The Mysterious History of the Ellipsis, From Medieval Subpuncting to Irrational Numbers

The punctuation mark of the ellipsis is perhaps the most unusual mark in the English language, for punctuation marks are designed to convey meaning by indicating relationships between ideas, but the ellipsis does the exact opposite. It simply indicates that something has been omitted. Sometimes, this omission is poignant, as in J. Alfred Prufrock’s lament [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:02+00:00May 22nd, 2017|Ellipsis, History, Language|0 Comments

Stanford research explores novel perspectives on the evolution of Spanish

How has the Spanish language evolved in the hundreds of years it has been spoken on multiple continents? To answer the question, Cuauhtémoc García-García, a graduate student in Iberian and Latin American cultures, analyzed 900 years’ worth of texts in over a quarter of a million volumes. “I wanted to study language evolution through data [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:18+00:00November 15th, 2016|Evolution, History, Language, Spanish language|0 Comments

What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery

On December 20, 1792, the whaling ship Asia was making its way through the Desolation Islands, in the Indian Ocean, when the crew decided to stop for lunch. According to the log keeper, the meal was a great success: “At 1 PM Sent our Boat on Shore After Some refreshments,” he wrote. “She returned with [...]

By |2016-11-14T12:44:42+00:00November 14th, 2016|History, Language, Linguistics, Nature, Words|0 Comments

New book about the early history of the Welsh language finally published – in Welsh

It’s ironic, but until now, books about the early history of the Welsh language have not been available to read in Welsh. Students often have to turn to English resources if they want to benefit from the latest research in the field. Now a new e-book, published last week by a Russian academic sheds new [...]

By |2016-03-09T12:43:23+00:00March 9th, 2016|Books, History, Linguistics, Welsh language|0 Comments

Reviving Indigenous languages through old novels, dictionaries and documents

Professor Jane Simpson loves dictionaries and the gateway to the past that they can unlock. She is part of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at Australian National University (ANU), which is currently documenting Indigenous languages in the Pacific region. Indigenous languages in Australia could number between 300 and 700, depending on [...]