New Web Site Promotes Depth of Language Research at UA

UA News Services
July 29, 2004

Language Research presents an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary cross-section of research on language, in a form accessible to the public on the UA News Services Web site under the Special Project heading on the lower right section of the page.

The Web site at was created to showcase the breadth and depth of language research at the UA. Topics will range from speech production and textual analysis to second-language acquisition.

This is the first time a central location for ongoing work on language research from different departments and colleges is available on a UA Web site.

Four new articles will be presented quarterly. Also, site developers are working to provide a link to a database of the language researchers at the University, searchable by language of interest, research topic, research methodology and department.

"Human language is a unique characteristic of our species, as integral a part of humanity as building dams is to beavers," said Heidi Harley, UA assistant professor of linguistics.

"It is an incredibly complex phenomenon, and understanding how we do it, why we do it, and what we do with it requires researchers trained in many extremely disparate fields, from the acoustic analysis of sound waves to mathematical logic, from neurology to cultural anthropology.

"For most people, it comes as something of a surprise how complicated it is to just describe what is going on when we speak, let alone understand the how of it. This amazing ability, as natural to us as sleeping, is one of the most fascinating topics of study around."

The new Web site is intended to give nonspecialists a sense of the incredible range of human language research at the UA.


Resources for the media

Heidi Harley