USC Cinematic Arts

Christine Schreyer is a linguistic anthropologist or someone who studies the relationship between language and culture. Her academic research focuses on raising awareness about language diversity, including reasons why endangered languages and created languages help support language diversity. She has conducted research with indigenous communities in Canada and in Papua New Guinea and on-line with the burgeoning Na’vi community (Na’vi was created for the movie Avatar on 2009).

In 2012, she was awarded the University of British Columbia’s Provost’s Award for Public Education through Media for sharing her research expertise through innovative and creative ways via the news media. She sees language creation as an essential tool in world building and she developed the linguistic structure of the Kryptonian language for the 2013 film Man of Steel.

Her publications on language creation describe: 1) what endangered language communities can learn from the created language communities and 2) what anthropology students can learn about the relationship between language and culture via their own language creation projects and world-building.

The Culture of Conlanging: What Can We Learn About Culture from Created Languages? (PDF)