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  • February 12, 2015
  • 05:16 AM
  • 1,034 views

How the brain got language: The mirror system hypothesis

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Language is a unique feature of human beings. In addition to having the ability to use language, humans can conjecture about language consciously and even create realistic constructed languages from scratch. In How the brain got language, Michael A. Arbib, whose work has been influential in shaping the field of computational neuroscience, addresses the title […]... Read more »

Farid Pazhoohi. (2014) How the brain got language: The mirror system hypothesis (review). The Canadian Journal of Linguistics / La revue canadienne de linguistique , 59(3). info:/

  • February 3, 2015
  • 11:03 PM
  • 1,168 views

What’s in a name?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Would Kirk Douglas be a Hollywood legend if he had kept his birth name Issur Danielovitch? Would Bob Dylan have achieved global fame if he had kept his birth name Robert Zimmerman? Would the current Australian treasurer Joe Hockey have … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 06:52 PM
  • 1,220 views

Lost in bilingual parenting

by Shiva Motaghi Tabari in Language on the Move

It is not unusual for bilingual parents to experience a sense of bewilderment when it comes to language choice in the family. When raising a child in a language different from the one parents were socialised into, old truths and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 2, 2014
  • 08:37 AM
  • 674 views

Languages adapt to their contextual niche (Winters, Kirby & Smith, 2014)

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Last week saw the publication of my latest paper, with co-authors Simon Kirby and Kenny Smith, looking at how languages adapt to their contextual niche (link to the OA version and here’s the original). Here’s the abstract: It is well established that context plays a fundamental role in how we learn and use language. Here […]... Read more »

  • November 25, 2014
  • 02:00 AM
  • 675 views

Adventures in correcting the (semi-)scientific record

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

One of the blogs I follow is Retraction Watch, which documents the world of quality control in scientific research – pre-publication peer review (and its abuses); post-publication peer review in fora such as research blogs; retractions and corrections by journals; and plagiarism and fraud. The large majority of cases they report on are drawn from […]... Read more »

  • November 16, 2014
  • 03:43 AM
  • 982 views

Bilingual students at the crossroads

by Livia Gerber in Language on the Move

Secondary education as a monolingual fork in the road Let me bust a prevalent urban myth: You do not need to be bi- or multilingual to become a linguist. There, busted. In fact, being bilingual initially brought me to a … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 06:18 AM
  • 956 views

Crossing borders or carrying borders?

by Li Jia in Language on the Move

Over the past few decades, an increasing number of Burmese international students have enrolled in high schools in Yunnan, a province in the Southwest of China bordering Myanmar. More and more Burmese students are crossing the border in order to … Continue reading →... Read more »

Tara J Yosso; William A Smith; Miguel Ceja; Daniel G Solórzano. (2009) Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates. Harvard Educational Review, 79(4). info:/

  • October 12, 2014
  • 06:37 PM
  • 766 views

Language users or learners? Lexical evidence from spoken ELF

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

One of the key distinctions made in research on English as a lingua franca (ELF) is the difference between language users and learners. ELF data is typically approached from the viewpoint of second language use instead of second language acquisition. Rather than seeing non-native English speakers as perennially deficient pursuers of “native-like” proficiency, ELF researchers […]... Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 12:07 AM
  • 1,005 views

Gaining a Green Thumb for Grassroots Language Activism

by Alexandra Grey in Language on the Move

I was surprised, frankly, during my recent fieldwork to find Zhuang language being used in a QQ chatroom in China. Surprised because Zhuang text is absent from the linguistic landscape. Surprised because many of my interview participants reported they had … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cru, Josep. (2014) Language Revitalisation from the Ground Up: Promoting Yucatec Maya on Facebook. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-13. info:/10.1080/01434632.2014.921184

  • October 6, 2014
  • 12:45 AM
  • 1,453 views

Models and metaphors we live by

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors we live by is a classic, that has had a huge influence on parts of linguistics and cognitive science, and some influence — although less so, in my opinion — on philosophy. It is structured around the thought that “[m]etaphor is one of our most important tools for trying […]... Read more »

Narayanan, S. (1997) Embodiment in language understanding: Sensory-motor representations for metaphoric reasoning about event descriptions. PhD Thesis (University of California, Berkeley). info:/

  • September 22, 2014
  • 06:11 AM
  • 1,254 views

Language work in the internet café

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

There is now a well-established body of work exploring the language work provided by service workers in call centres and tourist businesses. By contrast, the multilingual language work provided by migrants for migrants in multiethnic service enterprises has rarely been … Continue reading →... Read more »

Maria Sabaté i Dalmau. (2014) Migrant Communication Enterprises: Regimentation and Resistance. Multilingual Matters. info:/

  • September 15, 2014
  • 05:01 PM
  • 1,210 views

Humanized FoxP2 and the timing of habits

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

Last week, Elizabeth Pennisi asked me to comment on the recent paper from Schreiweis et al. entitled “Humanized FoxP2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance”. Since I don’t know how much, if anything, of my answers […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

Schreiweis, C., Bornschein, U., Burguiere, E., Kerimoglu, C., Schreiter, S., Dannemann, M., Goyal, S., Rea, E., French, C., Puliyadi, R.... (2014) Humanized Foxp2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414542111  

  • August 26, 2014
  • 08:51 PM
  • 924 views

Needles in a haystack: questioning the “fluidity” of ELF

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

As I’ve earlier argued on this blog, sometimes the claims of “fluidity”, “diversity”, and “innovation” found in English as a lingua franca (ELF) research are overstated. It’s so diverse that even ordinary diversity won’t do – it’s “super-diversity” now. It could very well be ultra-mega-diversity-squared, but the question of the prominence of these presumably innovative […]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2014
  • 08:24 PM
  • 1,425 views

Sink-or-swim for international students

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is one of the basic findings of decades of research in bilingual education that language submersion is not a productive way to educate minority students. ‘Language submersion’ refers to a situation where students are made to study exclusively through … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 09:23 PM
  • 1,458 views

How the presence of a bilingual school changes the linguistic profile of a community

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

It is one of the great narratives of our time that the market will fix everything. In education this means that parental choice is assumed to improve education. Rather than the state supplying high-quality education, the neoliberal credo is that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clyne, Michael. (2005) Australia's Language Potential . Sydney, UNSW Press. . info:/

  • July 9, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,070 views

Chimp Talk

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Learn how to speak chimp with the newly translated language of chimpanzee gestures in non-play context. [Infographic]... Read more »

Hobaiter C, & Byrne RW. (2014) The Meanings of Chimpanzee Gestures. Current biology : CB. PMID: 24998524  

  • June 30, 2014
  • 07:53 PM
  • 2,971 views

Publishing in English as an academic lingua franca

by Ray Carey in ELFA project

Few researchers would disagree that publishing in English is a necessity. The pressure to publish in high-ranking journals means publishing in English-language journals, and academics using English as a second or foreign language often find an uneven linguistic playing field. This has received a good deal of attention in the field of English for Academic […]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2014
  • 10:26 AM
  • 1,094 views

Why use fruit flies to study a gene involved in language?

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

This is the story behind our work on the function of the FoxP gene in the fruit fly Drosophila (more background info). As so many good things, it started with beer. Troy Zars and I were having a beer on […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

Mendoza, E., Colomb, J., Rybak, J., Pflüger, H., Zars, T., Scharff, C., & Brembs, B. (2014) Drosophila FoxP Mutants Are Deficient in Operant Self-Learning. PLoS ONE, 9(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100648  

  • June 24, 2014
  • 11:03 AM
  • 712 views

Syntax came before phonology?

by Hannah Little in A Replicated Typo 2.0

A new paper has just appeared in the proceedings of the royal society B entitled, “Language evolution: syntax before phonology?” by Collier et al. The abstract is here: Phonology and syntax represent two layers of sound combination central to language’s expressive power. Comparative animal studies represent one approach to understand the origins of these combinatorial layers. […]... Read more »

Collier, K., Bickel, B., van Schaik, C., Manser, M., & Townsend, S. (2014) Language evolution: syntax before phonology?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1788), 20140263-20140263. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0263  

  • June 24, 2014
  • 10:04 AM
  • 1,228 views

No need to only send your best work to Science Magazine

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

The data clearly show that publications in Cell, Nature or Science (CNS for short), on average, cannot be distinguished from other publications, be it by methodology, reproducibility or other measures of quality. Even their citation advantage, while statistically significant, is […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

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