Monthly Archives: October 2008

Ambiguous images

Yesterday I did a bit of research for my Bilingualism class with a couple of classmates. It was the first time I’d done this kind of research so it was quite exciting. The aim was to find out whether bilinguals were faster than monolinguals at seeing alternative interpretations of images like the ones below. The […]

Bilingualism, Linguistics 19 Comments

Adjusting to a new language environment

Research undetaken at Michigan State University has found that girls can find it more difficult than boys to adjust to a new social and linguistic environment, according to an article on Science Daily. The study was of 3-6 year olds at an international school in Beijing where the children, from 16 different countries, are in […]

Language, Language acquisition, Language learning Comments Off on Adjusting to a new language environment

Etymological help needed

I’ve been asked for help in tracing the etymology of the Spanish word chedrón by Antonio from Canada. The Spanish-speaking grandmothor of one of Antonio’s acquaintances used to use the word chedrón to refer to the colour of certain things. The problem is that she used the word quite inconsistently to refer to different shades […]

Language, Spanish 11 Comments


Metonymy cropped up in the readings for my Semantics class this week, so I thought I’d write about it here to make sure I understand what it is. The word metonymy come for the Greek μετωνυμία (metōnymia), which means “a change of name”. A metonym substitutes one word to stand for another that’s connected in […]

Language, Linguistics, Words and phrases Comments Off on Metonymy

Language puzzle

This image was sent in Valérie, who would like to know if anyone knows which alphabet and language it is and what it means. The letters appear to be Hebrew to me, though the way it’s written is not how Hebrew is usually written.

Language, Quiz questions Comments Off on Language puzzle

Idiolects, sociolects and other animals

This is a guest post from James P in Chile: Two things have made me think about “vocabulary worlds” recently: reading past papers for the DELE exam and picking up a José Donoso novel (Coronación) from the library. The vocab section of the DELE exam is going to be rather a matter of chance as […]

Language, Spanish 9 Comments

Irregular English spelling

In a speech at the centenary dinner of the Spelling Society, a professor of phonetics from University College London claimed that people should be allowed greater to spell English logically. He believes that the ways of spelling English found in text messages and online chat are a good model to follow. He also said that […]

English, Language, Literacy 18 Comments
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