Diane Lillo-Martin, Andrew Nevins and Kyle Johnson gave a talk at the The Languages Science Festival 2014 in Rome (“I Linguaggi” Festival delle Scienze 2014) on “The sounds, signs and forms of language“. http://www.auditorium.com/eventi/5669480
An abstract of the talk is shown below:
There is hidden structure to the atomic parts of language: the
gestures and sounds that make up words and sentences. This structure
is largely responsible for all of the magic that is language. It is
responsible for enabling meaningless sounds and signs to become
bearers of meaning. It equips sentences with the ability to express
literally an infinity of messages. It is the key to how language codes
information. These lectures will explain how research in linguistics
discovers such structure, with illustrations from natural languages.
Professor Johnson will present some of the latest ideas about how
words are structured into larger syntactic building blocks. Professor
Nevins will show how single speech sounds are organized into larger
phonological units. And Professor Lillo-Martin will reveal how signed
languages exploit the same principles of organization, despite the
different modality of expression.