Some linguists study the histories of words and the histories of languages. Others ask how children learn first or second languages and wonder why that learning seems so different for adults. Some ponder the language capabilities of non-humans. Some study language as it relates to gestures or brain activity, while others ask where language comes from in the first place. Lane … [Read more...] about Talk on the Wild Side
Write a page using only one-syllable words. (Each word will land with a thump!) You can invent a story or describe an event. Or you might prefer to begin with your immediate surroundings and see where your imagination takes you. You could just write a series of unrelated sentences. The important thing is to use only one-syllable words. No exceptions. When you do this … [Read more...] about One Syllable
The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language Consider the internet and its potential to connect everyone. This is nothing new, says Christine Keneally. Language, she maintains, is the “first virtual world” where we are online all the time. It is unclear how we got there. Language is in our minds, our conversations, and our perceptions. It can be preserved in … [Read more...] about The First Word
David Bellos, the author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear? is the director of Princeton University’s program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. Graduates of this program might get work in international legal firms, as interpreters in government, or translating blockbuster novels. The title refers to the Babel-fish of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which, when … [Read more...] about Is That a Fish in Your Ear?