In this lecture I’ll describe how an interest in how languages change over time took me from sitting in a library in Philadelphia to clambering over rocks surrounded by thousands of sea birds, in one of the most beautiful island countries in the world. I’ll give a bit of background about the small but thriving Scandinavian language of Faroese, and outline some of what linguists (including a group of student Harry Potter fans) have been learning about how it has been changing.
Caroline Heycock grew up in Scotland and was fascinated by languages from an early age. She studied French and German at Cambridge University, then after two years living and working in Japan and doing her best to learn Japanese she moved to the USA where she gained a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at universities in the USA but for some time now has been back in Scotland where she is a professor at the University of Edinburgh. When she is not thinking about language and linguistics she can often be found walking in the mountains, although she has also experimented with doing both at the same time.