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Quarantinis and covidiots: How language has changed during the pandemic

There's no social distancing from the fact COVID-19 has changed the way we speak and communicate. University of Saskatchewan linguistics professor Veronika Makarova said new terms and phrases have made their way into language as a result of the pandemic. "Every time there is something new happening in our lives, the language reflects that," Makarova [...]

By |2020-07-15T11:36:14+00:00July 15th, 2020|COVID-19, Language|0 Comments

Languages will change significantly on interstellar flights

It's a captivating idea: build an interstellar ark, fill it with people, flora, and fauna of every kind, and set your course for a distant star. The concept is not only science fiction gold, it's been the subject of many scientific studies and proposals. By building a ship that can accommodate multiple generations of human [...]

By |2020-07-12T15:27:56+00:00July 12th, 2020|Language, Science, Space exploration, Space travel|0 Comments

The drive to preserve the Lil’wat language

In mid-March, Valerie St-Arnaud and her husband Dave Leveille found themselves hurtling cross-country in a large, black RAM Promaster van during not just a snowstorm, but also a burgeoning pandemic. The couple had just purchased the van from Ontario and were in the process of bringing it back home to Pemberton. "We were at our [...]

Central Europe’s Most Mysterious Language

Located between Bielsko-Biała and Oświęcim, Wilamowice may seem like a regular southern Polish town lost somewhere in the hilly landscape of the Lesser Poland region. Yet to some, Wilamowice may be the most fascinating place on the map of Europe – the linguistic map of Europe, that is. All of this is because of a [...]

By |2020-07-07T10:25:53+00:00July 7th, 2020|Central Europe, Language, Poland, Wymysiöeryś|0 Comments

Why Some Words May Be More Memorable Than Others

Thousands of words, big and small, are crammed inside our memory banks just waiting to be swiftly withdrawn and strung into sentences. In a recent study of epilepsy patients and healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may withdraw some common words, like “pig,” “tank,” and “door,” much more often than [...]

By |2020-08-09T11:47:29+00:00July 6th, 2020|Language, Words|0 Comments

These gloves let you ‘hear’ sign language

An estimated half a million Americans with hearing impairments use American Sign Language (ASL) every day. But ASL has one shortcoming: While it allows people who are deaf to communicate with one another, it doesn’t enable dialogue between the hearing and the nonhearing. Researchers at UCLA have developed a promising solution. It’s a translation glove. [...]

By |2020-07-02T20:12:24+00:00July 2nd, 2020|American Sign Language, ASL, Sign language, Technology|0 Comments

Animals that can do math understand more language than we think

It is often thought that humans are different from other animals in some fundamental way that makes us unique, or even more advanced than other species. These claims of human superiority are sometimes used to justify the ways we treat other animals, in the home, the lab or the factory farm. So, what is it [...]

By |2020-05-29T10:39:57+00:00May 29th, 2020|Animal communication, Animals, Language|0 Comments

Students Assist with Mayan Language Revitalization Project

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – “Saqarik!” (sah-kah-REEK!) “Good morning!” So began presentations to grade schoolers in Nahualá, Guatemala, given by four Middlebury students as part of a Mayan language revitalization project this past January. The project was led by Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies Brandon Baird. “The school kids would always laugh when they heard us speak [...]

By |2020-05-24T13:33:47+00:00May 24th, 2020|Language revitalization, Mayan language, Mexico|0 Comments

In Milpa Alta, people still speak the Aztec language

In the 1970s, before workers laid the asphalt that became a two-lane highway connecting Mexico City with Milpa Alta, the southernmost of the city’s 16 delegations, Javier Galicia-Silva’s grandmother would hike down the hills to Xochimilco each day at 04:00. From here she would take a chalupa (a large water taxi) along the ancient canals [...]

By |2020-05-06T11:45:05+00:00May 6th, 2020|Language, Mexico, Nahuatl language|0 Comments

How Did Human Language Evolve? Scientists Still Don’t Know

Humans have language and other animals don’t. That’s obvious, but how it happened is not. Since Darwin’s time, scientists have puzzled over the evolution of language. They can observe the present-day product: People today have the capacity for language, whether it be spoken, signed or written. And they can infer the starting state: The communication [...]

By |2020-05-02T19:23:46+00:00May 2nd, 2020|Language|0 Comments