Phonotaxis: Singing the Songs of Interlanguage or åæä¸½è¯ (A Manifesto of Sorts)
Jonathan Stalling, associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, argues for liberating languages from the constraints of their historical scripts so that poets can write out the prosodies of interlanguages. His opera “Yingelishi” was performed in China in 2010 and features an English libretto written entirely in Chinese characters. In this talk, Stalling articulates a larger vision for this work and a broader interlanguage poetics grounded in what he calls “Phonotaxis,” or poetry built to house voices that cross through interlinguistic constraints. The talk will be accompanied by a series of four new video poems featuring his text–to–speech avatars reading a single English poem inscribed in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Korean scripts. He argues that poetry of this kind can modify the way we hear language itself.