Lingua Franca, presented by Maria Zijlstra, looks at all aspects of language: language old, modern, and even invented. Through interviews and prepared talks, the program features experts who analyse a single topic of interest to users and lovers of language. Examples of the sort of linguistic territory they traverse are: bi-lingual education, ebonics, the language of pornography, and the political use of words. Lingua Franca is published every Saturday.
January 5th, 2013
Episode 47 of 50 episodes
For most of the history of Western civilisation, reading was not a silent activity. Indeed, according to Professor Paul Saenger, Curator of Rare Books at the Newberry Library, Chicago, all the evidence indicates that silent reading really only became possible around the 7th century AD. What stopped silent reading before that, he says, was the lack of word separation in texts: the use of continuous script.