Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Monday, August 01, 2011
Ben Zimmer, executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com, and New York Times contributor, explains how forensic linguists try to detect "fingerprints" in e-mails and other digital writing. His article "Decoding Your E-Mail Personality" looks at the how it's done and what your e-mails and digital writing reveal about you.
Friday, April 15, 2011
A new study has traced the origins of language to ancient South Africa, implying that there's one starting place for modern language. So what were the first words? Likely simple verbs and nouns that reflected the immediate needs of the population, says Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Reading in England. He's a former professor and advisor to the author of the study, Quentin Atkinson.
Friday, March 04, 2011
Today's Please Explain is all about accents in the English speaking world--how did Australians come to sound different than New Zealanders? Why do some people lose their accents quickly...while others can hold on to them for decades? NYU Professor of Linguistics Gregory Guy and North Carolina State University Distinguished Professor of English Walt Wolfram will discuss the various accents in the English-speaking world and even analyze some samples from volunteers!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Liza Bakewell, linguistic anthropologist at Brown University and the author of Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun, explores the influence of language on Mexican culture through the lens of the Spanish word for "mother."
Got a favorite "madre" phrase or any other mom-language story? Let us know! (And...keep it clean)
Friday, October 29, 2010
The world's current lingua franca picks up words and phrases from other languages and sends them back again. Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of these.
We want your suggestions! Nominate a word that should be a part of "global English" here.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Leslie Dunton-Downer, author The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, joins us again to explore some of the words and phrases from other languages picked up by the world's current lingua franca.
We want your suggestions! Nominate a word from another language that should be a part of "global English" here.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of the words and phrases from other languages picked up by the world's current lingua franca.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Acclaimed linguist Guy Deutscher looks at the thorny question of how—and if—culture and language shape each other. His new book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different through Other Languages re-examines the long discredited belief that our native tongues influence the way we see the world. He argues that the words we have and expressions we use can profoundly shape our understanding of everything: from color, to gender to morals.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," according to Shakespeare's Juliet. But would it look the same, too? Does language shape the way we see the world? And how do culture and language influence one another?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
From George W. Bush to Michelle Obama, political candidates have learned the hard way that if you want to get votes in Nevada, you need to know how to pronounce it like a local. But that isn't as clear-cut as it sounds. The linguistics are so disputed that outgoing Assemblyman Harry Mortenson is now working on a resolution that would make “neh-VAH-dah” an equally acceptable pronunciation as "neh-VA-dah." It is a political plea for tolerance.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Linguists Juliette Blevins and Daniel Kauffman discuss endangered languages and the Endangered Language Alliance, which is working to record and save dying languages. They’ll look at the richness of languages spoken in New York City, and how many of those languages are at risk of fading from the city and the world.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008