Archive for the Category: Linguistics

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 […]

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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

Transcribing conversations

This week I’ve been transcribing the conversations and interviews I recorded while in the Isle of Man. So far I’ve done about an hour’s worth of transcription, which comes out as just over ten thousand words. I have another four hours or so of recordings, and hope to finish transcribing them this week. Then I’ll […]

Also posted in Language 13 Comments

Manx language

I’m on the Isle of Man at the moment doing some research for my dissertation on the revival of the Manx (Gaelic) language. I’m staying in Douglas (Doolish), the island’s capital, and plan to explore other parts of the island – it’s partly a holiday for me as well as a way to collect data. […]

Also posted in Identity, Language, Language revival, Manx, Travel 16 Comments