Category Archives: admittedly not on prosody

more on frowns

A while ago, I posted on two competing meanings of  ‘frown’ here. Just recently, Lynne Murphy  at separated by a common language followed up on this with this post, which generated some interesting responses. Most spectacularly, it prompted the following confirmation that British vs. American English distinction indeed has something to do with it (even though I […]
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Just came across ‘neuroblaste’, Radio Canada’s pretty awsome animated series about good old neuroscience in Montréal… you know, the MKULTRA-type of research, that you may have encountered in your ethics training on experiments with human subjects (the show is in French): If you’re in Canada, you can watch all episodes here.
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crowdsourcing academic integrity

Next time you’re walking out of a German supermarket with 302 items hidden in your coat that you didn’t pay for and you are faced with some uncomfortable questions by a security guard try the following: say that the suspicion of theft is absurd. Then, after your loot has been tallied by the security guard, […]
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benchmarking academia

Malcolm Gladwell has an interesting article about college education rankings in the current New Yorker. The problem with college rankings, he argues, is that they try to accomplish too much at the same time: rank very different institutions along multiple dimensions. The effect is that decisions about the weighting of the different factors lead to […]
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Three weeks ago me and a good friend were standing in front a piece of art by Jon Pylypchuck at the museum of contemporary art in Montréal. The exhibition is still on until January 4th, and I recommend checking it out. So looking at one of the faces, my friend asked the following question, which […]
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cab drivers and non-native phonological contrasts

It’s hard not to think of the acquisition of non-native phonological contrasts when reading about the research on London cab-drivers described here (well, if you’re a linguist, that is). I found the blog post via a discussion of the study here. Essentially, London cab-drivers are better at learning new routes than a control group when […]
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article on language and thought in nyt

Here’s an article by Guy Deutscher on language and how it influences thinking. Mercifully, Deutscher discusses this fascinating topic without trying to further inflate its public appeal by vague claims on how it all devalidates generative linguistics and most of all Chomsky (it sure sounds cool to argue against a big name, and why not […]
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B E Z, mind it not

In case anyone is still worried that texting abbreviations are a sign that the English language is deteriorating they should have a look at the article in the Guardian a few days ago about an upcoming exhibition on language at the British Library in London, which provides evidence that these abbreviations are actually a time-honored […]
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radiolab on language

Radiolab‘s interesting current podcast is about language. Radiolab is a great radio show about science, and it differs from your typical media outlet on science in that its topics are often drawn from cognitive science. I can think of a bunch of questions relating to the strong claims made in the show about how relevant […]
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endangered languages in urban settings

The NYT features an article on an interesting project on endangered languages spoken in NYC.
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