Meaning in Language and Society Movie: "Chinese Take-Away"

Professor Contact: Cecile McKee, Department of Linguistics, 520-621-2188,

This spring, the study of linguistics and philosophy will combine with film to form a unique class offered by the University of Arizona. As part of the course “Meaning in Language and Society (Ling/Phil 211)” students will watch movies that illustrate the linguistic, psychological and social aspects of meaning.

Community members can attend the screenings and join in the conversation for free.

The movies will be shown at the Integrated Learning Center (ILC) 130, on the UA campus, from 3:30-6 p.m. on Thursdays, Jan. 24-March 28 (except March 14). Parking is available on a pay-per-use basis at the Cherry Avenue Garage, located on Cherry just east of the library.

The course movies include “The King’s Speech” (Jan. 24); “The Color of Paradise” (Jan. 31); “Do the Right Thing” (Feb. 7); “Snatch” (Feb. 14); L’Auberge Espanol (Feb. 21); La Grande Illusion (Feb. 28); “Chinese Take-Away” (Mar. 7); “Star Trek: Undiscovered Country” (Mar. 21); and “A Serious Man” (Mar. 28).

“The course will begin with films that explore distinctions between communication, language, and speech,” said Linguistics Professor Cecile McKee. “It will move to considerations of how language signals our social groupings, such as people whose shared dialect reflects their shared culture. It will then consider communication among people who do not share a language and must relay meaning in some other way. It will end with a focus on invented languages, such as we often see in science fiction films.”