Do Languages of Primitive Peoples Have Small Vocabularies?—And Some Th...

Jul 28, 2015 by

In my previous post, I have argued that languages of the so-called “primitive” peoples are not necessarily as simple as many lay people conceive them to be. While yesterday’s post focused on grammars of such languages, illustrating...

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Are Languages of “Primitive Peoples” Primitive?

Jul 28, 2015 by

A recent discussion of Toki Pona, a conlang dubbed “the world’s smallest language” by Roc Morin on Business Insider Australia website, prompted me to write again on the issue of the so-called “primitive languages” (for my earlier...

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A Free MOOC on Language Revival

Jul 23, 2015 by

Dear Readers, I don’t typically advertize courses by my colleagues, but this MOOC on Language Revival looks particularly interesting. Led by Ghil’ad Zuckermann and Rob Amery, the course explores “how the world’s...

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If You Are Not a Linguist… Learn Some Linguistics First!

Jul 21, 2015 by

On March 1, 2015, blogger Joe McVeigh, a self-described “linguistics major who mainly writes about language and linguistics on [his] blog”, wrote a post titled “If you’re not a linguist, don’t do linguistic research”, criticizing an...

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The New Kurdish Language Project at Manchester

Jul 19, 2015 by

Readers who followed my joint work with Martin Lewis on the Indo-European controversy (which culminated in a book recently published by Cambridge University Press) might recognize the weirdly-shaped map on the left (reproduced from...

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Urum, a Turkic Language of Pontic Greeks, Its Contact with Russian—And...

Jul 17, 2015 by

Some enthnolinguistic maps of the Caucasus region, such as the one reproduced from GeoCurrents, show “Greek” as one of the groups in south-central Georgia and bordering areas of northern Armenia. In actuality, these are Pontic...

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Dante Alighieri and the Italian Language

Jul 15, 2015 by

My recent trip to Italy has taken me to several places associated with the country’s leading cultural hero—Dante Alighieri. I have visited Florence, where he was born and spent his early years, and Verona, where he stayed for some...

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