Bill Kretzschmar (Georgia): Emergence of English: Addressing ‘Emergence’ in a HEL Classroom

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Date(s) - 29/02/2016
1:10 pm - 2:00 pm

University of Edinburgh - Dugald Stewart Building, Room 1.20


English Language Research Group Seminar talk by Bill Kretzschmar (University of Georgia)

“Emergence” is the key term from the study of complex systems, a new science currently useful in physics, genetics, evolutionary biology, and economics, but also a perfect fit for the humanities. The science of complexity describes how massive numbers of random interactions can give rise to order, regularities that “emerge” from the interactions without specific causes. This paper will discuss how to present emergence as a continual theme in English. It will offer as an option the story of the language centered on the continual emergence and re-emergence of lexical, phonological, and grammatical forms of English out of the interaction of its speakers and the contingencies of their history.

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