Tag: linguistics

Preserving Australia’s First Languages

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and the Australian National University (ANU) are teaming up to document ten of Australia’s most endangered Aboriginal languages, including Mithaka from...

Whistled Turkish; or, the Bird Language

Whether a language is spoken, written, or signed with the hands, it is generally agreed that language processing occurs mostly in the left side of the brain. Tonal languages use more of the right...

The Relationship Between Sounds and Words in Language

It is a long established characteristic of natural human language that the relationship between the sounds that make up a word and the meaning behind that word is arbitrary. Since Swiss linguist Ferdinand de...

MIT Study Suggests a Universal Property of Language

Three MIT researchers have investigated the tendency for languages to place words that work together as closely as possible. This property, dubbed the “dependency length minimization,” or DLM, was a trait that most of the...

Internet Censorship Influences Chinese Language

It has already been established that social media speeds up language evolution, but as the Chinese government actively censors online communities, the country's language has been changing even more quickly. Recently, China drafted a...

The Successful Revival of the Chitimacha Language

Only a small portion of the world's 7,000 languages have extensive written records. Those that are the least well-documented are the most in danger of disappearing. Due to European contact, through wars and disease,...

Pluto’s Linguistic History

The name Pluto comes from the greek Ploutōn (Πλούτων), who was the ruler of the underworld in Greek and Roman religion and mythology. Plouton, sometimes conflated with Ploutos, the god of wealth who also...

The Twitter Hashtag is Officially a Word

The children's dictionary writers at Oxford University Press (OUP) named #, or hashtag, the UK children's word of the year. Through the annual analysis of over 100,000 submissions to Radio 2's 500 word short story...

Where is Language in the Brain?

In the well-known left and right brain divide, language has been placed as a logical function of the left. The center of language comprehension was thought to be the Wernicke's area, named after Carl...

Call to Action: Protect Funding for Linguistics and Social Sciences

This week the U.S. House of Representatives will debate the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806). The bill could seriously jeapordize federal funding for research in linguistics and social sciences by reducing...
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