Archive for the Category: Linguistics

Languages in the news

Here are a few language-related articles I found recently: Tolkien and Made Up Languages – an article about Tolkien, whose 120 birthday it would be today if he was still around, his languages, and other fictional languages such as Newspeak and Nadsat. The secret to learning languages – Tips from the polyglots: Find out how […]

Also posted in Conlangs, Dictionaries, Language, Language revival 2 Comments

Ingrown languages

In an interesting book I read recently, What Language Is by John McWhorter, the author discusses why some languages appear a lot more complicated or ‘ingrown’ than others. He gives the example of Persian and Pashto, two Iranian languages spoken in a number of countries in western and central Asia. Whereas Persian has more or […]

Also posted in Arabic, English, Language, Language acquisition, Language learning, Spanish 7 Comments

Humboldt’s parrot

There’s a story that in 1799 the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was exploring the Orinoco and Amazon rivers and documenting the languages and cultures of the tribes he encountered there. While spending time with one tribe of Carib people, he asked them about their neighbours and rivals, the Maypure, who he […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language, Language revival 3 Comments

Benefits of being bilingual

According to a study at the University of Haifa in Israel, children who grow up bilingually are able to learn a third language more easily than monolingual children. The study compared children who speak Russian and Hebrew with those who speak only Hebrew, and who are all learning English at school. It found that the […]

Also posted in Bilingualism, Language, Language learning 10 Comments

What Can You Do With A Linguistics Degree?

Today we have a guest post by Brian Jenkins. Linguistics is an intriguing subject to some college students, and many end up choosing it as a major. However, Kent Clizbe, a headhunter who specializes in recruiting linguists, offers this dispiriting advice: “I tell these students, ‘you did your dissertation specializing in Cherokee semantics. Great. Now […]

Also posted in Language Comments Off

Multilingual child

I’ve received the following request from the BBC that maybe you can help with: The BBC are looking for a multilingual child and their family to participate in a major new BBC 1 science documentary series. Using cutting-edge CGI and amazing stories of human achievement and endeavour, “Human” will explore the physiological and developmental factors […]

Also posted in Bilingualism, Language 2 Comments

Linguistics and languages

When I mention to people that I’m a linguist or have studied linguistics, they often ask something like “Oh, which language(s)?” The popular idea of a linguist seems to be someone who studies / speaks quite a few languages, and linguistics is thought of as studying languages, rather than the study of language in general. […]

Also posted in Irish, Language, Sign language, Welsh 13 Comments

Satirical linguistics

The good people at Speculative Grammarian, the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics, would like your help – they are keen to receive submissions of satirical and humorous articles, poems, cartoons, ads, and all sorts of other material — no field within or related to linguistics is off limits. […]

Also posted in Language Comments Off

Language evolution

Some interesting experiments on language evolution are being undertaken in the University of Edinburgh’s Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit, and one thing they’ve found is that some aspects of language can develop in an afternoon. They believe that language evolves culturally through being learned and used by people. They have demonstrated aspects of this […]

Also posted in Evolution, Language, Language acquisition 8 Comments

Language acquisition

According to a study at UCLA, reported on EurekaAlert!, young children acquiring language benefit most from conversations. Reading them stories and talking to them are also helpful, but two-sided conversations have much stronger effects on their language development. A study of language use in 275 families looked at the affects of conversation, adult monologueing, reading […]

Also posted in Language acquisition 4 Comments