Dr. Michael J. Flynn, Chair of the Carleton Linguistics Program, will deliver a public colloquium talk, entitled 'A Modern Defense of the Ancient Japanese Writing System', on Friday, 7 November 2008, at 3:30 pm. The talk, sponsored by the Program of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota, will be held in 229 Nolte Center on the U of M campus. More information about the colloquium series can be found here.
A brief abstract of the talk appears below.
The extraordinarily complicated Japanese writing system has for centuries been attacked by observers from both inside and outside Japan. Nevertheless, in this talk I will try to defend the current writing system, using present-day psychological and neurological studies. Along the way, I will discuss how the Japanese system came to be the way that it is, and I will try to clarify the terminological confusions that are rampant in this area of study. The result, I hope, will be a clearer understanding of what is at stake in evaluating the utility of this venerable, extremely interesting, though widely criticized system.