Recently King’s Sixth Form language students were visited by Dr Wendell Kimper, a Linguistics and English Language Lecturer from the University of Manchester, who delivered an introductory lecture imparting a taster of university level linguistics.
The main session focused on expletive infixation. By demonstrating the infixation of ‘diddly’ into other words, courtesy of Ned Flanders from the Simpsons, Dr Kimper showed us how English speakers have a subconscious knowledge of the language which does not surface in normal reading or writing. By putting ‘diddly’ into words not said in The Simpsons, Dr Kimper showed us how we ‘learn’ and adhere to the rules of a language and apply them both to possible and impossible words. It was a humorous and fascinating experiment, provoking an interesting discussion about how most people agree on the formation of invented words.
This lunchtime lecture provided a brief insight for King’s Sixth Form students as to what the study of linguistics really is, and offered an interesting look at their own perception of language, perhaps sparking an interest for a future in linguistics!