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The use of poetry in preserving endangered languages

Language is a powerful cultural and political tool which provides a major cultural unity in many countries. Poetry conceptualises and unites cultures and thoughts, manipulates ordinary language and in its effortless simplicity and diversity, touches minds and souls. A recent podcast by The Guardian explores the measures taken to preserve endangered languages globally through poetry, [...]

By |2019-12-01T20:20:49+00:00December 1st, 2019|Endangered Languages, Poetry|0 Comments

How do you crack the code to a lost ancient script?

How do you go about deciphering the script of a wholly different language that was lost more than 3,000 years ago? Linguist and archaeologist Dr Brent Davis says it’s like walking out on a tightrope anchored at just one end and supported by nothing but thin air, hoping you find something to stop you from [...]

By |2019-11-26T20:06:45+00:00November 26th, 2019|Language, Linear A, Linear B|0 Comments

Why you might be counting in the wrong language

If I asked you to write down the number “ninety-two”, you wouldn’t have to think twice. By the time we’re adults, the connection between numerals and their names is almost automatic, so we barely give them a second thought. Which is why it might surprise you to hear that the English for 92 isn’t a [...]

By |2019-11-22T14:03:56+00:00November 22nd, 2019|Language, Math|0 Comments

5 Languages That Could Change the Way You See the World

I went to my neighbor’s house for something to eat yesterday. Think about this sentence. It’s pretty simple—English speakers would know precisely what it means. But what does it actually tell you—or, more to the point, what does it not tell you? It doesn’t specify facts like the subject’s gender or the neighbor’s, or what [...]

By |2019-11-15T15:52:59+00:00November 15th, 2019|Language|0 Comments

Why words make language

From hieroglyphics to emojis, and grunts to gestures, humans have always used multiple modes to communicate, including language. If you've ever sent a text using emojis, which the recipient received and understood, then you've communicated in a new language code. Communication codes have been with us since the grunts of our ancestors developed in to [...]

By |2019-11-12T18:25:57+00:00November 12th, 2019|Language, Words|0 Comments

The Oxford English Dictionary, like the English language, is all about change

Samuel Johnson once said a dictionary should aim to “not form, but register” the language. Indeed, a dictionary should “not teach men how they should think,” he continued, “but relate how they have hitherto expressed their thoughts.” We tend to think of our dictionaries as tools of instruction; as books that set the standard, with [...]

By |2019-11-07T11:56:32+00:00November 7th, 2019|English language, OED, Oxford English Dictionary|0 Comments

Smartphone keyboards designed for traditional languages at cutting edge of their survival

An international software firm developing smartphone keyboards specifically designed to write in traditional languages is helping people protect their language. The project, called Keyman, allows people to type in one of more than 600 different languages, most of which are majority languages. A majority language is one spoken by large groups of people such as [...]

By |2019-10-25T14:01:53+00:00October 25th, 2019|Indigenous languages, Smart phone, Technology|0 Comments

Invented Languages and the Science of the Mind

Hildegard von Bingen was something of a medieval genius. She founded and was Abbess of a convent at Rubensberg in Germany, she wrote ethereally beautiful music, she was an amazing artist (one of the first to draw the visual effects of migraines), and she invented her own language. The language she constructed, Lingua Ignota (Latin [...]

By |2019-10-24T10:28:56+00:00October 24th, 2019|Conlang, Constructed languages, Language|0 Comments

Recognizing And Reviving Argentina’s Indigenous Languages

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina may be South America's most Europeanized country, with Spanish, of course, as its official language, but it also has 36 recognized indigenous tongues (belonging to 38 peoples). That is the conclusion that researchers involved in a year-long project create the country's first comprehensive language map presented earlier this month in Buenos [...]

By |2019-10-23T15:36:22+00:00October 23rd, 2019|Argentina, Language|0 Comments

Why the language-ready brain is so complex

In a review article published in Science, Peter Hagoort, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University and director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, argues for a new model of language, involving the interaction of multiple brain networks. This model is much more complex than the classical neurobiological model of language, which was largely [...]

By |2019-10-23T15:32:32+00:00October 21st, 2019|Language, The brain|0 Comments