Chasing the Sounds and Semantics that Bridge Cultures
In the mouths of ancient Indian Philosophers ,"Pramana" meant the "right instrument" that we use to reach truth and understanding. At Pramana Langauge Lab, we believe that everyone has the right instrument to make themselves heard and understood, and that the tools for doing so are diverse, complex, and often real weird! Our mission is to understand what it takes to be heard and understood, even when no one seems to communicate like you do.
What is Semantic Change? When diverse peoples gather, they often don't have an clear way of communicating to one another without some kind of commonanlity or touchstone for reference. Semantic change is a by-product of the search for this touchstone--the phenomenon occurs when a group of inerlocutors don't just begin to translate or understand each other, but generate new words and meanings in the search to understand and be understood.
The Pramana Langauge Lab has the tri-partite mission to Preserve, Cultivate, and Educate people about language evolution, semantic change, and skills we need to keep talking to each other.
In order to understand semantic change we have to document it. The Language Lab engages in the recording of lingustic agents, special and unique sounds, as well as the modelling and analysis of discourse at large. We support the work done to protect and preserve endangered langauges, as well as seek out new ways of communicating to add to digital libraries and records. We also, obviously, make podcasts and other audio projects with these sounds!
When moddelling the phenomenon of semantic change and language evolution more broadly, one theoretical tool has proven powerful and nearly indispensible: Game Theory. The ability to model complex social interactions is lost on most other formal methods. And in order to play the game of understanding one another well, we need to cultivate the social skills that smooth the interaction. Thus the Lab creates and supports academic research on game theory, as well as table-top or online games that can be played at home.
Through podcasts, games, books, and other content, Pramana Language Lab takes the process of language evolution out of remote areas and thought experiments, and into your home! We also have a committment to work with marginalized voices and groups in Rural or hard to reach areas that make the resources to be heard.
Nickolas Montgomery is the founder and principal creator at the Pramana Langauge Lab. He has undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Religous Studies, and Classics, an M.A. in Philosophy, and after spending 6 years in a PhD program in Philosophy, decided to make a shift from pure academic research, to educational content creation. He still teaches philosophy as an adjunct, but finds that his real heart lies in recording weird noises rather than figuring out what they mean. He specializes in Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, Eastern Philosphy, Game Theory and Biomedical Ethics. He's a practioner of Chan Buddhism, loves his dog, enjoys table-top gaming, and hates to miss hike because of bad weather.
The Language Lab is expanding and often works with artists, creators, and recording subjects for various projects. IF you'd like to get involved with us at the lab, or just want to reach out and say hi, fill out the form on our CONTACT US page. We'd love to hear from you!