What linguistic studies have been done on the words spoken when “speaking in tongues”?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-09 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Christine Kenneally (born in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian-American journalist who writes on science, language and culture. Trained as a linguist, she has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, New Scientist, and Australia’s Monthly, among other publications.

Christine Kenneally is someone I resent the hell out of, because she went to the same linguistics department as me (she was a couple of years ahead of me), and she’s famous and I’m not. 🙂

Before she switched from linguistics, she did an honours thesis on glossolalia, under Mark Durie. Mark Durie has also since switched from linguistics; he’s now a pastor (Charismatic Anglican), and is prominent in anti-Islam polemics.

Christine’s conclusion was that the linguistics structures of glossolalia match Anglo stereotypes of foreign languages: CV structure, simple phonetics, simple vowels. Nothing linguistically exotic. It’s like asking someone to “speak African” if they know nothing about African (including click languages).

Anecdote had it that the supervisor–supervisee relationship was an uncomfortable one.

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