Is It Spanish Pronunciation “As It Is Meant To Be”?

Sep 4, 2015 by

[Thanks to David Benkof for bringing this issue to my attention and for the great discussion that ensued.]   A recent New York Times article titled “Arizona News Anchor Is Drawn Into Debate on Her Accent and the Use of Spanish”...

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Is “Huh?” a Universal Word?—And Why Is It Important?

Sep 2, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in November 2013] Last week I was contacted by the producers of the AirTalk radio based in Los Angeles and asked to discuss the article on the universality of “Huh?” recently published by Mark...

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What Did Proto-Indo-European Sound Like?—And How Can We Know?

Apr 26, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in October 2013] Archaeology magazine recently published an article entitled “Telling Tales in Proto-Indo-European”, which included a recording of a short text in Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the...

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Sounds and Sound Systems Around the World: An Brief Overview

Apr 7, 2015 by

Human languages use great many different speech sounds, but no single language uses them all. To hear various speech sounds and to see International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols that represent them, visit here. Each language...

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Palatalization in Old Church Slavonic

Jan 30, 2015 by

[For a discussion of the image, see the post in the LanguageHat blog.] In our examination of the Old Church Slavonic (OCS) declension system, we have noticed some peculiar consonant alternations, for example: člověkъ ‘man’...

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The Story of Jers

Jan 11, 2015 by

Let’s start with a puzzle that concerns not OCS directly but modern Russian. Consider the following nominative and genitive forms of nouns; in addition to the suffix –a for the genitive, something else happens here: kov’or...

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