Tag Archives: language study

Language change is sneaky

Linguists have apparently long noticed that languages have a “sneaky” approach to change, and this has been confirmed in recent research. The study, called “The course of actualization” has been authored by Hendrik De Smet of the University of Leuven /Research Foundation Flanders. It looks into how language changes “actualize”, or become more common, and(…)


Accent study at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley is asking incoming freshmen to submit their voices before arrival in a project that has been described as “part linguistic experiment, part social science and part ice-breaker” by the LA Times. Last year the school caused controversy by asking students to send in saliva samples for DNA testing, with concerns raised over privacy.(…)


Irish language gains popularity among Notre Dame students

Now here’s a cheery bit of news for St. Patrick’s Day – a professor at the University of Notre Dame has said that the Irish language is gaining in popularity among students. Brian O’Conchubhair, associate professor of Irish at Notre Dame’s Irish Language and Literature Department, says that some people saw the language as more(…)


Interview with a linguist

There’s constant debate about whether endangered languages are worth preserving, but it seems fairly rare that we hear directly from those who are studying languages. The Economist’s Johnson blog has asked linguist K. David Harrison seven questions about what is lost when a language dies – his answers are pretty interesting. Take a look at(…)


Accented teachers

There’s currently a lot of controversy in Arizona over the removal of teachers with accents from classes with English language learners. The reasoning behind the removal is that English-learners should have a good model of how to speak the language, and heavily accented and/or ungrammatical teachers do not provide this. This has attracted heavy criticism(…)