On subtitles and subtitling software

As the notion of accessibility has become one of the dominant shibboleths of a growing tribe of media specialists, film subtitles – whose single primary function is to provide access to what would otherwise be inaccessible – are still often facing criticism coming from all corners. And it’s true, subtitles really are a funny old …

Anyone for grammar in the Easter vacation?

As part of the CLAS Widening Participation programme, specialist tutors from the University’s Language Centre delivered in-house French, German and Spanish intensive study sessions for local 16-19 school language learners between March 25 and 27. The sessions catered for GCSE, AS, A2 level and International Baccalaureate and included the essential skills necessary for succeeding in …

Possession marking: ’s and beyond

One of the most widely studied elements of the Germanic languages is the ’s which attaches to a noun phrase to indicate possession in English. The analysis of this element, the possessive ’s, has been the object of much debate in linguistics on account of its unusual behaviour, which makes its categorisation problematic. It can …

The Year Abroad experience

I was recently reading an interview with the French philosopher Michel Foucault in which he talked about a period spent working in Sweden at the University of Uppsala in the 1950s. Foucault clearly remembered this experience of exposure to another language and another culture as being highly significant in terms of his personal and intellectual …

Language and technology – a new research project

For the CLAS blog’s inaugural post, Professor Christopher Johnson tells us about his new research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I have recently been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to write a book on the French prehistorian and ethnologist André Leroi-Gourhan (1911-86). Unlike the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, my previous subject of research, Leroi-Gourhan …