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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Porcelain Atlas of the Dutch Provinces at the Het Loo Palace, the Neth...

Jul 13, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in October 2012] As my readers know, I always keep an eye open for innovative, useful, and elegant maps. Naturally, I was mesmerized on my recent trip [in September 2012] to the Netherlands to see...

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Is Fish “Who” or “What”?

Jun 22, 2015 by

I was asked today whether ryba ‘fish’ in Russian is a “who” or a “what”. Fascinating question, as it turns out! “Who or what?” is a question of animacy, a feature that is both semantic and grammatical (morphological) in Russian. From...

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Some Observations on Morphophonological Adaptation of English-derived ...

Jun 22, 2015 by

As discussed in an earlier post, loanwords (i.e. words borrowed from another language) often bear their foreign origins on their sleeve, so to speak. However, it is not true that loanwords always retain their pristine phonological...

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