Archive for the Category: Linguistics

Book hunting in Montreal

Yesterday I spent the morning hunting for interesting language books with Lindsay Dow, of Lindsay Does Languages, Benny Lewis, of Fluent in 3 months, Steve Kaufmann, of lingq, and Josh Koehn from California. The first book shop we went to had a good selection of books in and about a wide variety of languages, including […]

Also posted in English, Language, Travel 1 Comment

Polyglot Gathering 2016

I’m currently at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin. I arrived here on Wednesday evening and have been speaking and hearing lots of different languages. So far I’ve had conversations in English, French, Welsh, German, Irish and Mandarin, and spoken bits and pieces of Spanish, Italian, Russian, Czech, Portuguese, Toki Pona and Esperanto. I’ve also heard […]

Also posted in Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Language, Language learning, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Sardinian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Toki Pona, Travel, Welsh Comments Off on Polyglot Gathering 2016

One Person One Language (OPOL)

This post is based largely on an article by Francois Grosjean: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-bilingual/201504/one-person-one-language-and-bilingual-children One popular way to raise bilingual children is for each parent to speak only their native language with their children. For example the father will speak English and the mother will speak Spanish, and the children will acquire both languages. At first the […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Irish, Language, Language acquisition, Spanish, Welsh 5 Comments

Online language communities

On an episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme, Word of Mouth, that I listened to recently, they talk about how English might change in the future. One interesting thing that came up was that new linguistics communities are emerging online on forums and other places where people spend a lot of time chatting to […]

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Language acquisition

I spent Christmas with my family at my brother’s house in Devon in the south west of England. His daughter is now 20 months old and it’s fascinating to see how she’s acquiring language. The last time I saw her was at Easter this year when she was nearly a year old. At that time […]

Also posted in English, French, Language, Language acquisition, Russian 5 Comments

7000 Languages Project

I heard about an interesting project today: 7000 Languages Project – the goal of the project is to create web- and mobile-delivered learning materials for the 7,000 languages beyond the top 100 or so that attract significant commercial support. The 7000 Languages Project involves creating Langscape, an online portal for learning about languages worldwide, that […]

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The Language Myth: Why Language Is Not an Instinct

According to an article I came across yesterday the idea that language is an instinct or that there is some kind of language organ in the brain is unlikely to be true. Vyvyan Evans, Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University, argues that, “Our brains really are ‘language-ready’ in the following limited sense: they have the […]

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When is a language not a language?

One perennial problem in linguistics is how to decide whether a language is a language or dialect. In the fascinating book, Speak: A Short History of Languages, which I read recently, Tore Janson argues that a language can be considered a language when those who speak it decide that it is one, and they give […]

Also posted in English, Italian, Language, Latin 2 Comments

Babbling

I spent last weekend at my mum’s house, along with my brother, sister-in-law and their one-year old daughter. The last time I saw my niece was at Christmas, when she was making some sounds, but not really babbling much. Now she is babbling away all the time and sometimes says recognisable words, or at least […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language acquisition, Russian 1 Comment

Sound instincts

According to an article I came across today, humans possibly have innate preferences for the sound patterns found in languages which might help babes to distinguish language from non-language and to acquire language. An experiment undertaken by the National Academy of Sciences found that even new born babies show a preference for combinations of phonemes […]

Also posted in Language, Language acquisition 11 Comments
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