On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, the English Language and Literature Department welcomed Professor Aida Talić, an assistant professor at the Linguistics Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Talić obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Zenica, and her MA and Ph.D. degree from the University of Connecticut.
Professor Talić lectured on the topic “Introduction to Sign Languages and What They Tell us about Humans”. The main aim of the lecture was to prove that sign languages are in many respects just as complex and natural as spoken languages. The lecture began with a general overview of the nature of language and language acquisition, comparing the signed and spoken language on different levels of language, from phonology to syntax. Professor Talić highlighted that many myths which surround sign languages have made it difficult for many signers to be equally accepted into the community and have equal opportunities as other speakers of a language. Throughout the lecture, professor Talić provided examples of similarities between signed and spoken languages, answering questions from the audience along the way. Professor Talić concluded the lecture by discussing several medical options for signers, and why they might not be viable solutions for the entire deaf community.
The lecture ended with intriguing questions from the audience. Professor Talić was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Head of the Department of English Language and Literature asst. prof. Amna Brdarević Čeljo, in recognition of the time and effort invested in lecturing on a highly interesting and rarely discussed topic in the field of language studies.