Tentative syllabus for:
Introduction to Linguistics 英語語言學概論
Fall 2007 and Spring 2008
Winter vacation homework

Professor Karen Chung 史嘉琳老師
Wednesday, periods 3, 4, and @, 10:20am to 1:10pm, in 視 202
(with one five-minute break and one 15-minute lunch break;
try to bring your own lunch to eat outside the classroom)

Join the Topica NTUling list: http://lists.topica.com/lists/NTUling/

List of languages and linguists for 6-page paper
English linguistics glossaries
English-Chinese linguistics glossaries
University of North Texas: General Linguistics online
SIL's Ethnologue
Some useful references on languages and history of linguistics

The LINGUIST List site: Subscribe to LINGUIST or LINGLITE, read LINGUIST online, or use LINGUIST resources
The Linguistic Society of Taiwan 台灣語言學學會 and the Taiwan Linguist Discussion List 台灣語言學討論區

Basic course information: This is a required two-semester course for 2nd year DFLL students; 3 credits per semester; class is held once a week, Wednesday, periods 3, 4, and @, 10:20am to 1:10pm, in 視 202.

Textbook: Tserdanelis, Georgios & Wai Li Peggy Wong, ed. Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. 9th edition. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2004. NT$550; purchase at Bookman Book 書林書店; ask for a class discount.

Resources and requirements: Supplements to the textbook will be provided on the class website. All students will be expected to bring questions on the assigned reading to class, so finishing the reading before attending class is absolutely necessary, though we may do some reading aloud from the textbook in class. Pop quizzes may be given at any time to test your understanding of the assigned reading.
      A 6-page paper on (a) two languages (2 pages on each language, 1-1/2 spacing; the first language you will be assigned; the second will be chosen by you, but it must be genetically unrelated to the first); and (b) a comparison of the two languages (1 page); and (c) one linguist (1 page) will be required. Students will also be asked to share with the class and submit two articles on topics in linguistics of personal interest, along with a short written summary of each. Mention in your summary the kind of source it comes from, e.g. popular press or scholarly journal, and the degree of reliability you judge it to have.
      A mid-term and final exam will be given.

Fall 2007
There will be a total of 16 class meetings plus a final exam this semester. We will cover the first eight chapters of the textbook, comprising 49 files, at a rate of approximately 4 files per week.

September 19:
Print out these two handouts and bring them to our first class:
(1) FAQs on Linguistics by Elizabeth J. Pyatt http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/e/j/ejp10/lingland/faqling.html
(2) What is linguistics? by Joost van de Weijer http://www.ling.lu.se/persons/Joost/Texts/lingvistik.html
Overview of course. Discuss and prepare for next week: Chapter 1, Introduction, Files 1.1-1.4, p. 1-20 and Chapter 2, Animal Communication, Files 2.1-2.4, p. 21-37.

External links:
(1) TED Videos of South African singer Vusi Mahlasela singing "Thula Mama" - with story - and "Woza" - with clicks
(2) News article: The Christian Science Monitor: The Southern Drawl – Is it spreading?
(3) Animal sounds in different languages
(4) Physorg.com: Honeybee dance breaks down cultural barrier Asian and European honeybees can learn to understand one another's dance languages despite having evolved different forms of communication
(5) Telegraph.com: Bees learn new languages easily Asian and European honeybees can live happily together in mixed colonies because they easily learn to understand one another's "dance languages" despite having evolved different dialects
(6) msnbc: Low-profile singers of the animal world! Some calls of different animals

September 26: Discuss: Chapter 2, Animal Communication, Files 2.1-2.4, p. 21-37. Prepare for next week: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.1-3.4, p. 39-60.

External links:
(1) Sami singer Mari Boine: Samples on Amazon
(2) Scientific American video: If Only They Could Speak
(3) New York Times: Alex, a Parrot who had a Way with Words, Dies
(4) Is language biology or culture? TED talks: Susan Savage-Rumbaugh: Apes that write, start fires and play Pac-Man (this one will make you laugh and cry!)
(5) The Animal Communication Project (mostly text)
(6) NYT Science: The Social Lives of Baboons: How Baboons Think (Yes, Think)
(7) New Scientist: Nattering chimps think like humans
(8) NYT Book review: Language Evolution’s Slippery Tropes
(9) NYT Book review: 'The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language'

(10) “Harry Potter” counterfeits, translated by The New York Times from the Chinese.
(11) Portuguese present participle banned in Brasilia
(12) Memory test (unrelated but interesting link)
(13) EurekAlert!: Great Ape Trust graduate student's paper sheds light on bonobo language Des Moines, Iowa – What happens when linguistic tools used to analyze human language are applied to a conversation between a language-competent bonobo and a human? The findings...indicate that bonobos may exhibit larger linguistic competency in ordinary conversation than in controlled experimental settings...Their findings run counter to the view among some linguists, including the influential Noam Chomsky...who argue that only humans possess and use language.

October 3:
Discuss: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.1-3.4, p. 39-60. Memorize names of articulatory organs on p. 51. Prepare for next week: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.5-3.8, p. 61-74.

External links:

(1) Bolivian singers Cirilo and Kollasuyu Ñan; they sing in Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara
(2) Some Quechua songs here
(3) Lots of phonetics resources are available here and here.
(4) Mid-sagittal outline sketch of head with names of articulatory organs to memorize.

(no class on National Day October 10)

October 17:
Discuss: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.5-3.8, p. 61-74. Prepare for next week: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.9-3.11, p. 75-97; Chapter 4, Phonology, File 4.1, p. 99-102.

Local link:
Suggestions on how to learn the alveolar trill [r]

External links:
(1) Video interview with Palestinian Singer Amal Murkus and live performance; she sings in Arabic: this page describes some of the difficulties she had getting her songs recorded and released.
(2) IPA consonant and vowel charts on the International Phonetic Association website
(3) Easy IPA character input keyboard

October 24:
Discuss: Chapter 3, Phonetics, Files 3.9-3.11, p. 75-97; Chapter 4, Phonology, File 4.1, p. 99-102. Prepare for next week: Chapter 4, Phonology, Files 4.2-4.5, p. 103-133.

External links:
(1) Georgian music samples from the Rustavi Ensemble (Copy the URL link, open Windows Media Player and paste the link into "File" "Open URL")
(2) Streamed Georgian music (requires IE): Radio Patria/Mamuli
(3) Radio Tavisupleba ('Radio Freedom')

October 31: Discuss: Chapter 4, Phonology, Files 4.2-4.5, p. 103-133. Prepare for next week: Chapter 4, Phonology, Files 4.6-4.7, p. 134-141.

External link:
Mongolian singer Urna

November 7:
Discuss: Chapter 4, Phonology, Files 4.6-4.7, p. 134-141. Prepare for next week: Chapter 5, Morphology, File 5.1-5.4, p. 143-166.

Local links:

(1) Korean vocabulary items: See page 127 of the Language Files; Belinda Lo had her Korean friend record these for us

(2) English phonological rules for regular English plurals, possessives, and 3rd person singular verb endings

(3) Schwa elision in English

Pronunciation of less familiar IPA symbols introduced in Chapter 3, plus a few extras:
The vowel [ɑ] is added to consonants for ease of pronunciation,
except for to postvocalic dark "l" [ɫ], which is read after an [ɑ],
and for the alveolar tap [ɾ] and alveolar trill [r], which are read between two [ɑ] sounds:

A. Vowels: 1. [y] (high front rounded vowel) 2. [ø] (mid-high front rounded vowel) 3. [ɛ̃] (nasalized mid front vowel) 4. [ɤ] (mid-high back unrounded vowel)
B. Bilabials: 5.
[ɸ] (voiceless bilabial fricative) 6. [β] (voiced bilabial fricative)
C. Alveolars: 7. [ɾ] (tap or "flap") 8. [r] (voiced alveolar trill)
D. Palatals: 9.
[c] (voiceless palatal stop) 10. [ɟ] (voiced palatal stop) 10a. [ç] (voiceless palatal fricative) 11. [ɲ] (palatal nasal)
E. Velars:
12. [x] (voiceless velar fricative) 13. [ɣ] (voiced velar fricative) 14. [ɫ] (velarized lateral approximant, "dark /l/")
F. Uvulars: 15.
[q] (voiceless uvular stop) 16. [G] (voiced uvular stop) 17. [N] (uvular nasal) 18. [χ] (voiceless uvular fricative) 19. [ʁ] (voiced uvular fricative) 20. [ʀ] (voiced uvular trill)
G. Glottals and glottalized consonants, including glottalized voiceless stops, also called
ejectives: 21. [ʔ] (glottal stop) 22. [ɦ] (voiced glottal fricative, "voiced /h/") 23. [pʼ] (voiceless bilabial ejective stop) 24. [tʼ] (voiceless alveolar ejective stop) 25. [kʼ] (voiceless velar ejective stop)

External links:

(1) See these pages for samples of voiceless pharyngeal fricative [ħ] and voiced pharyngeal fricative
[ʕ] in Hebrew and Agul:
(2) Entire IPA chart with audio files:
(3) Austalian aboriginal music: Listen to samples on Amazon
(4) BBC: Aboriginal languages 'dying out'

November 14: Mid-term exam; Chapter 5, Morphology, File 5.1-5.4, p. 143-166. Prepare for next week: Chapter 5, Morphology, Files 5.5-5.6, p. 167-181; 6, Syntax, Files 6.1-6.2, p. 183-189.

Local link:

Morphology vocabulary in Chinese

External links:

(1) Taiwan Bunun singer, Biung 王宏恩: Taiwanfun.com interview   Taipei Times report   Kyoto Journal
(2) Wikipedia: Bunun People
(3) Traditional Chinese Characters to Be Main Unified Font
Chinese Communist Party's language policy forced to change (The Epoch Times)

November 21: Discuss: Chapter 5, Morphology, Files 5.5-5.6, p. 167-181; Chapter 6, Syntax, Files 6.1-6.2, p. 183-189. Prepare for next week: Chapter 6, Syntax, Files 6.3-6.6, p. 190-212.

External links:
(1) Irish singer Dáithí Sproule
(2) Omniglot: Irish language

November 28:
Discuss: Chapter 6, Syntax, Files 6.1-6.3, p. 190-194. Prepare for next week: Chapter 6, Syntax, Files 6.4-6.6, p. 195-212; Chapter 7, Semantics, Files 7.1-7.2, p. 213-223.

External links:
(1) Wikipedia: Okinawan dialect
(2) Wikipedia: Japanese
(3) The sociolinguistics of gender: I sound like what in Japanese?
In Japan, women and men speak different versions of the language.
How's a guy to learn the difference? (The Christian Science Monitor, 9/17/07)
(4) BBC: Split imperils Mexican language
(5) RxPG News: Neanderthals had language gene

December 5: Discuss Chapter 6, Syntax, Files 6.4-6.6, p. 195-212. Prepare for next week: Chapter 7, Semantics, Files 7.1-7.5, p. 213-235.

Local link:
Syntax vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Uptalk: YouTube video clip of performance poet and former teacher, Taylor Mali on "speaking with authority"
(2) NPR: Poetry Month: 'Totally Like Whatever'
by Taylor Mali
(3) New York Times Opinion: A Vote for Latin
(4) Music of Mauritania: Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba; samples from Amazon
(5) Wikipedia: Hassaniya

December 12:
Discuss: Chapter 7, Semantics, Files 7.1-7.5, p. 213-235
e performatives, note Chinese usages 「茲」 and 「特此」 on documents.
Prepare for next week:
Chapter 8, Pragmatics, Files 8.1-8.4, p. 237-256.

External links:
(1) NewsDaily: Vowel sounds affect consumer buying

(2) Wikipedia: Albanian
(3) Silvana Licursi: Far From the Land of Eagles: Albanian Folk Songs; samples from Amazon
(4) MLA Citation Style Sheet (Use italics instead of underlining!)

Local link:
Semantics vocabulary in Chinese

December 19:
Discuss: Hand in paper and two articles on language-related topics. Chapter 8, Pragmatics, Files 8.1-8.4, p. 237-256. Prepare for next week: Chapter 8, Pragmatics, File 8.5-8.6, p. 257-267.

External links:
(1) Finnish language
(2) Värttinä

Local link:
Semantics and pragmatics vocabulary in Chinese

December 26:
Discuss: Chapter 8, Pragmatics, File 8.5-8.6, p. 257-267; Pinyin Romanization; Mandarin phonology and phonetics.

Transcribe the following passage into Pinyin Romanization and IPA symbols:



External links:
(1) YouTube: Catalán singer Victoria de los Angeles
(2) The Toronto Star: Scholar sole speaker of Huron language: Teacher has published dictionary for once thriving Ontario tribe whose 'Huron Carol' is Yule tradition
(3) IPA symbol input page; to input IPA symbols under Word, click on "Insert/
插入" then "Symbol/符號", then choose the font called "Lucida Sans Unicode"; it has most of the symbols you will need, though you will need to use more than one symbol for the contour, i.e. the rising and falling, tones.
(4) Mandarin phonetic symbols to Pinyin conversion table
(5) Wikipedia: Pinyin table
(6) Pinyin conversion tool
(7) Wikipedia: The consonant and vowel systems of Standard Mandarin
(8) Wikipedia: The consonant and vowel systems of Southern Min

Local links:
(1) 李文肇: 認識羅馬拼音之一:拼音、音標與標準語 (Read this before 1/2)
(2) 李文肇: 羅馬拼音與注音符號:記音工具或認同指標? (Read this before 1/2)
(3) Writing Chinese in IPA and the International Phonetic Association
(4) How to recognize entering tone syllables in Chinese: 如何依據國音來辨認入聲字
(5) International Christmas carols

January 2, 2008:
     Mandarin in Pinyin and IPA assignment: correct on board.

     Try to deduce some of the rules of Mandarin Chinese grammar;
use a corpus for this assignment; anything will do –
an online corpus like the
Academia Sinica's Sinica Corpus, or newspapers/magazines/books/webpages,
or radio/TV, or recorded conversations of you and your family and/or friends.
You can use your own thoughts and intuitions as a starting point; then see what
you find in your corpus. You are welcome to use reference works on Chinese
grammar, but try to figure things out for yourself first. Don't assume that the
existing sources necessarily have a final or even better analysis of the data.
Existing works are mainly about Beijing-based Mandarin rather than Taiwan
Mandarin, and may be a bit out of date. Use your knowledge of English or other
languages to help you, but don't be restricted by English grammatical categories
and rules – Mandarin may have something different that needs an entirely
different approach and description.
     Everyone needs to come up with a description of Mandarin word order;
in addition, please choose three topics from the following list (you may also
think up your own categories) to make observations on:

     Everybody: Mandarin word order; is it SVO, SOV, mixed, or topic-comment,
or something else?
     (1) Where does old/new information go?
Where is the morphological head
(inital/final or left/right)? Where do modifiers go? Where is the syntactic head?
How is focus expressed in Mandarin?
     (2) How is possession expressed – is it always with 的 or 之? If not, how, and
under what circumstances?
     (3) How are comparatives and superlatives formed in Mandarin – always with
比 and 最?
     (4) Describe transitive and intransitive verbs in Mandarin.
     (5) Tense and aspect: How are past, present, future, habitual, progressive
tense/aspect expressed in Mandarin?
     (6) Describe resultatives (拆掉、 想通)and directionals (走進來、飛上去、買下來)
in Mandarin.
     (7) Pronouns: What pronouns are used in Mandarin, under what circumstances,
and when can they be omitted? How are titles expressed in Mandarin, e.g. "Mrs.",
"Professor", "Director"? Can they be used as pronouns? To what extent?
     (8) Number: How is number, i.e. singular, plural, countables, uncountables/mass
nouns, expressed in Mandarin? What role do classifiers (量詞、單位詞)play in
expressing or marking number in Chinese? What is the status of structures such as
紙張、羊隻、書本? How does Mandarin express definiteness or indefiniteness
(cf. English the, this, those, a, an)?
     (9) How does Mandarin express time and space? Does Mandarin use prepositions,
postpositions, or both?
     (10) How do you ask questions in Mandarin, including both yes/no 是否 questions
and "wh-" questions (who, what, where, when, why, how)? Is there inversion?
     (11) How are particles, e.g. 嗎、吧、喔, used in Mandarin, and what kinds of
information do they express?
     (12) Conjunction: How are ideas linked together in Mandarin?

External links:
Wikipedia: Tagalog
Wikipedia: Tagalog singer Freddie Aguilar
YouTube: Anak ('Child'; audio)
YouTube: Anak (karaoke version)

January 9:

Hand in evaluations.
(2) Second practice transcribing Mandarin into Pinyin
Romanization and IPA symbols.
(3) Discussion of grammar and special characteristics
of Mandarin Chinese.

External links:
(1) Wikipedia: Tigrinya

(2) Omniglot: Ge'ez script for Tigrinya
(3) Broadcast in Tigrinya (1) from Voice of Meselna Delina Eritrean opposition website
(4) Broadcast in Tigrinya (2) from "Eritrean room for a strong and united opposition"
(5) Tigrinya comedy video: Comedy Kofo: "The Two Singers"
(6) Samples of Tigrinya pop songs
(7) Video of traditional Tigrinya song and dance
(8) The Idan Raichel Project
(9) Pronunciation cartoon
(10) Scientific American: The Human Instrument
(11) How Does The Singer's Voice Produce Those Amazing Sounds? Sound Clips
(12) YouTube: Monty Python: I Want to Report a Burglary

January 16: Final exam.

Winter break assignments:

     (1) Observe language in use and come up with three observations
on language
. These will be discussed and handed in over e-mail on the
first day of class next semester (Feb. 20, 2008; you may e-mail these
earlier if you like).

     (2) Read and be ready to discuss in class the following media articles:

     1. "The Interpreter" Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding
of language?
by John Colapinto, New Yorker magazine 4/16/07 (16 pages)
printer-friendly version    local pdf file

     Related New Scientist video on YouTube of Daniel Everett conducting language tests with
Pirahã vounteers: Out on a limb over Language

     2. "Arabic Lessons" by Robert F. Worth, The New York Times 1/6/08 (2 pages)
printer-friendly version   local pdf file

Related photo: "At least he's trying"

index     home     top

Spring 2008

     Note: As part of every week's routine assignments, write two questions, significant points you learned, or comments/critiques based on each file that does not include exercises. This is not required if the file has exercises, including files that are only exercises.
     Note that this syllabus is tentative and subject to change. New links will be added as the semester progresses.

The Language Files Website
: Lots of useful links
Khinalug: Digital portrait of an endangered language
(20-minute video)
More language videos

February 20:
Discussion of language observations collected over Winter break.
      Prepare for next week: Language Files Chapter 14, Language and Computers, file 14.1 "Introduction to Language and Computers", file 14.2, "Corpus Linguistics"do the exercises; and file 14.3, "Machine Translation" (no need to do the exercises for 14.3 – we already did something similar last semester), p. 465-476, as preparation for Prof. Gao's lecture on computational linguistics next week, February 27.
     Assignment: Choose one of your three observations, or a new topic, as a research topic, as though for a term paper, and begin collecting references on it. Follow MLA bibliographic format (MLA Citation Style Sheet – use italics instead of underlining!). Also outline the steps you would need to follow to collect the data needed for your topic. Due March 12.
     You will have the option to develop this into a full 10-page term paper. This is not required, but you may do it for extra credit, i.e. up to 10 points added on to your final grade for the course. Those of you considering graduate work in linguistics may want to pursue this option so you have a paper ready when you apply.

Local link:
NLP (Natural Language Processing) vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Wikipedia: Plattdeutsch
(2) Plattdeutsch singer Knut Kiesewetter

February 27: Introduction to computational linguistics by Prof. Gao Zhaoming.
     Prepare for next week: Chapter 14, files 14.4 "Speech Synthesis", 14.5 "Communicating with Computers"
do exercise 1 only, dialog with ELIZA, and Chapter 15, file 15.3 "The Whorf Hypothesis", p. 477-487; 505-508.

External links:

(1) Samite of Uganda
(2) Wikipedia: Luganda

Local links:
(1) Professor Gao's PowerPoint slides on resources in computational linguistics
NLP (Natural Language Processing) vocabulary in Chinese
(3) Chinese corpus resources
(4) English corpus resources
(5) Chinese passage for IPA practice

March 5:
Finish sharing observations on language. Chapter 14, file 14.4 "Speech Synthesis", file 14.5 "Communicating with Computers", and Chapter 15, file 15.3 "The Whorf Hypothesis", p. 477-487; 505-508; discussion of articles on Pirahã and learning Arabic.  
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.1 "What is Psycholinguistics?", file 9.2 "Language and the Brain"do the exercises, and file 9.3 "Theories of Language Acquisition"– do the exercises; p. 269-289.

Local links:
(1) NLP (Natural Language Processing) vocabulary in Chinese
(2) Psycholinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Benjamin Whorf (1897 - 1941) bio
(2) The Benjamin Whorf Website
(3) Dan Moonhawk Alford on Whorf
(4) Scientific American: A Way with Words. Do languages help mold the way we think? A controversial idea from the 1930s is getting a second look.
(5) Wikipedia: Austro-Asiatic languages
(6) Overview on Khmer language
(7) Khmer pop music MP3s of Cambodia 柬埔寨 (optional Khmer fonts here)
(8) Japan Times: Translation of Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People, by Zhou Daguan
(9) Brain lateralization
(10) YouTube Cartoon: Parts of the brain See how many of these you recognize and remember.

March 12: Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.1 "What is Psycholinguistics?", file 9.2 "Language and the Brain" with exercises, and file 9.3 "Theories of Language Acquisition" with exercises; p. 269-289.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.4 "First Language Acquisition: Acquisition of Speech Sounds and Phonology" do the exercises, file 9.5 "First Language Acquisition: Acquisition of Morphology, Syntax and Word Meaning", and file 9.6 "Milestones in Motor and Language Development", p. 290-307.
     Hand in your research topic with references you have found on it and outline of your research procedure.

Local links:
(1) Psycholinguistics vocabulary in Chinese
(2) Language acquisition vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Brain lateralization
(2) LSA videos on language acquisition
(3) Functional areas of the brain
(4) TED: Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight Amazing firsthand account of a stroke by a brain scientist
(5) Scientific American: Girl Talk: Are Women Really Better at Language? New research shows that young girls may learn language more completely than their male peers

(6) MayoClinic.com: Baby's Health: Speech and language development milestones: Birth to 24 months
(7) Science Daily: Secret Of Newborn's First Words Revealed A new study could explain why "daddy" and "mommy" are often a baby's first words – the human brain may be hard-wired to recognize certain repetition patterns.

March 19: Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.4 "First Language Acquisition: Acquisition of Speech Sounds and Phonology" with exercises, file 9.5 "First Language Acquisition: Acquisition of Morphology, Syntax and Word Meaning", and file 9.6 "Milestones in Motor and Language Development", p. 290-307.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.7 "How Adults Talk to Young Children", file 9.8 "Adult Language Processing", do exercise 2 only, file 9.9 "Errors in Speech Production and Perception", do exercise 1a as described in textbook; for exercise 2, choose your own short phrase in English, Mandarin or Southern Min (if your partner is good at Southern Min), p. 308-325.

Local link:
Psycholinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) TED: Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight Amazing firsthand account of a stroke by a brain scientist
(2) Scientific American: Self Experimenters: Can 200,000 Hours of Baby Talk Untie a Robot's Tongue?
Deb Roy wants to make robots smarter by getting them to imitate his kid
(3) Scientific American: What Explains Toddlers' Linguistic Leap? Math Simple math may explain why toddlers experience a sudden burst of words—and why some talk earlier and more than others
(4) BBC: Monkeys challenge language theory: Researchers have found that monkeys combine calls to make them meaningful in the same way that humans do
(5) NYT: Medvedev. Mehd-V(y)EHD-yehf. Whatever. First language interference, cultural attitudes and habits
(6) a. NYT: A Boy Named Sue, and a Theory of Names A child with an awful name might grow up to be a relatively normal adult.
      b. YouTube: Johnny Cash singing "A Boy Named Sue"
(7) The Seattle Times: EWU prof.: Obama wins presidential name game
(8) Amazon: Putumayo Presents: South Pacific Islands Songs in Tokelau (Samoa/New Zealand), Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Tolai (Papua New Guinea), Nengone (New Caledonia)
(9) YouTube: Papua New Guinea pop: Dumen Medley - K-Dumen

March 26: Chapter 9, Psycholinguistics, file 9.7 "How Adults Talk to Young Children", file 9.8 "Adult Language Processing", exercise 2 only, file 9.9 "Errors in Speech Production and Perception", exercise 1a as described in textbook; for exercise 1b, choose your own short phrase in English, Mandarin or Southern Min (if your partner is good at Southern Min), p. 308-325.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.1 "Introduction to Language Variation", file 10.2 "Variation at Different Levels of Linguistic Structure"do the exercises, and file 10.3 "Language and Socioeconomic Status" do the exercises, p. 327-339.

Local links:
(1) Psycholinguistics vocabulary in Chinese
(2) Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) The Sun (UK): Bad Chinglish literature binned Thousands of dodgy translations are being scrapped in Beijing in the run-up to this summer’s Olympic Games in the Chinese capital.
(2) Highlands oral epics in danger of being lost Vietnamese reseachers have found an unexpected treasure in the form of epics handed down from generation to generation.
(3) AP: Recruiting Arabic translators still tough for US Army
(4) Timesleader.com: Judge orders four to learn English or go to jail
(5) Wikipedia: Portuguese; Geographic distribution of Portuguese
(6) Amazon: Portugal: Music from the Edge of Europe
(7) Amazon: Great Voices of Fado

April 2: Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.1 "Introduction to Language Variation", file 10.2 "Variation at Different Levels of Linguistic Structure" with exercises, file 10.3 "Language and Socioeconomic Status" with exercises, p. 327-339.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.4 "Language and Region", file 10.5 "Language and Ethnicity: The Case of African-American English", and file 10.6 "An Official Language for the United States?", p. 340-355.

Local link:
Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Sample narrative in African-American English from the Language Files site (.wav)
(2) Mystery dialect: What variety of what language is this??? Do you recognize any words? (Listen before reading the label
on the recording.) Description here.
(3) Dear Abby: Being one of the guys is insulting to many gals
(4) Boston.com: Hawaiian language making strong comeback
(5) Wikipedia: Shona language
(6) mbira.org: Forward Kwenda (Mbira camp information available on this site)
(7) Amazon: Svikiro: Meditations from a Mbira Master, with samples
(8) Mbira Music Samples; some by Forward Kwenda, also Erica Azim of mbira.org

April 9:
Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.4 "Language and Region", file 10.5 "Language and Ethnicity: The Case of African-American English", and file 10.6 "An Official Language for the United States?", p. 340-355.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.7 "Language and Gender", file 10.8 "Variation in Speech Style" do exercises 2-5 (not 1), and give your answers in Chinese for exercise 2; file 10.9 "Case Studies", and do the exercises in file 10.10 "Language Variation Exercises" p. 356-375.

Local link:
Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Wikipedia: Appalachian English   Gullah language
(2) Dictionary: Southern Appalachian English
(3) Gullah Net: Explore Gullah culture in South Carolina with Aunt Pearlie-Sue Introduction to Gullah culture for children – music, tales, events, listen to Gullah
(4) NYT: Clarence Thomas and Gullah English
(5) African American Vernacular English
(6) Sample narrative in African-American English from the Language Files site (.wav)
(7) Sample narratives in two varieties of AAE from the "This American Life" radio program: 1. Barbara (with interesting life story of a black single mother); 2. Tim (an "interrupter" who intervenes to prevent violent conflicts; he is a reformed ex-con, now an ordained Christian minister; he tells a few lively stories about his current work; note his use of "be" and other AAE features)
(8) Real Black Radio Listen to AAE online   More Black radio stations
) LSA videos on language variation
(10) Tulsa Today: English Language Bill Advances In Oklahoma House Under the provisions of the bill, private individuals and businesses would still be allowed to use whatever language they choose. The bill also contains exemptions for the languages of Oklahoma's 39 federally recognized Native American tribes and allows the use of both Braille and sign language in government services.
(11) NYT: Nashville won't make English Official Language Nashville voters on Thursday rejected a proposal to make English the city's official language and largely to prevent government workers from communicating in other languages. ... People here said Nashville is a warm, welcoming and friendly environment that celebrates diversity, said Tom Oreck, an opponent of the proposal and the chairman of the Oreck Corporation, a vacuum cleaner manufacturer. If this had passed, it would have sent an isolationist message in a global economy.
(12) Washington Post: Study: Dyslexia Differs by Language Dyslexia affects different parts of children's brains depending on whether they are raised reading English or Chinese.
(13) Wikipedia: the Ukrainian language
(14) Mila Vocal Ensemble: The Girl was Planting (This group sings in many languages besides Ukrainian)

April 16: Chapter 10, Language Variation, file 10.7 "Language and Gender", file 10.8 "Variation in Speech Style" with exercises 2-5 (not 1), and give your answer in Chinese for exercise 2; file 10.9 "Case Studies", and file 10.10 "Language Variation Exercise" p. 356-375.

     Psycholinguistics/neurolinguistics talk by Dr. Shiaohui Chan 詹曉蕙博士
Title: Mind/Brain and Language 12:10pm to 1:10pm in the Mini-Theatre of the Audio-Visual Center; our class and Prof. Gao's class will move to the Mini-Theatre at 12:10pm to hear the talk. Please have your lunch either during the first break at 11:10 or after the talk.


     This talk is mainly for students who are interested in language but only have minimal background in linguistics. I will discuss why understanding the biological foundations of language can help answer questions that interest linguists, and will give an introduction to the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related brain potential (ERP) techniques in language research. Two language experiments will be presented to illustrate how these two techniques can be used.

     Dr. Shiaohui Chan received her PhD degree from the Linguistics Department of the University of Arizona in 2007. She is a postdoctoral scholar and is affiliated with the Center for Mind and Brain and the Neurology Department at UC Davis. She is interested in the biological foundations of language and semantic memory.

     Next week: Mid-term exam. Material covered in mid-term:
Chapters 9, 10, 14, and Chapter 15, file 15.3.
Also prepare: Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.1 "Language Contact", p. 377-382.

     Begin writing research paper.
     Hints on paper writing: How to Write a Research Paper;    How to Write a Term Paper;    The Research Process;    How to Write an A+ Research Paper;    Writing a Research Paper.    Use MLA bibliograpahic citation style.    Sample first page of a term paper   Online Pinyin converter.    Pinyin tone tool.

Local links:
(1) Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

(2) Centralized diphthongs are more commonly called "Canadian raising"; explanation and links to audio samples here

External links:
(1) Washington Post:
If They're Lost, Who Are We? An essay by author David Treuer, Ojibwe, expressing his feelings about the loss of Native American languages and cultures.
(2) The Globe and Mail: A 10,000-year-old word puzzle A linguistic adventurer chases down an ancient language in Siberia and discovers a surprising connection to modern languages in North America
(3) The Casper Star-Tribune: Shoshone woman devotes her life to preserving native language
(4) NYT Opinion: Ving, Vang, Vong. Or, the Pleasures of a New Vocabulary. "It brings me back to that childhood feeling of being happily encumbered with new words and trying them out tentatively, watching to see, on the faces around me, whether I’d misused them."
(5) NYT: Names That Match Forge a Bond on the Internet Now that the telephone book has been all but replaced by the minutiae-rich Web, searching out, even stalking, the people who share one’s name has become a common pastime. Bloggers muse about their multiple digital selves, known as Google twins or Googlegängers.
(6) YouTube: Sort Of Dunno Nothin' - Peter Denahy Hilarious music video that gives new meaning to the word "laconic". Fun Australian accents.
(7) The Guardian (UK): Scientists find secret ingredient for making (and losing) lots of money - testosterone
Study links male hormone with earning power, but too much can lead to irrational risk-taking.
(8) This American Life: Testosterone What would life be like without testosterone? Or with lots and lots of it?
(9) Wikipedia: Latvian language
(10) Ingrid Karklins: A Darker Passion
(11) Yahoo: 英婦無法自聲音分辨人 科學家無解 (Thanks to Eleanor for this link!) Here is the original report:
New Scientist: Making the Science The first known case of someone who has never been able to recognise voices.
(12) Slate Explainer: Why did William Buckley talk like that? Wikipedia: "Buckley came late to formal instruction in the English language, not learning it until he was seven years old (his first language was Spanish, learned in Mexico, and his second French, learned in Paris). As a consequence, he spoke English with an idiosyncratic accent: something between an old-fashioned, upper class Mid-Atlantic accent and British Received Pronunciation."
       b. NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross: William F. Buckley, Irrepressible Conservative Includes the 1989 interview held with Buckley, so you can judge his accent for yourself; in this interview he has some southern features
(13) a. Listen to Archie Bunker's (from the TV sitcom "All in the Family") New York City accent; note how he hypercorrectively adds /r/ to the word "point" b. Sample of Brooklyn English c. More New York: Memories of Mean Streets
(14) To hear more /r/-less and other varieties of New York City English, go to this fascinating site from amNewYork; also try online talk radio; you may be able to find more "authentic" New York City accents in the listener call-ins or commercials; many DJs speak more standard American English 1010WINS.com  More New York talk stations (this will require time and persistence) You may hear some good, representative black English and New York City accents over WBAI (Thanks to Prof. David Branner of New York City for his suggested links)
(15) Gothamist: New York City Accents Changing with the Times Is New York City losing its distinctive accents?
(16) Listen to an "r-less" Rhode Island accent: Monologue by the late Spalding Gray on "This American Life"
(17) NYT: He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work) Would you notice it if the book you're reading was written by a computer? What one man does with artificial intelligence
(18) NYT: Eugene Ehrlich, 85, Word Connoisseur, Dies Author of You’ve Got Ketchup on Your Muumuu: An A-to-Z Guide to English Words From Around the World among many other works on language

April 23:
Mid-term exam. Material covered in mid-term: Chapters 9, 10, 14, and Chapter 15, file 15.3.
     Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.1 "Language Contact", p. 377-382.
     Prepare for next week: Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.2 "Pidgin Languages"; homework: translate passage below from Tok Pisin into standard English; file 11.3 "Creole Languages", and file 11.
4 "Borrowings into English"; homework: find more examples of Chinese loan words in English; there is a list for your reference here; p. 383-394.
Local link:
Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) a. Colorado University News: Saving dying languages: CU researchers help native speakers save history The Wichita language, once spoken by thousands, has one remaining voice.
Doris Jean Lamar McLemore, 80, considers it a happenstance that she – the daughter of an Indian mother and white father – has become the guardian of her tribe's language that is precariously close to extinction.
Newswise.com: Preserving a Language and Culture: Teaching Choctaw in the Public Schools
Headquartered at the tribe’s Oklahoma School of Choctaw Language and Culture in Durant, classes go out to schools in southeastern Oklahoma via Interactive Educational Television, a system that allows a teacher in a studio to teach classes at several schools at once.
     c. Santa Barbara Independent: Chumash Dictionary Breathes Life into Moribund Language Richard Applegate, a linguist hired by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, has been working with tribal elders and five apprentices to teach them the language that he unearthed while completing his doctoral thesis at Berkeley in the late 1960s.
(2) a. NYT: At 60, He Learned to Sing So He Could Learn to Talk ...doctors diagnosed an ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage in blood flow to part of the left half of his brain. As a result...he had trouble coming up with the right words and stringing them into sentences — a condition called aphasia..."The combination of melodic intonation and hand-tapping activates a system of the right side of the brain that is always there, but is not typically used for speech"
      b. BBC: How Singing Unlocks the Brain As Bill Bundock's Alzheimer's progressed he became more and more locked into his own world...but all this changed when the couple started attending a local sing-song group, aimed especially for people with dementia...
Singing for the Brain had unlocked Bill's communication block.
     Related quote: "Music education is imperative for anyone to grow up complete...Without the artsincluding music – we risk graduating young people who are 'right brain damaged'"  - Paul Harvey
(3) a. The Spelling Society: Poems showing the absurdities of English spelling
      b. A.Word.A.Day: Travails of English: A collection of poems and essays
      c. Vasta.org: Just Desserts
      d. The Economist: You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau
      e. Time.com: Making an Arguement for Misspelling
(4) Wikipedia: Turkish language

(5) Wikipedia: Turkish singer Zülfü Livaneli

(6) YouTube: Zülfü Livaneli singing "Gözlerin"
('Your lights')
(7) Turkish dictionary
(8) The Turkish Suffix Dictionary
(9) Geek2Geek: "I Didn’t Say You Stole My Money" and We Don’t Write, We Speak With Our Fingers
(10) Discovery News
: Barking Dogs Have Something to Say The emotion conveyed by a dog's bark often seems obvious to its human companions, but new research shows just how clear the message can be - at least, to other dogs.

(11) Listen to Tok Pisin online from Radio Australia. Choose a program and click on "Harim Progrem". Click on "Ritim Progrem" to see part of the written text being read. How much can you understand? What kinds of recent direct loans from contemporary English do you hear/see? What are the differences between the original English vocabulary of Tok Pisin and recent loans? Click on "Mipela Husat" (what does this mean?) to see a picture of some of the Tok Pisin broadcasters.

     Try to translate this short news report into standard English. You may need to take compounds apart, check related stories online, and do a bit of deduction and guessing.

Australia: PM Rudd i tok aut long nupla sanis long ol has-ples pipol      13/02/2008 8:46:43 PM

     Praim Minista blong Australia, Kevin Rudd i mekim wanpela singaut long nupela wok-bung insait long ol wok kamap blong ol has-ples pipol blong Australia bihainim tok sori igo long ol ol lain pipol ol i kolim 'Stolen Generations'.
     Dispela hap tok i makim planti tausen ol Aborigine pikinini, em ol ibin rausim ol long femili na ples blong ol long planti yar.
     Louise Yaxley i ripot i ripot Kevin Rudd na Brendan Nelson i tok sori long ol pipol, em ol i kisim ol long femili na karim ol igo long narapela lain.
     Dr Nelson na Mr Rudd i sikan na i promis long wok bungwantaim insait long wanpela nupela bung policy commission.
     Na nambawan wok ol bai mekim, em long kirapim wanpela housing plen blong ol lain komuniti i stap longwe tru bihainim dispela nupela wok poro blong olgeta politikal pati.
     Man, husait ibin halvim long raitim ripot "Bringing Them Home" blong ol Stolen Generations, Mick Dodson, i tok dispela Tok Sori tede, em i wanpela dei blong bikpela hamamas.
     Source: http://www.abc.net.au/ra/tokpisin/news/s2162112.htm

Tok Pisin-English dictionary
Pidgin-English dictionary (use the "control-F" "Find" method to look up words)
Freelang Tok Pisin-English dictionary
Tok Pisin, Motu, English Dictionary
Tok Pisin resource page by Nils R. Bull Young

April 30: Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.2 "Pidgin Languages", file 11.3 "Creole Languages", and file 11.4 "Borrowings into English"; discuss homework: Tok Pisin-standard English translation exercise, and Chinese loan words in English, p.383-394.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.5 "Case Studies", Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12.1 "Language Change", file 12.2 "The Family Tree and Wave Models", p. 395-409.

Local links:
(1) Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese
(2) Historical linguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:

(1) NYT: Walking the Talk Review of Derek Bickerton's new book, Bastard Tongues In this book "Bickerton... explains how he arrived at his own solution, the language bioprogram hypothesis... a pidgin becomes a Creole when children learn it, filling in the grammatical gaps with patterns and words that come not from any specific language but from some universal language template they all carry in their heads.
(2) Sample narrative in Belize Creole from the Language Files site (.wav file)
(3) Listen to Jamaican creole over the radio 2
(3) NYT: In Babel of Tongues, Suriname Seeks Itself Surinamese speak more than 10 other languages, including variants of Chinese, Hindi, Javanese and half a dozen original Creoles.
(4) McGill Reporter: The language that wasn't: Lise Winer’s passionate quest for the language of Trinidad

Example of Trinidad Creole: She real have broughtupcy. = 'She has very good manners.'
(5) (a) The Papiamentu Language   (b) Papiamentu Lessons   (c) Papiamentu translator
(6) Oxford University Press: The World Atlas of Language Structures Online WALS is a large database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages gathered from descriptive materials by a team of more than 40 authors
WALS consists of 141 maps with accompanying texts on diverse features (such as vowel inventory size, noun-genitive order, passive constructions, and "hand"/"arm" polysemy)...Each map shows between 120 and 1110 languages...Altogether 2,650 languages are shown on the maps, and more than 58,000 datapoints give information on features in particular languages.
(7) Essay: The Irregular Verbs by Steven Pinker People occasionally apply a pattern to a new verb in an attempt to be cool, funny, or distinctive. Dizzy Dean slood into second base; a Boston eatery once sold T-shirts that read "I got schrod at Legal Seafood," and many people occasionally report that they snoze, squoze, shat, or have tooken something.
(8) Seattle Times: A crusade to edit America Calling it the "Typo Eradication Advancement League," [Jeff Deck has] now visited 18 states to chronicle, and correct if possible, all types of English errors.
(9) Seattle Times: Chat slang creeps into teens' assignments It's nothing to LOL about: Despite best efforts to keep school writing assignments formal, two-thirds of teens acknowledge in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in.
(10) The New Yorker: Crazy English China intends to teach itself as much English as possible by the time the guests arrive, and Li has been brought in by the Beijing Organizing Committee to make that happen. He is China’s Elvis of English, perhaps the world’s only language teacher known to bring students to tears of excitement.
(11) NYT: When Language Can Hold the Answer Naming, Dr. Lupyan concluded, helps to create mental categories. The finding may not seem surprising, but it is fodder for one side in a traditional debate about language and perception, including the thinking that creates and names groups.
(12) Science Daily: Intuitive Grammar Develops By Age Six, Say Researchers Psychologists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that children as young as six are as adept at recognising possible verbs and their past tenses as adults.
(13) Science Daily: Surprising Language Abilities In Children With Autism
These researchers do not contest the well-established claim that people with ASD have difficulty with non-literal pragmatics, such as metaphors ("Juliet is the sun") or irony/sarcasm ("Boy, is that a good idea"). They have, however, found that many speakers with ASD do not show the same difficulty with literal pragmatics.
(14) Wikipedia: Armenian language
(15) Armenapedia: The Armenian alphabet
(16) Amazon: The Music of Armenia, volume I: Sacred choral music; The Music of Armenia (box set)

May 7: Chapter 11, Language Contact, file 11.5 "Case Studies", Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12.1 "Language Change", file 12.2 "The Family Tree and Wave Models", p. 395-409.
     Prepare for next week:
Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12.3 "Sound Change" with exercises, file 12.4 "The Comparative Method", and file 12.5 "Reconstruction Exercises" – you need do only three of the eight; we'll discuss all of them in class,
p. 410-425.

Local links:
(1) Sociolinguistics vocabulary in Chinese

(2) Historical linguistics vocabulary in Chinese
(3) Research paper: Some Returned Loans: Japanese Loanwords in Taiwan Mandarin by Karen Chung. pp. 161-179 in Language Change in East Asia. McAuley, T.E., ed. 2001. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. Paper originally presented at the Workshop on Language Change in Japan and East Asia Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK. May 21-22, 1999 (.pdf)
(4) Research paper:
Hypercorrection in Taiwan Mandarin by Karen Chung. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, Zhou, Minglang (ed.), Language Planning and Varieties of (Modern Standard) Chinese: Special issue of Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 16:2 (2006). 2006. ca. 160 pp. (pp. 197–214). Paper originally presented at The Ninth International Conference on Chinese Linguistics, held at the York Hotel, sponsored by National University of Singapore, Singapore, June 26-28, 2000. (.pdf)
(5) Research paper: Contraction and Backgrounding in Taiwan Mandarin. by Karen Chung. Concentric: Studies in Linguistics, Vol. 32, No. 1, January 2006. Paper originally presented at IACL/NACCL conference at the University of California, Irvine, June 22-24, 2001. (.pdf)
(6) LANGUAGE Book notice on Eldo Neufeld's A dictionary of Plautdietsch rhyming words, by Karen Chung. Plautdietsch is quite a different Low German dialect from the "Deitsch" or Pennsylvania Dutch discussed in the Language Files, but it is related.

External links:
(1) Three LSA videos: "History of English"

(2) YouTube: Talking Canadian
2 3 4 5 (Thanks to Prof. Bennett Fu for this link!)
(3) YouTube: Ethnic humor from Russell Peters

(4) New Scientist: 'Sexy' voice gives fertile women away A woman's voice becomes more attractive when she is most fertile.
(5) Tongue ties: A language bridge across the Bering Strait
A Western Washington University professor has compared native languages in North America to those in Asia and found ties that suggest they come from the same ancestors.
(6) AP: Baby birds babble just like human babies learning to talk
(7) The WIP: The Linguists: Searching for Endangered Languages Around the World The Linguists, which follows the work of Dr. K. David Harrison and Dr. Gregory Anderson, should not be written off as esoteric. The film’s stars are more like Indiana Jones-style adventurers traveling to remote locations in search of undocumented and dying languages than stodgy academics.
(8) LA Times: Portugal's Empire is Talking Back A plan to standardize the language by adopting styles of former colony Brazil runs into vocal dissent.
(9) New book by a noted Taiwan linguist: Documenting and Revitalizing Austronesian Languages
, edited by
D. Victoria Rau (何德華教授 of 靜宜大學)and Margaret Florey. University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007.
(10) Audio: History of English. Online audio recordings of Old English and Middle English
(11) Norton Anthology page with audio files of Old and Middle English
(12) Wikipedia: Burmese language
(13) Burmese pop music 1 2; Burmese classical music with Burmese harp; lots of Burmese music and radio links
(14) Why is "I" capitalized in English?
(15) Wikipedia: Metathesis The pronunciation of ask as /aks/ goes back to Old English days, when ascian and axian/acsian were both in use.
(16) Indo-European Language Tree
(17) Sino-Tibetan Language Tree

(18) The Sino-Tibetan Language Family
(19) NPR: Native American Boarding Schools Haunt Many
(20) Telegraph.co.uk: 'Babies who hear foreign speech pick up languages faster'
...But those who hear only English as babies are left unable to distinguish between subtly different sounds not used in their native language...Psychologists at Bristol University found that the developing brain undergoes a period of "programming" in infancy which sets up for life its ability to recognise key sounds in whatever will become its native language...Researchers found that babies who were spoken to in Chinese for just one hour a week found it easier to recognise Chinese speech when they were older. (Note: the writer of this article is clearly not a linguist; it contains inaccuracies. Can you identify some?)
(21) Record your own corpus with Audacity Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.

May 14: Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12.3 "Sound Change" with exercises, file 12.4 "The Comparative Method", and file 12.5 "Reconstruction Exercises" – you need do only three of the eight are required for handing in; we'll discuss all of them in class, p. 410-425.
    Prepare for next week: file 12.6 "Morphological Change" do the exercises, file 12.7 "Syntactic Change" do the exercises, and file 12.8 "Semantic Change" do the exercises, p. 426-439.

Local link:
Historical linguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) Paragraph from John Algeo available online here.
     He was a happy and sad girl who lived in a town 40 miles from the closest neighbor. His unmarried sister, a wife who was a vegetarian member of the women’s Christian Temperance Union, ate meat and drank liquor three times a day. She was fond of oatmeal bread made from corn her brother grew, that one night, when it was dark, she starved from overeating. He fed nuts to the deer who lived in the branches of an apple tree that bore pears. He was a silly and wise boor, a knave and a villain, and everyone liked him. Moreover, he was a lewd man whom the general censure held to be a model of chastity.
(2) Bakersfield News: Last Speaker Of Tribal Language Teaches Others Kern River Valley Tubatulabal Tribesman Helps Create Dictionary
(3) USA Today: University seeks to preserve native language Ann Arbor university's Program in Ojibwe Language and Literature, one of the largest of its kind in the nation...seeks to teach and preserve the American Indian language spoken by about 10,000 in more than 200 communities across the Great Lakes region — but 80% of them are older than 60.
(4) The Philadelphia Inquirer: Marie Smith Jones | Last of Alaska tribe, 89
Marie Smith Jones, 89, the last full-blooded Eyak and fluent speaker of her native language, has died.
(5) Ohio.com: Miami University helps Miami Tribe reclaim language Kelsey Young - like many other members of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma - could not understand her tribe's language. The Myaamia Project supported by the tribe and Miami University is changing that - helping the tribe reclaim and keep its language and culture alive.
(6) Telegraph: Oldest human voice recording uncovered At first listen, the grainy high-pitched warble does not sound like much, but scientists say the French recording from 1860 is the oldest known recorded human voice.
(7) BBC: Can different species 'talk'?
(8) Information Week: Thought-To-Speech Interface Gives Voice To Voiceless
Audeo captures neurological information from the brain and translates it into speech.
(9) Scientific American: Self-Experimenters: Can 200,000 Hours of Baby Talk Untie a Robot's Tongue?
Deb Roy wants to make robots smarter by getting them to imitate his kid
(10) San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate: Intelligence agencies seek help recruiting new immigrants The [US] intelligence agencies lack people who can speak the languages that are needed most, such as Arabic, Farsi and Pashtu. More importantly, the agencies lack people with the cultural awareness that enables them to grasp the nuances embedded in dialect, body language and even street graffiti.
(11) Harvard University Gazette Online: Harvard scientists predict the future of the past tense Mathematicians apply evolutionary models to linguistic standardization
The Great Vowel Shift: See and hear the Great Vowel Shift
(13) Wikipedia: Hindi language
(14) Bollywood World: Hindi Bollywood hits
(15) Writinghood: Amusing Stories Behind the 12 Words of Indian Origin That Made It to the Oxford Dictionary
(16) Auburnpub.com (AP): Saving language becomes a job Indian tribes across the country are taking steps to preserve their native languages. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York has made it a full-time job, paying tribal members what they would earn in other jobs to immerse themselves in the nation's spoken word.

May 21: Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12.6 "Morphological Change" with exercises, file 12.7 "Syntactic Change" with exercises, and file 12.8 "Semantic Change" with exercises, p. 426-439.
    Prepare for next week: file 12. 9 "Milestones in the Internal and External History of English" do the exercises, Chapter 13, Visual Languages, file 13.1 "Visual Languages", file 13.2 "True Language?", p. 440-455.

Local link:
Historical linguistics vocabulary in Chinese

External links:
(1) NPR: The Chimp that Learned Sign Language
(2) BBC: Expert says txt is gr8 4 language
A linguistics expert has rejected claims that texting by mobile phone is bad for language and literacy skills.
(3) The Economist: Txt msgng in Frnc: Parlez-vous SMS?
A new threat to the French language
(4) Blends in English: World Wide Words   blogging terms (sample: Blogorrhea: A portmanteau of "blog" and "logorrhea", meaning excessive and/or incoherent talkativeness in a weblog.)
(5) BBC: Stray Japan parrot talks way home A stray parrot was reunited with its owner in Japan after repeating its name and address at the local veterinary clinic that took it in, police said.
(6) P.O.V. Online Short Film Festival: Anagrams as Ars Magna
(7) Wikipedia: French language
(8) YouTube: Belgian Singer Jacques Brel singing "Amsterdam", "Ne me quittes pas", "Ça va (Le diable)" and more

May 28: Chapter 12, Language Change, file 12. 9 "Milestones in the Internal and External History of English" with exercises, Chapter 13, Visual Languages, file 13.1 "Visual Languages", file 13.2 "True Language?", p. 440-455.
    Prepare for next week: Chapter 13, Visual Languages,
file 13.3 "American Sign Language", Chapter 15, Language in a Wider Context, file 15.1 "Introduction to Language in a Wider Context", and file 15. 2 "Writing Systems", p. 456-464; 489-504.

Local links:
(1) Historical linguistics vocabulary in Chinese

(2) Chinese vocabulary for writing systems

External links:
(1) Learn the ASL manual alphabet 手語: 英文字母
(2) American Sign Language Browser Learn how to sign common words and phrases by watching video clips.
(3) A Basic Dictionary of ASL Terms
(4) Wikipedia: a. BANZSL, Two-handed manual alphabet b. Description Bi-manual alphabet used in Britain
(5) Wikipedia: Taiwanese Sign Language
(6) SIL: Report on social, educational, and sociolinguistic issues that impact the deaf and hard of hearing population of Taiwan
by Greg Huteson SIL International 2003 (19-page pdf document)

     A few main points of this report are quoted here:

     Hearing impairment is regarded as a physical disability, not a cultural trait...Likewise, many of Taiwan’s deaf and hearing impaired do not regard themselves as possessing a unique culture, language, or identity. The hearing impaired acquire the sign language from their classmates rather than their teachers since the primary manual system used by the teaching staff at schools for the deaf is Signed Mandarin....the students are often the ones who teach the new teachers Taiwan Sign Language...
    In Taiwan, the value placed on Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) is context dependent. On the one hand, there is widespread interest in and curiosity about TSL. Learning TSL is regarded as an interesting pastime for hearing individuals...Sign language clubs are a popular extracurricular activity on many college and university campuses...[but] Deaf and hard of hearing individuals usually only appear in the news when they are accused of committing a crime...
    Taiwan Sign Language is not regarded as a real language by most Taiwanese. The popularity of Taiwan Sign Language classes has not altered this perception. The prevalence of Taiwan Sign Language clubs on college campuses may cause college age and young adult Taiwanese to conceptualize the language as physical exercise, associating it with the physical skills required by other popular extracurricular activities such as dancing and intramural sports.
    Parents...thought that the deaf children using sign language was not conducive to communicating with them; they wanted their deaf children to learn oral communication, without using sign language….Hearing parents severely forbade their children to use sign language and instead [insisted that they] use oral speech with hearing parents at home...[and] beat and scolded their children when they used sign language without speech...there is a widespread reticence on the part of parents of deaf children to enroll their children in schools for the deaf...TSL is suppressed and Mandarin and Signed Mandarin are encouraged, reflecting the belief that a deaf child who uses TSL will be less motivated to speak. Specifically, it is feared that he or she will be less likely to speak Mandarin...in Taiwan outside of the school setting there is a real paucity of opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to meet and interact.
     Signed Mandarin is promoted as an alternative to TSL since it is felt that Signed Mandarin will better enable the deaf child to learn how to speak and to read Mandarin...Official recognition of Taiwan’s indigenous sign language does not exist...Despite this absence of legal recognition, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has made some efforts at standardizing Taiwan Sign Language since the 1980s through the publication of lexicons and other material. These publications tend to incorporate lexical and grammatical elements of Signed Mandarin.
    Taiwan Sign Language is described as possessing two dialects, centered on the Taipei Municipal School for the Deaf and the Tainan School for the Deaf with differences primarily in the area of the lexicon...[there may be a] third dialect in Kaohsiung associated with the Chiying School, less similar to either the Tainan or Taipei dialects than the Tainan and Taipei dialects are to each other...
    Many Taiwanese assume that the deaf and hard of hearing population...ought to be assimilated into hearing culture...There is an element of shame or embarrassment about deaf family members and a corresponding desire to conceal, ignore, or ameliorate the hearing impairment. One method of concealment is through the mainstreaming of deaf children in regular schools. Concern for the academic success of the deaf child is secondary to the desire that the child conform to social norms...

(7) Wikipedia: Bambara (Bamanankan) language of Mali
(8) TED videos: Mali singer Rokia Traoré singing "M'Bifo"   Rokia Traoré singing "Kounandi"
(9) Amazon: Rokia Traoré:

June 4:
Research paper is due.
    Chapter 13, Visual Languages,
file 13.3 "American Sign Language", Chapter 15, Language in a Wider Context, file 15.1 "Introduction to Language in a Wider Context", and file 15.2 "Writing Systems", p. 489-504.
     For next week: Write an evaluation of (1) this course (What was helpful and/or interesting, what was less so, what could be improved, changed, added or taken away next time? How was the textbook? Additional assignments and activities?), (2) yourself and your performance in this course (How much did you learn? How hard did you work? Did you attend all classes, arrive on time, hand in all your homework on time?), and (3) your future plans in English, foreign languages and/or linguistics. Please submit your evaluation by e-mail.

Local link:
Chinese vocabulary for writing systems

External links:
(1) Scientific American: Brain Wiring for Human LanguageDeaf people process signed sentences mostly in their left hemispheres, just as hearing people parse spoken language; both groups rely on identical brain structures for similar tasks.
(2) Omniglot: Writing systems and languages of the world
(3) ancientscripts.com: A compendium of world-wide writing systems from prehistory to today
(4) Writing Systems A website that provides information, amusement and advice about writing systems in general and English spelling and the English writing system in particular.
(5) Cornell University: African Writing Systems
(6) Cherokee Nation: Cherokee Syllabary and Sounds
with audio
(7) 10News.com: Retired Teacher Reveals He Was Illiterate Until Age 48
(8) CNN: 'Guerdon' wins spelling bee for Sameer Mishra The 13-year-old from West Lafayette, Indiana, who often had the audience laughing with his one-line commentaries, was all business when he aced "guerdon" - a word that appropriately means "something that one has earned or gained" - to win the 81st version of the bee Friday night...Twenty-four of the first 25 words were spelled correctly, with the dictionary-familiar competitors breezing through words such as "brankursine," "cryptarithm" and "empyrean" with barely a hitch.
(9) The Wall Street Journal: National Spelling Bee Brings Out Protesters Who R Thru With Through A fyoo duhzen ambishuhss intelectchooals, a handful ov British skool teechers and wuhn rokit siuhntist ar triing to chang the way we spel.
(10) NYT Opinion: What Do You Call a Terror(Jihad)ist? The word “jihad” means to “strive” or “struggle,” and in the Muslim world it has traditionally been used in tandem with “fi sabilillah” (“in the path of God”). The term has long been taken to mean either a quest to find one’s faith or an external fight for justice...to call a terrorist a “jihadist” or “jihadi” effectively puts any campaign against terrorism into the framework of an existential battle between the West and Islam.
(11) NYT Opinion: Best is the New Worst What was once an accolade has turned poisonous in American public life over the past 40 years, as both the left and the right have twisted it into a code word meaning “not one of us.”
(12) Gulf Stream Blues: Brazilian Devours its Mother Tongue By decree of a law passed last week, Portugal will no longer speak Portuguese. This new standardization requires a change in spelling for hundreds of words, adds three new letters to the alphabet and adds new words to the vernacular. All books will have to be republished in Brazilian Portuguese, and school curriculums will now be taught using the new language standardization.
(12) Wikipedia: Thai language
(13) Amazon: The Rough Guide to Thai Music
(14) Bibliographic format: Model

June 11: Chapter 15, Language in a Wider Context, file 15.2 "Writing Systems", p. 492-504
    Catch-up, review, questions.

Local link:
Chinese vocabulary for writing systems

External links:
(1) The Philosophical Forum: Tractarian Sätze, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the very idea of script as picture "...every script in which natural languages are codified cannot be purely pictorial. At least one fragment of the notational system must be "Aristotelian," that is, it must represent sounds of the various languages."
(2) The Beacon News: 10 questions for a court reporter From words to brain to fingers to paper, in less than a second..."I have to listen to every word that people say, so it's sometimes difficult to recall what a witness said because I'm trying to get every word."
(3) English People's Daily Online (PRC): Babies hearing foreign speech pick up languages faster
(4) NYT: A Graduate of Sha Na Na, Now a Linguistics Professor ...at age 21, Mr. Leonard, the son of a federal judge, walked away from rock fame to pursue his real love: linguistics.
(5) NYT Opinion: The Best Way Out Is Through The criminal justice system in Ripton, Vt., prescribed poetry, of all things, as punishment — and we hope rehabilitation — for 25 teenagers (townies all) who broke into Frost’s old summer house in the woods last December. ... "Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world."
(6) Wall Street Journal: How the Brain Learns to Read Can Depend on the Language Using two brain-imaging techniques, they identified striking differences in neural anatomy and brain activity between children able to read and write Chinese easily and classmates struggling to keep pace. Both were at odds with patterns of brain activity among readers of the English alphabet...Arabic numerals of standard arithmetic - used by readers of Chinese and English alike - activate different brain regions depending on which of the two languages people had first learned to read...
(7) Wikipedia: Greek Language
(8) Greek radio stations from all over Greece (Try Magic FM
– great Greek pop)

June 18: Final exam; material covered: Chapter 9 through Chapter 15, with special emphasis on Chapters 11, 12 and 13, and Chapter 15, files 15.1-15.2.

External links:
(1) Village Harmony

(2) The Linguistic Society of Taiwan 台灣語言學學會

(3) University of Wyoming news: UW Completes Northern Arapaho Language Revitalization Project "When we started, I heard people talking about the ‘preservation' of the language. But when I think of preservation, I think of a jar of pickles on a shelf. This isn't a preservation. This is a revitalization!"

(4) The Wildcat Online: Review: "The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Our Language" Kenneally often seems to be searching for a coherent way to tell this marvelously incoherent story. Still, her book is a superb introduction to a forbiddingly complex yet fiercely important subject.

(5) The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: Respect for minority language rights key to inter-ethnic peace, says OSCE Minorities Commissioner ...High Commissioner Vollebaek said efforts to promote one language at the expense of another were particularly harmful.

(6) Oregon State University at Corvallis: Birds communicate reproductive success in song Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds – a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided.

(7) Sunday Herald: French say ‘non’ to official status for regional tongues
A bid to inscribe Breton and other regional languages in the French constitution has been thwarted after the Academie francaise - the elite body that guards over French culture - ruled that it was a threat to national unity.

(8) International Herald Tribune: Literature lost
Our top literature awards, the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, do not recognize works written by foreign authors or those published in translation. It is time to change this, for the benefit of all involved: for authors, publishers, translators and, above all, a public hungry to understand a complex world we cannot ignore. ... A high-profile American award for books in English translation would raise the quality and quantity of translations, giving translators a great goal to aim for in taking on risky projects. And it would raise respect for the hard work of cultural interpretation for those who often live and work obscurely as bridges between civilizations. ... I would propose a new prize, awarded to a foreign work published in the United States by an American translator. To the usual literary standards I would add another: the quality of the translation. ... All of this would fortify our intellectual culture, invigorate debate, and deepen understanding of parts of the world about which Americans are desperately curious. Reading headlines, hearing speeches or scanning policy tracts will never answer the fundamental questions about history, identity and culture that only literature can pose: Who are we? What is it like to be alive here and now? How are we different? How are we the same?

(9) Science News:
When Using Gestures, Rules Of Grammar Remain The Same When asked to describe the scenes in speech, the speakers used the word orders typical of their respective languages. English, Spanish, and Chinese speakers first produced the subject, followed by the verb, and then the object (woman twists knob). Turkish speakers first produced the subject, followed by the object, and then the verb (woman knob twists). But when asked to describe the same scenes using only their hands, all of the adults, no matter what language they spoke, produced the same order - subject, object, verb (woman knob twists).

(10) AP: Merriam-Webster unveils new dictionary words
Before your next party, go ahead and consult the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, which now includes edamame (immature green soybeans), pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats fish) and about 100 other newly added words that have taken root in the American lexicon.

(11) The Guardian: 2b or not 2b?
Despite doom-laden prophecies, texting has not been the disaster for language many feared, argues linguistics professor David Crystal. On the contrary, it improves children's writing and spelling

(12) European Research: Can animals comprehend the power of symbols?
...while capuchin monkeys may not achieve the same standard of adult humans with regard to symbolic competence, the study is able to demonstrate that animal species relatively distant from humans have undertaken the path of symbolic use and understanding.

(13) Indianapolis Business Journal: More firms adding diversity coordinators
Law practices, others see benefit to encouraging diverse workplace

(14) The Political New Online: Bilingual women have split personalities – US study
A study conducted in the United States has revealed that women who speak two languages, raised within two distinct cultures, can suffer personality fluctuations.

(15) MIT Technology Review: First Detailed Map of the Human Cortex
A new imaging technique reveals previously hidden brain structures, including the central hub.

(16) NYT: How are humans unique?
Human beings have evolved to coordinate complex activities, to gossip and to playact together. It is because they are adapted for such cultural activities — and not because of their cleverness as individuals — that human beings are able to do so many exceptionally complex and impressive things.

(17) Telegraph.co.uk: Amazon tribe has no words for different numbers ...members of the Piraha tribe in remote northwestern Brazil use language to express relative quantities such as "some" and "more," but not precise numbers.

(18) Scientific American: So You Think You Can Dance?: PET Scans Reveal Your Brain's Inner Choreography ... dance is the quintessential gesture language. It is interesting to note that during all the movement tasks in our study, we saw activation in a region of the right hemisphere corresponding to what is known as Broca’s area in the left hemisphere. Broca’s area is a part of the frontal lobe classically associated with speech production. In the past decade research has revealed that Broca’s area also contains a representation of the hands.
     This finding bolsters the so-called gestural theory of language evolution, whose proponents argue that language evolved initially as a gesture system before becoming vocal. Our study is among the first to show that leg movement activates the right-hemisphere homologue to Broca’s area, which offers more support for the idea that dance began as a form of representational communication.

(19) YouTube: Classic Abbott & Costello humor "Who's on First?" (1945)

(20) NYT: Lots of Animals Learn, but Smarter Isn’t Better ...Dr. Kawecki and his colleagues report that their fast-learning flies live on average 15 percent shorter lives than flies that had not experienced selection on the quinine-spiked jelly. Flies that have undergone selection for long life were up to 40 percent worse at learning than ordinary flies. ...
“We don’t know what the mechanism of this is,” Dr. Kawecki said. One clue comes from another experiment, in which he and his colleagues found that the very act of learning takes a toll.

(21) Canada.com, Canwest News Service: When it comes to baby talk, 'banana' beats 'pineapple'
Babies' brains are wired in advance to process the rudiments of language at birth and key in on repeated syllable words such as mama, dada and nana, according to University of B.C. scientist Judit Gervain...It is no accident that mamas and dadas everywhere take on monikers that are easy for junior to process.
Repeated patterns are a signal to the brain that something is important, what Gervain calls an "attentional spotlight." "It says 'look here, this is really easy for you to learn,'" she said. With rudimentary language structures already in place from birth, it is easy for a baby to attach meaning to the word mama - or to declare that he really likes bananas.

(22) Scientific American: Lise Menn: Figuring out why kids say the darndest things
Textbooks said that toddlers learning to speak would say the first consonant of a word and the vowel ("mih" for milk, "doh" for dog). "That is the majority pattern, but in fact lots of kids don't do that," she says. "Instead, if a word ends in a consonant, they'll change the first consonant to match it." Little Danny Menn was calling dogs "gogs." ... She saw that a given child would say the same word a number of different ways. She discovered that before a child would come up with regular patterns to simplify English words, he would go through a period where similar words would influence each other. ... What I'm really interested in is how our brains process language: What happens in the magic half second between when sound waves hit your ear and when you understand approximately what the person speaking intended you to understand?" It's an incredibly packed half second, as is the half second between when words stir in your mind and when something comes out of your mouth. Menn's research has helped her understand that, contrary to earlier theories, "children have to discover their language. They don't have a lot of inbuilt prior knowledge of language." Instead, what they have is an impressive ability to learn to find the patterns in what's going on around them—and because a lot of what's going on around them is people speaking, children by trial and error and a lot of effort learn to sound like the adults in their lives.

(23) guardian.co.uk: Peter K Austin's top 10 endangered languages The linguistics professor and author shares a personal selection from the thousands of languages on the brink of disappearing. His choices: 1. Jeru (Great Andamanese), 2. N|u (Khomani), 3. Ainu, 4. Thao, 5. Yuchi, 6. Oro Win, 7. Kusunda, 8. Ter Sami, 9. Guugu Yimidhirr, 10. Ket.

(24) Boise Weekly: Communicating Culture Helping international refugees become part of the community. With refugee families arriving year round, there are always new faces—and new languages—that need help assimilating into Boise's increasingly complex cultural tapestry. Though this can seem like an insurmountable task at times, the handful of dedicated community leaders and volunteers who work to educate incoming refugee families are completely committed to the cause.
.."Because of the smallness [of IOR], it gives us the ability to be a little more progressive and creative in providing services," said Steve Rainey, director of the IOR's English Language Center. "Frequently, Idaho is on the cutting edge of refugee services in the whole country."..."I was over [at their apartment] and somebody came by to sell them a cable plan. It was funny because they opened the door and they welcomed him in ... they thought that he was just a friend or neighbor," Corollo said..."Television is a really great way to learn English, except—and I've heard this about other refugees, too—they like the Spanish language channel," Burin said with a laugh. "I speculated it had something to do with the over-the-top soap operas. Someone else said that they think it's because it's the soccer channel. The other day, one of the refugees said to me as I was leaving, 'manana.'"

(25) Telegraph.co.uk: Italians vote for ugliest English words
From 'il weekend' to 'lo stress' and 'le leadership', Italians increasingly sprinkle their conversations with English terms, some of them comically mangled and bizarre sounding to a native English speaker.
'Baby parking', for example, is a strange conflation which means child care centre or nursery ... "I don't think it matters if we use English words," said Alessandra, 25, a secretary in a Rome travel agency. "It's part of globalisation. Often it's faster – like using 'il weekend' instead of 'fine settimana'." But her boss, Maria, disagreed. "People think it's chic to use English words but I don't like it at all. I want to speak either Italian or English, not an Esperanto mix of the two. It's important to keep language clean."

(26) Wasington Times: Cease-fire has 'translation problem'
Russia uses miscue to keep troop 'buffer zones' The main linguistic glitch was in a passage in the Russian version that spoke of security "for South Ossetia and Abkhazia," whereas the English version spoke of security "in" the two areas. ...The wording is significant because it refers to the "buffer zones" that Russia has created in undisputed Georgian territory and that Moscow says are necessary to prevent Georgian forces from threatening the two breakaway provinces.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday asserted that the cease-fire agreement presented by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili contained numerous "distortions." The version given to the Georgian leader "contains a whole range of distortions of the agreement reached by Presidents Medvedev and Sarkozy," including replacement of the preposition "for" with "in."

(27) euobserver.com: Multilingualism a 'damned nuisance' says Dutch academic Mr de Swaan said he believes that the complexity of European communication is leading to an impoverished political debate, and, curiously, it is the very usage of a multiplicity of languages that is leading to the dominance of English... "...all those languages may basically represent the same culture." "Multilingual people act as intercultural mediators and therefore are a precious asset to Europe," Leonard Orban, the Romanian commissioner for multilingualism said in his own proficient English.
'Languages are one of the most effective tools for achieving intercultural dialogue," he said, although his comments did seem to concede some of the Dutch academic's points: "Excessive assertion of identity can lead to intolerance and fanaticism. Accepting linguistic and cultural diversity is a powerful antidote to extremism."

(28) Telegraph.co.uk: Babies can communicate with adults before they learn to speak Babies can recognise when their parents are in need of help at the age of 12 months, a new study shows.

(29) Bloomberg.com: Male, Female Anatomy Also Differs in the Brain, Researchers Say In their study, the density of connections, or synapses, that transmit messages between neurons in a brain region called the temporal neocortex was greater in men than in women, said neuroscientists at the Cajal Institute, a neurobiology research center in Madrid. One scientist not involved in the report speculated that the smaller number of synapses in the women might actually make those neurons more effective.

(30) BBC News: The case for forensic linguistics Text message analysis is becoming a powerful tool in solving crime cases.

(31) Mail Online.uk Why sticks and stones DON'T hurt as much as words The analysis revealed that the pain caused by an unpleasant social event remained consistently more vivid in the mind than that from a physical injury.

(32) Science Daily: New Life For Middle English: Norwegian Detective Work Gives New Knowledge Of The English Language After several years of detective work, philologists at the University of Stavanger in Norway have collected a unique collection of texts online. Now they're about to start the most comprehensive analysis of middle English ever. Corpus files

(33) Scientific American: The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn Storytelling is a human universal, and common themes appear in tales throughout history and all over the the world. These characteristics of stories, and our natural affinity toward them, reveal clues about our evolutionary history and the roots of emotion and empathy in the mind. By studying narrative’s power to influence beliefs, researchers are discovering how we analyze information and accept new ideas.

(34) Politico: Palin's accent takes center stage Palin, who was born in Idaho and whisked away to Alaska in her infancy, somehow developed a voice well-suited for a character on “The Prairie Home Companion.”....“We really haven’t heard this kind of accent before,” said Republican strategist Alex Castellanos. “This is an original voice that doesn’t sound like Washington, doesn’t sound like an insider, doesn’t sound at all like what we have.
“I think it sounds outsider.” Palin, said Lippi-Green, makes people’s ears prick up. “‘Oh,’ they think, ‘she sounds like us, she sounds like me, she understands me.’” ...Linguists say that Palin’s voice is actually a mishmash of Western dialects, as opposed to being purely upper-Midwestern. (with video)

(35) Is Palin's accent all an act? Salon.com: Sarah Palin: The view from Alaska In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. ... Like many Alaskans, I resent Palin’s claims that she speaks for all of us, and cringe when she tosses off her stump speech line, “Well, up in Alaska, we….” Not only did I not vote for her, she represents the antithesis of the Alaska I love. As mayor, she helped shape Wasilla into the chaotic, poorly planned strip mall that it is; as governor, she’s promoted that same headlong drive toward development and despoilment on a grand scale, while paying lip service to her love of the place. ...What’s with the smug posturing, recently adopted fake Minnesota accent, and that gosh-darn-it hockey mom pitch? Maybe it plays well in Peoria (and presumably Duluth), but it’s all an act. “She’s definitely put on a new persona since she’s been a vice-presidential candidate,” says Kertulla, who has worked closely with Palin for the past 18 months. “I don’t even recognize her.”...What we see before us is the soul of an ambitious, ruthless, Parks Highway hillbilly — a woman who represents the Alaska you probably never want to meet, and the one we wish never existed. That said, we’re all too willing to take her back. The alternative is just too damn frightening.

(36) Mr. Verb (Blog): Alaskan English

(37) Taiwan News: Switch to Hanyu Pinyin will cost NT$216 million: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

(38) YouTube: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

(39) BBC Discovery: The Brain

(40) The Independent (UK): Nobel judge: There's nothing great about the American novel Horace Engdahl, ... permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, ... dismissed the writing of the US – the land of Melville, Hemingway and Fitzgerald – as "too isolated, too insular". "They don't translate [foreign books] enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," he said. "That ignorance is restraining."...American authors are often found in the best-sellers' lists in Europe. British authors occasionally do well in the US, but foreign authors in translation almost never appear.

(41) china.org.cn: Database of Chinese dialects to be established With the increased mobility of the population, the increasing popularity of television, and developments in education, dialects have an increasing struggle to maintain their "original ecology."
Authentic native dialects will be spoken by fewer young people, and their residue will inevitably be altered as time passes, experts said. ... Men - superior to women in dialect acquisition? "This is mainly due to married women customarily moving to the place of residence of their husbands, and this transfer of location will tend to alter a woman's original dialect.

(42) NYT: He Counts Your Words (Even Those Pronouns) James W. Pennebaker’s interest in word counting began more than 20 years ago, ... He wondered how much could be learned by looking at every single word people used — even the tiny ones, the I’s and you’s, a’s and the’s.

(43) NYT: Its Native Tongue Facing Extinction, Arapaho Tribe Teaches the Young ...only about 200 Arapaho speakers are still alive, and tribal leaders at Wind River, Wyoming’s only Indian reservation, fear their language will not survive. As part of an intensifying effort to save that language, this tribe of 8,791, known as the Northern Arapaho, recently opened a new school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Elders and educators say they hope it will create a new generation of native speakers.

(44) The New Yorker: Verbage: The Republican war on words Are Republicans "anti-word"?

(45) BBC: Lost in Welsh translation

(46) CNN: Man Has Had Hiccups for a Year

(47) BBC: 'Secret' Obama code name revealed

(48) BBC: Bird song sheds light on learning

(49) BBC: Songbirds 'sing from hymn sheet' Swiss researchers have identified a region of the Zebra Finch brain which they believe has an internal recording of how the birds ought to be singing. A separate region seems to enable the birds to identify mistakes in their songs, they wrote in Nature journal. (This sounds like an avian version of "echoes" we use in language learning)

(50) Reuters: Nazi-tainted terms cause trouble for Germans These are all basically neutral German words but have been seen as defamatory since the end of World War Two," said Georg Stoetzel, a German language professor at Duesseldorf University who has published a 786-page dictionary of such terms. "It's schizophrenic, but I can guarantee at least once a week someone in Germany will say something, consciously or unconsciously, that gets them into hot water. Even a mathematician who uses 'Endloesung' (final solution) for a math equation is seen as tactless."

(51) KGMB9.com: Niihau Education Program Receives Grant As the last bastion of native speakers of Hawaiian in the world, the Ni'ihau community is vitally important to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language.

(52) Video: ABC News with Diane Sawyer: Foreign Accent Syndrome Clear examples from people who have it.

(53) New Scientist: Voice recognition software reads your brain waves The team found that each speaker and each sound created a distinctive "neural fingerprint" in a listener's auditory cortex, the brain region that deals with hearing. This fingerprint was used to create rules that could decode future activity and determine both who is being listened to, and what they are saying.

(54) NYT: Translation Is Foreign to U.S. Publishers ...at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the annual gathering of the international literary world... By and large, the American publishers spend most of the week in Hall 8, the enormous exhibit space where English-language publishers hold court. 330 works of foreign literature - or a little more than 2 percent of the estimated total of 15,000 titles released - have been published in the United States so far this year..."American publishers are depriving the American readership of the cultural diversity through translation to which they are entitled," Ms. Noble said. "It is what I call the poverty of the rich.".

(55) Guardian.co.uk:
The power of speech When Daniel Everett first went to live with the Amazonian Pirahã tribe in the late 70s, his intention was to convert them to Christianity. Instead, he learned to speak their unique language - and ended up rejecting his faith, losing his family and picking a fight with Noam Chomsky. Audio files: Piraha singing; Everett reading trom the Bible in Pirahã.

(56) OUP Blog: Oxford Word of the Year 2008: Hypermiling Do you keep the tires on your car properly inflated to maximize your gas mileage? Have you removed the roof rack from your vehicle to streamline the car and reduce drag? Do you turn your engine off rather than idle at long stoplights? If you said yes to any of these questions you just might be a “hypermiler.”

(57) theage.com.au: Aboriginal language at risk in NT: watchdog Tom Calma, the nation's race discrimination commissioner, said yesterday that the decision to mandate four hours of English in a five-hour school day would destroy bilingual teaching programs and prevent written culture being passed on to future generations...But Ms Scrymgour, the country's highest-ranking Aboriginal politician, said the territory's nine bilingual schools had the worst results for schools in the NT. She was "sick and tired of the poor results", adding that "kids are entitled to learn English".

(58) Times Colonist: Native fought to save dying language Jessie Hamilton the last band member able to write Nuu-chah-nulth dialect

(59) New York Times: All That Noise Is Damaging Children’s Hearing

New York Times: When the Whole World Mumbles When she started wearing hearing aids, journalism instructor Grace Lim discovered the toll her hearing loss had taken on family and friends.

(61) The California Report Magazine: Disappearing Languages The late UCLA professor Peter Ladefoged was the Indiana Jones of spoken language. For almost 50 years, the phonetics researcher traveled the world with recording equipment, on the hunt for obscure and disappearing languages. This month, his colleagues at UCLA completed a four-year project to create a digital public archive of his field recordings. (audio report)

(62) The Guardian: What are the best and worst movie accents? Demi Moore's strangulated vowels in Flawless provide the latest example in a grand tradition of crimes against accents in the cinema.

(63) Financial Times ft.com/brusselsblog: Cheeseburgery hamburgers and the problem of computerised translations

(64) The New Yorker: Spreading the Word: The new Scrabble mania (large file: scanned pdf)

(65) UPenn Language Talk: Uptalk vs. UNBI again

(66) Zotero: The next-generation research tool Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work - in the web browser itself.

(67) BBC: Audio slideshow: Inspired by Yiddish Yiddish - a language once spoken by more than 10 million Jews - had a profound effect on American culture in the first half of the 20th Century. It originated in central and eastern Europe - and spread to the United States when thousand of immigrants arrived in New York. Zalmen Mlotek is the Artistic Director of the city's last surviving professional Yiddish theatre - the Folksbiene.

(68) CNN Health.com: Health Minute: Robbed by rare virus, boy gets his voice back The blond, freckle-faced boy was unable to speak in a normal voice until about a year ago. Joey suffers from a rare virus that can get into the cells of the voice box. With video.

(69) NYT: Dorothy Sarnoff, a Pioneer of the Self-Help Movement, Dies at 94 “A woman has to be lovable at ‘first listen’ as well as attractive at ‘first glance,’ ” she told The Times in 1966. Right off the bat, her students had to say, “Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,” a sentence carefully chosen to expose the worst elements of New York speech.

(70) NYT: Theater: The Man Who Knows Which R's to Roll With talk of diphthongs and tongue positions, a dialogue session with Stephen Gabis comes across like speech therapy. That's because Mr. Gabis is a go-to dialect coach whose craft can be heard on Broadway and beyond. His fluency with accents helps make the rounded vowels of "The Seafarer" or the dropped r's of "To Kill a Mockingbird" sound authentic enough to sometimes fool even native speakers of the represented regions.

(71) David Seah: The Air Prayer Hack Mindful Breathing

(72) NYT: One in a Million New Yorkers tell their life stories in their own accents

(73) NYT: Personal Health Best Treatment for TMJ May Be Nothing Up to three-fourths of Americans have one or more signs of a temporomandibular problem, most of which come and go and finally disappear on their own. Specialists from Boston estimate that only 5 percent to 10 percent of people with symptoms need treatment.

(74) The New Yorker: That Buzzing Sound The mystery of tinnitus Tinnitus—the false perception of sound in the absence of an acoustic stimulus, a phantom noise—is one of the most common clinical syndromes in the United States.

(75) TimesOnline: By 'eck, our funny accents are the envy of the world Today I think I speak what most people would call BBC, or received, English. But no. The other day, a linguistics expert, not knowing anything about my early life, listened to me for a while and said "Doncaster". Not Barnsley, you'll note, or Sheffield. He was very specific and absolutely right. Apparently, it's the way I say "one". (This piece contains many inaccuracies.)

(76) JSOnline: Airport draws smiles with 'recombobulation area'

(77) DrumRudiments.com: The specialized vocabulary of drum playing Lots of interesting onomatopoeia

(78) NPR Books: The Art Of Translation In order for us to read the best of what the rest of the world writes - and in order for the rest of the world to experience our best literature - skilled writers must work in the art of translation.
But it's not as straightforward as you might think. A good translation needs to be true to the original and able to stand on its own for a new audience.

(79) NYT: Writing the Web's Future in Numerous Languages ...using Kannada on the Web involves computer keyboard maps that even Mr. Ram Prakash finds challenging to learn. So in 2006 he developed Quillpad, an online service for typing in 10 South Asian languages. Users spell out words of local languages phonetically in Roman letters, and Quillpad*s predictive engine converts them into local-language script.


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Thanks to Inttranews, Anu Garg's A Word a Day AWADmail, the LINGUIST list, and the Vastavox list for many of the above external media links.