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Keyword: linguistics

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  • The Struggle to Revive the Lost Native Language of Thanksgiving

    11/23/2017 12:11:37 PM PST · by righttackle44 · 14 replies
    Atlas Obscura ^ | November 22, 2017 | Natasha Frost
    Just a few decades ago, there were no living speakers of Wampanoag, the native tongue of the Cape Cod–based Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. (Their ancestors famously shared a meal with the Pilgrims, 400 years ago.) Then, in 1993, Jessie Little Doe Baird, who was then in her 20s, had a series of dreams about her ancestors, she told Yankee magazine. They were speaking to her, but she couldn’t understand them. A prophecy known to the tribe said that their lost language would come back when they were ready for it, revived by the children of those who had broken the language...
  • The media should stop saying that Islamic terrorists “were radicalized”

    04/22/2017 4:47:57 PM PDT · by grundle · 22 replies
    wordpress ^ | April 22, 2017 | Dan from Squirrel Hill
    The media should stop saying that Islamic terrorists “were radicalized” This Washington Post headline states:“Suspect in Berlin market attack was radicalized in an Italian jail.”This USA today article is titled:“London attack: More arrests as detectives probe how killer was radicalized.”This Wall St. Journal article is called:“Minnesota Mall Attacker Likely Was Radicalized, Officials Say.”This New York Post article has the headline:“Mosque members warned feds that accused killer was radicalized.”This article form the Local is called:“Isis suspect was radicalized in Germany, brother claims.”This article from the Guardian is named:“FBI and Obama confirm Omar Mateen was radicalized on the internet.”This Breitbart headline says:“Spanish...
  • Abuse of Language Abuse of Power, Josef Pieper

    12/26/2016 2:57:34 PM PST · by rey · 17 replies
    26 Dec 2016
    Has any body read Abus of Language Abuse of Power by Josef Pieper or any other books by Pieper? Would you comment on them please? Good? Recommended? Thanks.
  • Cursing linked to higher intelligence

    11/18/2016 9:06:53 AM PST · by ExSoldier · 95 replies
    CBS Local Los Angeles ^ | 11/17/2016 | Jennifer Kastner
    Benjamin Bergen is the author of the book: “What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves.” “It turns out that there are amazing things you can find out about how the mind works, how the brain works, people’s human sociality just by looking at profanity,” he explained. The professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego said cursing could be linked to higher intelligence. “It turns out that on average, the ones who swear the most also have the biggest vocabulary overall,” Bergen added.
  • Meet the UC Berkeley Grad Who Created the Dothraki Language for 'Game of Thrones'

    05/17/2016 11:08:00 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies
    NBC Bay Area ^ | 5/17 | Lisa Fernandez
    David Peterson has so far created 4,000 Dothraki words When the misogynistic, male Dothraki characters launch into curse-laden tirades on "Game of Thrones," viewers have a 35-year-old Southern California father and a University of California Berkeley graduate to thank for what they hear. David J. Peterson invented Dothraki, the language spoken by the crass race of nomadic horse warriors first described in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice," on which the HBO series is based. "It's a lot of fun," he said Tuesday, in his first, interactive Facetime Live interview. Especially coming up with the curse...
  • The Not-so-Nice Origins and Meanings of the Word "Nice"

    11/25/2015 7:02:50 AM PST · by Salvation · 28 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 11-24-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Not-so-Nice Origins and Meanings of the Word "Nice" Msgr. Charles Pope • November 24, 2015 • Words can change meaning over time—sometimes dramatically. For example, "manufactured" originally meant "handmade" (manu (hand) + facere (make)). The word "decimate" used to mean "to reduce by a tenth" (decem = ten); now people usually use it mean "to wipe out completely." The list of examples could go on and on. Yes, words do change meaning over time.One word that has changed meaning dramatically over time is "nice." Today it is an overused word that usually means pleasant, kind, or easygoing. In our...
  • Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages: Linguistic Coincidence?

    10/16/2015 7:54:15 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 45 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 10/16/2015 | JOHN MCWHORTER
    Is there anything inherently “doggy” about the word “dog”? Obviously not—to the French, a dog is a chien, to Russians a sobaka, to Mandarin Chinese-speakers a gǒu. These words have nothing in common, and none seem any more connected to the canine essence than any other. One runs up against that wall with pretty much any word.Except some. The word for “mother” seems often either to be mama or have a nasal sound similar to m, like nana. The word for “father” seems often either to be papa or have a sound similar to p, like b, in it—such that...
  • Sah-ry, eh? We’re in the midst of the Canadian Vowel Shift

    08/04/2015 10:51:55 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 44 replies
    Maclean's ^ | August 1, 2015 | Meagan Campbell
    Out with “oot.” No more “aboot.” Canada is talking with a New Speak. In a linguistic pivot called the Canadian Vowel Shift, we are pronouncing “God” more like “gawd,” “bagel” like “bahgel,” “pillow” like “pellow,” and “sorry” less like “sore-y.” The word “Timbit” is becoming “Tembet,” and “Dan slipped on the staircase” now sounds more like “Don” “slept” on it. First discovered in 1995, the new vowels are contagious, spreading rapidly from Victoria to St. John’s, where linguists are mapping the frequency of people’s voices and using ultrasounds to track their tongue and lip placement. “We’re in the middle of...
  • How the English language became such a mess

    06/15/2015 1:44:50 AM PDT · by Cronos · 63 replies
    BBC ^ | 9 June 2015 | James Harbeck
    You may have seen a poem by Gerard Nolst Trinité called The Chaos. It starts like this:Dearest creature in creationStudying English pronunciation,I will teach you in my verseSounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.In its fullest version, the poem runs through about 800 of the most vexing spelling inconsistencies in English. Eight hundred.Attempting to spell in English is like playing one of those computer games where, no matter what, you will lose eventually. If some evil mage has performed vile magic on our tongue, he should be bunged into gaol for his nefarious goal (and if you still need convincing...
  • English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet

    11/19/2013 7:00:05 AM PST · by Borges · 53 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | NOV 19 2013 | MEGAN GARBER
    Let's start with the dull stuff, because pragmatism. The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which "because" lends itself. I mention all that ... because language. Because evolution. Because there...
  • Multilingualism:Do different languages confer different personalities?

    11/07/2013 6:13:36 AM PST · by Cronos · 62 replies
    The Economist ^ | 5 Nov 2013 | R.L.G.
    LAST week, Johnson took a look at some of the advantages of bilingualism. These include better performance at tasks involving "executive function" (which involve the brain's ability to plan and prioritise), better defence against dementia in old age and—the obvious—the ability to speak a second language. One purported advantage was not mentioned, though. Many multilinguals report different personalities, or even different worldviews, when they speak their different languages. ..Benjamin Lee Whorf, an American linguist who died in 1941, held that each language encodes a worldview that significantly influences its speakers. Often called “Whorfianism”, this idea has its sceptics, including The...
  • What is your American dialect?

    09/16/2013 11:54:23 AM PDT · by Theoria · 118 replies
    Gene Expression ^ | 16 Sept 2013 | Razib Khan
    Razib’s Dialect SimilarityLanguage dialect is something that we often pick up unconsciously, so I find it an interesting if narcissistic project to query my own dialect affinities. The above was generated using a 140 question test (warning: server often slow). In case you were curious, my most ‘similar’ city (to my dialect) is Sunnyvale, California. Though most of my life has been spent on the West coast of the United States, I did spend my elementary age years in upstate New York. You can see evidence of that in the heat-map. There are particular words I use and pronunciations that...
  • Germany drops its longest word: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenüber

    06/03/2013 11:53:46 AM PDT · by DFG · 67 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | 06/03/13 | Jeevan Vasagar
    Germany's longest word - Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz - a 63-letter long title of a law regulating the testing of beef, has officially ceased to exist. The word - which refers to the "law for the delegation of monitoring beef labelling", has been repealed by a regional parliament after the EU lifted a recommendation to carry out BSE tests on healthy cattle. German is famous for its compound nouns, which frequently become so cumbersome they have to be reduced to abbreviations. The beef labelling law, introduced in 1999 to protect consumers from BSE, was commonly transcribed as the "RkReÜAÜG", but even everyday words...
  • A Wealth of Words (The key to increasing upward mobility is expanding vocabulary.)

    01/28/2013 2:01:44 PM PST · by FewsOrange · 20 replies
    City Journal ^ | January 2013 | E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
    E. D. Hirsch, Jr. A Wealth of Words The key to increasing upward mobility is expanding vocabulary. WInter 2013 A number of notable recent books, including Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality and Timothy Noah’s The Great Divergence, lay out in disheartening detail the growing inequality of income and opportunity in the United States, along with the decline of the middle class. The aristocracy of family so deplored by Jefferson seems upon us; the counter-aristocracy of merit that long defined America as the land of opportunity has receded. These writers emphasize global, technological, and sociopolitical trends in their analyses. But...
  • Southerners and Gs (With Growing Population, Southern and Western accents are on the rise).

    08/25/2012 7:14:10 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 29 replies
    National Review ^ | 08/25/2012 | Charles C. W. Cooke
    Americans are not infatuated with class in the manner that the British are, but accents remain consequential nonetheless. How else to explain the Amazing Disappearing G, a trick of pronunciation that, whereabouts permitting, politicians on the campaign trail and beyond are keen to perform? Vice President Joe Biden, during his ignoble allegation that the Republican party has a secret plan to put black Americans "back in chains," avoided the participial G as if he were fatally allergic.Were we in the Southern states, Biden's trick would instead be called the Amazin' Disappearin' G, and this has not been lost on...
  • Lakoff Inspired "You Didn't Build That"

    07/26/2012 12:57:55 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 28 replies
    Rush ^ | July 26, 2012 | Rush Limbaugh
    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: George Lakoff (rhymes with). Bill Jacobson has the details at By now you have heard the Obama and Liz Warren speeches about how no one got rich on his or her own. ... This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive [liberal] linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley," and he has been advising the Democrats on how to change and use language in order to hide who they really are. That's what it boils down to. Lakoff advises Democrats on how to say things that mask and cover up who...
  • What Kind of American Accent Do You Have?

    11/25/2011 4:19:03 PM PST · by blam · 305 replies
    The Economic Policy Journal ^ | 11-24-2011 | By Xavier Kun
    What Kind of American Accent Do You Have?November 24, 2011 Xavier Kun To most Americans, an accent is something that only other people have, those other people usually being in New York, Boston, and the South. And of those other people, half of the ones you meet will swear they "don't have an accent." Well, strictly speaking, the only way to not have an accent is to not speak. If you're from anywhere in the USA you have an accent (which may or may not be the accent of the place you're from). Go through this short quiz and you'll...
  • Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics

    04/04/2012 12:09:31 AM PDT · by Theoria · 10 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | 28 Mar 2012 | Julie Sedivy
    ThereÂ’s been a good bit of discussion and hand-wringing lately over whether the American public is becoming more and more politically polarized and what this all means for the future of our democracy. You may have wrung your own hands over the issue. But even if you have, chances are youÂ’re not losing sleep over the fact that Americans are very clearly becoming more polarized linguistically. It may seem surprising, but in this age where geographic mobility and instant communication have increased our exposure to people outside of our neighborhoods or towns, American regional dialects are pulling further apart from...
  • Watching Our Language: The Left-Right Language Barrier

    02/06/2012 10:11:48 AM PST · by Paladins Prayer · 21 replies
    The New American ^ | Tuesday, 31 January | Selwyn Duke
    Language barriers are obviously an impediment to communication. If one man speaks Chinese and another Swedish, it may be hard for them to settle even simple matters, let alone the deep issues of the day. Yet there can be language barriers even within a language, such as when people use ill-defined terminology. In fact, some debates rage on endlessly partially because people who have the same tongue are, sometimes unknowingly, speaking a different language. This occurs to me when I hear many arguments about Left versus Right. For example, it’s not uncommon for conservatives and liberals to debate whether groups...
  • Cognitive Disonance on Conservatism

    06/30/2011 5:10:07 AM PDT · by Academiadotorg · 6 replies
    Accuracy in Academia ^ | June 30, 2011 | Malcolm A. Kline
    Since they don’t really want to encounter any, academics keep striking out when they attempt to figure out conservatives. Berkeley’s George Lakoff is the latest scholar to miss the boat, and the dock is getting crowded. “Conservatives don’t dislike science or expertise inherently, Lakoff says—but for them, these are not the chief source of authority,” Chris Mooney, who interviewed the professor, writes in the July/August 2011 issue of The American Prospect. “Instead, conservatives have a moral system based on a ‘strict father’ model of the family, which is then exported to various other realms of society—the market, the government.” Lakoff...