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Videos about linguistics available at

the Geddes Language Center

(partial listing)


Here is the official listing of linguistics videos available at Geddes.

For further detail, see below.


ABC: How our alphabet began

This short film provides a unique animated look at how our alphabet evolved from Egyptian picture symbols to Roman letters and the English alphabet in use today.

LI 8.001

American Tongues


  • Profiles of a number of linguistic communities, including the remarkable relic area of Tangier Island, Virginia.
  • A survey of American linguistic prejudice (regional, social, racial)
  • The role of the mass media in fostering stereotypes
  • Opinions and examples of Black English (Ebonics)
  • How accents in one locale can differ by social class

EN 8.063

Human language series:

Part I: Colorless green ideas

"How do we use language? Words, sentences and Universal Grammar form a system claimed to be common to all the world's langauges. How the search for meaning in language structure brought on a revolution in the study of language and changed it into a search for what goes on inside the brain. (First unit in The Human Language Series; GLC has not acquired subsequent units.)"

LI 8.010

Human language series:

Part I: Colorless green ideas

Part II: Acquiring the human language: playing the language game

Part III: The human language evolves: with and without words

These videos are available in the Applied Linguistics Library at 704 Commonwealth Avenue. For information, contact

The ideas of Chomsky

"A conversation of Noam Chomsky about language, especially the nature of its being and acquisition."

LI 8.013

In search of the first language

This program examines some of the principles by which linguistic geneologies are determined.

LI 8.011

Language and language modalities: Evidence from ASL

(LECTURE) Ben Bahan's lecture on and in American Sign Language. Recorded on 3/14/91.

LI 8.006

The philosophy of language

"A discussion with philospher-of-language John Searle about the relation of language to thought and to reality, and to the acquisition of knowledge, with reference to, among others, Plato, Descartes, Frege, and the Mills Brothers."

LI 8.012

Secret of the wild child

A documentary about Genie, raised in near isolation, and the effort to understand and influence her development and to teach her English.

See also:

L'enfant sauvage by François Truffaut (also available at Geddes: in French with English subtitles), the story of Victor of Aveyron, France, found in 1798 living in the forest and the efforts of Dr. Itard to teach him language, among other things.

EN 8.223

"Yeah, you rite!"

American accents and dialects examined in the microcosm of New Orleans.

LI 8.005

Dialects of Canadian English

  • what a dialect is
  • the Canadian "eh"
  • dialects of Newfoundland, Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, West Canada, North Canada

A 23 -minute instructional video designed to provide an overview of English as it is spoken across the wide Canadian landscape. Six distinct regions are identified. The program investigates how factors such as war, immigration, and migration have influenced the character of the English language spoken in Canada today as well as the major syntactic, phonological, and lexical characteristics of Canadian English.

Discusses and illustrates (with speech and song) the diverse elements of Canadian English and offers a humorous look at words that are uniquely Canadian.

EN 8.236

"New England's deaf culture"

A "Chronicle" broadcast including discussion of education of the deaf, theater (the NTD), and the sign language of Martha's Vineyard.

ASL 8.002

Here is the official listing of ASL videos available at Geddes.

 See also: Linguistic software