16 - Linguistics of arrival advent calendar

The linguistics of Arrival: a closer look

Sociolinguistics Lecturer Josef Fruehwald takes a closer look at the sci-fi film Arrival

If aliens landed on earth, how would we communicate with them? That’s the job of Dr Louise Banks in the film Arrival, released late last year.

Real life linguists were consultants on the film. As a result, it’s had a lot of interest from linguists in the build-up to its release… Screenshots from trailers showing
Dr Banks’ office were analysed in quite some detail!

Seems like the film has a promising view of linguistics – or does it?
Sociolinguist Josef Fruehwald explores.

“The work of doing linguistics came across
crystal clear.”

-Josef Fruehwald
Lecturer in Sociolinguistics at the University of Edinburgh

We are linguists. We come in peace.

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