Samuel McHugh 雷山木

23 May 2020

Your two linguistics course, writing systems and historical linguistics, were the academic highlights of my time at Carleton. I still reach for some of the fundamental principles taught in those courses as well as some of the quirkier facts. (It really makes me a hit at parties). After Chinese I learned Swahili and my knowledge of common sound shifts let me more easily pickup vocabulary from the parallel bantu tribal languages in my area. And similarly for Dutch, now that I live in the Netherlands, I have a good intuition when to guess if a word is borrowed from the French or has a Germanic route, all based on the prestige value of those words. You gave me the tools to observe more closely what’s going on just under the surface of our everyday modes of communication. Thanks a bunch. Enjoy what I will presume is warmer weather in your future! (P. S. I recommend the book “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language” by Gretchen McCulloch.)