http://www.liberliber.it>.

11.

Montessori, M. 1912. The Montessori Method. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.

12.

Okrand, M. 1992. The Klingon Dictionary. Addendum Edition. New York: Pocket Books.

13.

Schreyer, C. 2011. Media, Information Technology, and Language Planning: What Can Endangered Language Communities Learn from Created Language Communities? Current Issues in Language Planning 12.3, 403-425.

14.

Tesnière, L. 1959. Eléments de syntaxe structurale. Paris: Kliencksiek.

15.

Wennergren, B. 2005. Plena manlibro de Esperanta gramatiko. El Cerrito: ELNA. Available at URL <http://bertilow.com/pmeg/>.

JUL Research Ethics Workshop

July 1-2, 2020   

For further detailed information, please contact us (unish@sejong.ac.kr).


I don't want to open this window for a day.

JUL Research Ethics Workshop

January 8-9, 2020   

For further detailed information, please contact us (unish@sejong.ac.kr).


I don't want to open this window for a day.