Ekaterina Lyutikova on the Architecture of Grammar

Nov 19, 2015 by

[Note to Readers: the following is my translation from Russian of Ekaterina Lyutikova’s video lecture posted on PostNauka.ru, posted here with her permission. Some Russian examples have been replaced by corresponding English...

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What Is Linguistic Complexity and How to Measure It?

Nov 19, 2015 by

[Note to Readers: the following is my translation from Russian of Alexander Piperski’s lecture posted on PostNauka.ru, posted here with his permission.]   We all have some ideas about what languages ​​are simpler and,...

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On God, Politeness, and the T-V Distinction

Sep 22, 2015 by

This is another post inspired by a question from (and discussion with) David Benkof, who asks about the following “intriguing conundrum for the High Holidays”, when (religious) Jews are thinking “about what our relationship with God...

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What Is a Synthetic Language?

Sep 21, 2015 by

The following is a question I have recently been asked by my former student and Facebook friend, David Benkof: “what’s a synthetic language? How synthetic is Hebrew? Esperanto? Latvian?”   As noted in my earlier post, the term...

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On “Passive Aggressive” and Other Wrong-Headed Advice of Strunk &...

Sep 9, 2015 by

This post is prompted by a recent Facebook discussion about the “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice” article, published by Geoffrey K. Pullum in The Chronicle of Higher Education in April 2009. Although I typically comment on more...

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Are We “At the Origin of Language Structure”?—Another Blooper-Riddled ...

Aug 31, 2015 by

[Thanks to George Walkden for drawing my attention to the article discussed below and for a helpful discussion of some of its shortcomings.]   A recent article in Science Daily describes the research conducted by “a team from...

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