Archive for the Category: Linguistics

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. […]

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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


The other day I came across an interesting article on efforts to keep the Romansh language alive. Romansh or Romansch, which you can hear in last week’s language quiz, is a Romance language spoken mainly in the Swiss Canton of Graubuenden (Grischun/Grigione/Grissons) by about 60,000 people. There appears to be mixed views on the language […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language, Language revival 4 Comments

Research projects

Chinese Englishes One of my classmates at university is doing a research project on mutual intelligibility between varieties of English spoken in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. It involves listening to recordings of these varieties of English and answering simple questions. The recordings are divided into five sections, each lasting less than […]

Also posted in Bilingualism, English, Language Comments Off on Research projects


I handed in my last essay today, so that’s pretty much the end of the taught part of my course and I can now concentrate on my dissertation. It’s a great relief to get all the assignments out of the way after spending what seems like ages on them. Fortunately I don’t have any exams […]

Also posted in General, Language, Language revival, Manx 2 Comments

Foreign accents

At the moment I’m writing an essay on the acquisition of foreign pronunciation. There seems to be a widespread belief that people who start learning a language at an early age are more likely to speak it with a native accent, while those who learn languages as adults tend to speak them with foreign accents. […]

Also posted in Language, Language acquisition, Pronunciation 20 Comments

Gesture and speech

I went to an interesting seminar yesterday which discussed the use of gestures in bilinguals and monolinguals. Research in Canada and China found that bilinguals tend to gesture more overall than monolinguals, and that they gesture more in their less dominant language. It was also found that gestures were most frequent when people were trying […]

Also posted in Bilingualism, Language Comments Off on Gesture and speech
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