Conversation on Value2/002

Julie Sedivy - Connecting with Emotion

Value in Language: Connecting with Emotion

Julie Sedivy and Valerina talk about the interplay between language and emotion in creating identity and the value of this connection. “We only realize the value of something after we lose it,” says Julie. There’s an “ebb and flow of language in the mind” with migration. Julie says, “languages are the vehicles of our lives. It’s the means through which we communicate our values, and so on.” Language provides cultural context. Preserving the body of work in ancient Greece wouldn’t have been possible without continuity in language. What are the collective cons(equences) of the loss of cultural texture and nuance?

“Learn a language, gain a soul” because we access different parts of ourselves in different languages. E.g., Personality tests (English and Spanish). A Dutch study (English more competitive, Dutch more collaborative). Exposure to anglophone culture. Early childhood tighter emotional connection.

Julie Sedivy is a language scientist and writer. She received a PhD in linguistics from the University of Rochester, where she conducted pioneering research in psycholinguistics, a field that lies at the intersection of psychology and linguistics.

She has taught linguistics and psychology at Brown University and the University of Calgary and has authored dozens of scientific articles as well as a popular undergraduate textbook on psycholinguistics, Language in Mind.

She now devotes much of her time to writing for non-academic audiences, on language and other topics. Her most recent book, Memory Speaks, explores multilingualism, identity, and language loss. Her forthcoming book, slated for release in 2024, is a series of essays that chronicle the unfolding of language in a human life and its entanglement with experiences of time, love, and mortality.

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