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The Emoji Is the Birth of a New Type of Language (No Joke)

Tyler Schnoebelen has discovered something curious about why people use the skull emoji. Schnoebelen is a linguist and the chief analyst for Idibon, …

Language

How Immigration Changes Language

The invention of new ways of speaking is one surprising consequence of migration to Europe.<p>The story of languages is, by and large, one of extinction. Some estimate that in a hundred years only a few hundred languages will survive, as urbanization, globalization, and international media lead ever …

Why Did Humans Develop So Many Different Languages?

New research suggests that there could be some method to the apparent madness of how different languages form. The key may lie in the environment in …

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages? – John McWhorter

English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is …

Language

Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages

The story of a strange linguistic coincidence<p>Is there anything inherently “doggy” about the word “dog”? Obviously not—to the French, a dog is a <i>chien</i>, to Russians a <i>sobaka</i>, to Mandarin Chinese-speakers a <i>gǒu</i>. These words have nothing in common, and none seem any more connected to the canine essence …

The Original Human Language Like Yoda Sounded

Many linguists believe all human languages derived from a single tongue spoken in East Africa around 50,000 years ago. They've found clues scattered …

Linguistics

Style file: Kate Moss in the Nineties

FASHION INSPIRATION<p><b>The Kate Moss story is the stuff of modeling legend. Discovered at 14 by Sarah Doukas and signed immediately by Storm Model</b> …

Kate Moss

Whistled Turkish challenges notions about language and the brain

Generally speaking, language processing is a job for the brain's left hemisphere. That's true whether that language is spoken, written, or signed. …

Language

The subtle sounds that English speakers have trouble catching

You've probably noticed how speakers of some languages can't seem to tell certain sounds apart. As a result, they can confuse word pairs such as <i>wet</i> …

Grammar: Eventually the brain opts for the easy route

The grammar of languages keeps reorganizing itself. A prime example of this is the omission of case endings in the transition from Latin to Italian. …

The Brain

Words That Work Together Stay Together

<b>How language gives your brain a break.</b><p>Here’s a quick task: Take a look at the sentences below and decide which is the most effective.<p>(1) “John threw …

Linguistics

The Hidden Connection Between Morality and Language - Facts So Romantic

Tragedy can strike us any time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best of it. When Frank’s dog was struck and killed by a car in front of his …

How Computers Are Changing the Way We Explain the World

Imagine it’s the 1950s and you’re in charge of one of the world’s first electronic computers. A company approaches you and says: “We have 10 million …

How to learn 30 languages

Some people can speak a seemingly impossible number of tongues. How do they manage it, asks David Robson, and what can we learn from them?<p>Out on a sunny Berlin balcony, Tim Keeley and Daniel Krasa are firing words like bullets at each other. First German, then Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Croatian, …

Language Learning

Phylogenetics in linguistics: the biggest intellectual fraud since Chomsky?

A few weeks ago, Roger Blench gave a talk at the MPI entitled <i>‘New mathematical methods’ in linguistics constitute the greatest intellectual fraud in</i> …

Anthropology

“No problem” vs “you’re welcome”

Speaking of linguistics, there’s one particular linguistic tick that I think clearly separates Baby Boomers from Millennials: how we reply when …

Babblers speak to the origin of language

Australian babblers are capable of phoneme structuring, the first time this has been demonstrated in any non-human animal

Birds

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Fall 2015

There were fairies at the bottom of <b>Domenico Dolce'</b>s garden last night. Queen Titania in a golden crown and a vast, princess-y, gilded crinoline, too. There was even a girl with a pair of lace donkey ears, à la Bottom, wending her way amongst the ninety-four Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda looks worn by …

Valentino

Zuhair Murad

Street Style: Fall 2015 Couture

Christian Dior Fall 2015 Couture Runway

How Your Brain Understands Visual Language

Or, “why email is still represented by an envelope.” Design professor Josiah Kahane explains.<p>Semioticians classify signs or sign systems in relation to the way they are transmitted. To illuminate one way semioticians look at things, let us peek at stage and film semiotics, which study the various …

Language

Creaky Voice: Yet Another Example of Young Women's Linguistic Ingenuity

If you want to see where the language is going, you find a young, urban woman.<p>When I taught linguistics to undergraduates, I would start each semester off by asking students what sort of assumptions they would they make about a speaker who said, "I ain't got no money." The responses were always …

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages

How can I find an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander word for different parts of the body?<p>Yuwaalaraay parts of the body.<p>A good starting point is …

What Languages Reveal about Other Cultures

“A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini It sounds like one of those motivational phrases you’d read on a daily quote …

Will Icelanders One Day Ditch Their Language for English?

A mini Icelandic language lesson on the back of Icelandair's headrest. Photo by Flickr user jayneandd. CC BY 2.0<i>This article and radio report by</i> …

The secret life of pronouns

Cite/Export<p>Copy a citation<p><b>APA</b> (6th ed.)<p><b>Chicago</b> (Author-Date, 15th ed.)<p><b>Harvard</b> (18th ed.)<p><b>MLA</b> (7th ed.)<p><b>Turabian</b> (6th ed.)<p>Export a citation<p><b>Note:</b> …

Sorry, Emoji Doesn't Make You Dumber

The new and now ubiquitous phenomenon of emoji—the colourful glyphs, like smileys, winks, and the thumbs up symbol—has, in less than three years, …

Should we all just chillax about the death of English?

WTF is in the dictionary. Can we guess your reaction?<p>The informal abbreviation of "what the f--k" joins words like "clickbait", "photobomb" and …

Linguistics