Archive for the Category: Linguistics

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. […]

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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

Speech perception

According to a report on EurekaAlert, speech perception is not based solely on hearing, but also on sight and even touch. All these senses blend together to enable us to perceive what others say. We use clues from the movement of the lips, teeth, tongue and other facial features to help use to decipher speech. […]

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Language mainly a cultural phenomenon

A report I found the other day suggests that language is most likely to be mainly a cultural phenomenon and that any genetic underpinnings for language probably pre-date the emergence of human language. Researchers in the UK and USA modelled how aspects of language might have been encoded genetically and concluded that this was very […]

Also posted in Evolution, Language, Language acquisition Comments Off

Ainu language

An article I came across today talks about the Ainu language in which the author, a Russian linguist, talks of his quest to find Ainu speakers in Hokkaido. He met plenty of Ainu but found only two people able to speak the language. He does find quite a few people who know a few words […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language, Language revival 1 Comment

Colours / Lliwiau

This week I’ve been gathering data for a project comparing the colour vocabulary of Welsh/English bilinguals and monolingual English speakers. The aims of the project are to find out which colour words people know, which order they name them in, and whether the bilinguals name different colours in Welsh and English. All I have to […]

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Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in?

Also posted in Bilingualism, Language, Language acquisition 1 Comment

Bilingualism and Emotion 2

I just want to thank those of you who completed the questionnaire on bilingualism and emotion. There were 36 responses all together, and I’ll be giving a presentation about it tomorrow. The information collected was very interesting, and wasn’t entirely what we expected. For example, the number of people who preferred to use their first […]

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Mimetic bootstrapping

Yesterday I went to an interesting talk on Japanese mimetic words, which are onomatopoeia (擬声語 giseigo / 擬音語 giongo) or words connected to actions, emotions or states (擬態語 gitaigo). For example, くすくす (kusu kusu) – to giggle,ぐずぐず[する] (guzu guzu [suru]) – to procrastinate or dawdle. Researchers in Japan have found that Japanese mothers use a […]

Also posted in English, Japanese, Language, Language acquisition 5 Comments

Linguistic research

I did some research on grammatical gender for my bilingualism class today which was similar to the experiment I tried out here last week. The victims participants were all native speakers of Welsh and we asked them to assign male or female voices to inanimate objects, some of which are usually associated with men – […]

Also posted in Bilingualism, English, Language, Welsh Comments Off