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  • July 18, 2013
  • 05:51 PM

And so on, or something like that: vague expressions in academic ELF

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

An important part of academic argumentation is not what you say, but how you say it. It’s one thing to make a bold claim, and another to “soften” it by adding expressions like or something like that, more or less, or in a way. These recurring chunks aren’t merely filler – they convey important interactive […]... Read more »

  • July 9, 2013
  • 04:26 PM

Language regulation in academic ELF interaction

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

When English is used as a lingua franca (ELF) between second-language speakers, there is still the question of what is normative – what is acceptable English in a lingua franca setting, and in a group of speakers with diverse backgrounds, which linguistic norms can be said to shape the interaction? These are questions that go […]... Read more »

Hynninen, Niina. (2013) Language Regulation in English as a Lingua Franca: Exploring language-regulatory practices in academic spoken discourse. Doctoral dissertation, University of Helsinki. info:other/

  • July 8, 2013
  • 05:57 AM

A New Slant on Frontal Connectivity: the Frontal Aslant Tract

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The frontal aslant tract is shown in yellow (Fig 5, Catani et al., 2012). It's not every day that you hear about a newly described white matter pathway in the human brain. An interesting new study by a group of researchers in London and Chicago found a novel fiber tract implicated in verbal fluency impairments in patients with a lesser known neurodegenerative illness (Catani et al., 2013). This short fiber tract connects two different regions in the frontal lobe. It was recently identified usin........ Read more »

Catani M, Dell'acqua F, Vergani F, Malik F, Hodge H, Roy P, Valabregue R, & Thiebaut de Schotten M. (2012) Short frontal lobe connections of the human brain. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 48(2), 273-91. PMID: 22209688  

Catani M, Mesulam MM, Jakobsen E, Malik F, Matersteck A, Wieneke C, Thompson CK, Thiebaut de Schotten M, Dell'acqua F, Weintraub S.... (2013) A novel frontal pathway underlies verbal fluency in primary progressive aphasia. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 23820597  

Gorno-Tempini ML, Hillis AE, Weintraub S, Kertesz A, Mendez M, Cappa SF, Ogar JM, Rohrer JD, Black S, Boeve BF.... (2011) Classification of primary progressive aphasia and its variants. Neurology, 76(11), 1006-14. PMID: 21325651  

Thiebaut de Schotten M, Dell'Acqua F, Valabregue R, & Catani M. (2012) Monkey to human comparative anatomy of the frontal lobe association tracts. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 48(1), 82-96. PMID: 22088488  

  • June 30, 2013
  • 05:50 PM

In defense of good data: the question of third-person singular –s

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

In the early days of ELF research, it was sometimes claimed that English used as a lingua franca (ELF) between its second language speakers might be a separate and unique variety of English. No one seems to want to defend this claim any longer, and more emphasis is placed on the inherent complexity and fluidity […]... Read more »

Cogo, A., & Dewey, M. (2006) Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Motives to Lexico-grammatical Innovation. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 5(2), 59-93. info:/

  • June 21, 2013
  • 10:00 AM

Models are experiments

by Dan Mirman in Minding the Brain

I spent last week at a two-part meeting on language in developmental and acquired disorders, hosted by the Royal Society. The organizers (Dorothy Bishop, Kate Nation, and Karalyn Patterson) devised a meeting structure that stimulated – and made room for – a lot of discussion and one of the major discussion topics throughout the meeting was computational modeling. A major highlight for me was David Plaut’s aphorism “Models are experiments”. The idea is that models are sometimes taken to........ Read more »

  • June 20, 2013
  • 01:28 PM

Erasing diversity

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

On a parapet in Hagia Sophia’s gallery there is an obscure little graffiti written in Viking runes and dating back to the 9th century. All that is legible today is ‘alftan,’ which refers to the Norse name ‘Halfdan’ and it … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jan Blommaert, & Ben Rampton. (2011) Language and superdiversity. Diversities, 13(2). info:/

Goodenough, W. (1976) MULTICULTURALISM AS THE NORMAL HUMAN EXPERIENCE. Council on Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 7(4), 4-7. DOI: 10.1525/aeq.1976.7.4.05x1652n  

  • June 19, 2013
  • 11:03 PM

Wanna learn a second language? Ditch that familiar face.

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Have you ever felt like you behave differently depending on your cultural surroundings? As an immigrant, I know I start mimicking others’ accents and body language once I’m out of my heritage culture. This type of environment-induced chameleon-like morphing is called – quite aptly – “frame switching” in psychology. Scientists don’t really know if it […]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2013
  • 04:05 AM

The diversity of the Other

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Diversity is today widely seen as a social good and is actively promoted in ‘diversity policies’ such as those of Australia, the EU or the UK. Additionally, many institutions have their own policies devoted to managing diversity. These usually extol … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 12, 2013
  • 11:21 PM

Brain imag(in)ing the make believe

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

I seldom get worked up over the fate of fictional characters. That said, I joined millions in horror as the infamous Red Wedding (or “Rains of Castarmere”) finally unfolded on screen in last week’s Game of Thrones. Having read the books, I’ve waited for the *spoilers/youknowwhat* with a mixture of dread and anticipation. When it […]... Read more »

  • June 6, 2013
  • 08:16 AM

Did genes shape my mother tongue?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Intuitively, one is inclined to answer with a resounding ‘no’. Of course not, had I been adopted by Thai parents, I would speak Thai. But I was not. My parents and my mother tongue are German. Still, there is a growing opinion that genes do nonetheless play a role. Before looking at this opinion, it […]... Read more »

  • May 31, 2013
  • 05:48 PM

Research blogging as an academic genre

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

Research blogging has become an object of research in its own right, and one area of interest for linguists is research blogging as an academic genre and means for communicating scientific knowledge. ELFA project director Anna Mauranen recently published an article on this linguistic aspect of research blogging in the Nordic Journal of English Studies. […]... Read more »

Mauranen, A. (2013) Hybridism, edutainment, and doubt: Science blogging finding its feet. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 12(1), 7-36. info:/

  • May 27, 2013
  • 11:04 AM

Educational outcomes of migrant children

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A recent study of the educational pathways of the children of Brazilian migrants in Japan offers a most welcome addition to the literature on the educational outcomes of migrant children, which has to date focussed mostly on migrant children in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 21, 2013
  • 05:24 PM

Banal nationalism and the internationalization of higher education

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The other day I was stuck in traffic in Ajman, one of the smaller of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one that has to do without Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s global glitz. Imagine … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 14, 2013
  • 05:32 AM

Internationalization of Higher Education, 1933

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

While the internationalization of higher education is a hot topic at the moment and is widely seen as unique to the present, internationalization of higher education is not new. The politics of internationalization at Istanbul University in the early years … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 12, 2013
  • 07:18 AM

Fluent chunks 2: How to label your chunks

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

Most people recognise that we don’t speak in “sentences”. Still, speech is analysed and described using the concepts of sentence grammars, even when these writing-based systems must be bent and stretched, or vice versa – isn’t it cheating to “clean up” naturally occurring speech so it fits into a sentence grammar? In a previous post […]... Read more »

Mauranen, Anna. (2012) Linear Unit Grammar. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0707  

  • May 8, 2013
  • 04:15 PM

Internationalization and Englishization in Higher Education

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The Intercultural Communication Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics is hosting a seminar at Newcastle University next week devoted to “Intercultural Communication in Higher Education – principles and practices.” Given that internationalization of higher education is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Piller, I., & Cho, J. (2013) Neoliberalism as language policy. Language in Society, 42(01), 23-44. DOI: 10.1017/S0047404512000887  

  • May 5, 2013
  • 07:43 AM

Creativity and color in academic ELF

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

I was recently addressing some common folk linguistic myths about English, especially the English used as a lingua franca (ELF) between its non-native speakers. One of these myths concerns “color”, or more often than not, “colour”, since it seems the British “owners” of English are the ones most preoccupied with this trait. More specifically, you [...]... Read more »

  • May 2, 2013
  • 04:29 PM

Gender, language and economic power: another spurious correlation

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

A recent paper finds a correlation between speaking a language with grammatical gender distinctions and the economic empowerment of women. Is this another case of a spurious correlation caused by historical accident?... Read more »

Victor Gay, Estefania Santacreu-Vasut and Amir Shoham. (2013) The Grammatical Origins of Gender Roles. Berkeley Economic History Laboratory (BEHL) Working Papers. info:/

  • April 24, 2013
  • 01:39 PM

Are some languages easier than others?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

‘Long time no see’ is something I heard repeatedly in Britain even though it totally violates all the English grammar I learned at school. Clearly, Brits should correct this expression originating from Chinese Pidgin English rather than adopt it. The reason it entered common usage anyway is at the heart of why you might find [...]... Read more »

Bentz C, & Winter B. (2013) Languages with more second language learners tend to lose case. Language Dynamics and Change. info:/

  • April 20, 2013
  • 01:53 PM

Interaction and lecturing in ELF: a final look

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

We’re coming to the end of this multi-post overview of Jaana Suviniity’s PhD thesis on the role of interactive features in lectures delivered in English as a lingua franca (ELF) – when English is not a first language for the speaker or listeners. When students rated these lectures on a scale of “challenging” to “accessible”, it became apparent that a major difference between the more or less accessible lectures was the quantity of interactive features. A........ Read more »

Mauranen, Anna. (2012) Exploring ELF: Academic English Shaped by Non-native Speakers. Cambridge Applied Linguistics series. info:/

Suviniitty, Jaana. (2012) Lectures in English as a Lingua Franca: Interactional Features. Doctoral dissertation, University of Helsinki. info:other/

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