Paleolithic Continuity Theory: Assumptions and Problems

Apr 2, 2015 by

As I have discussed in my earlier posts, the Steppe (Kurgan) and Anatolian hypotheses of Indo-European homeland remain the strongest contenders (the Balkano-Carpathian theory is another stronger candidate, to which I am hoping to...

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Disentangling “The Tangled Roots of English”

Feb 28, 2015 by

[I am deeply grateful to Martin W. Lewis for the inspiring discussions of, and extensive collaboration on, the issues examined here.] Several articles, written by historical linguists, geneticists and archeologists, have been...

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More on “language as a vehicle for happiness”

Feb 17, 2015 by

A recent issue of PNAS Online contains an article by Peter Sheridan Dodds, Eric M. Clark and colleagues titled “Human language reveals a universal positivity bias”, which I have been asked to comment on. As I have already written on...

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Language Endangerment: Ideology or Fact?

Feb 13, 2015 by

I have been asked by a former student to comment on the article by Katie Wudel “Languages Are Going Extinct Even Faster Than Species”, published in the Good magazine online. Contrary to the name of the magazine, the article is...

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Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates

Dec 12, 2014 by

A former student of mine drew my attention to a recent article in Slate written by Alyssa Pelish and titled “The Stimulating History of Coffee: Why You Hear This Word Around the World” (the image on the left is reproduced from the...

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“The Game” Is On—And They Get Russian (Mostly) Right!

Dec 1, 2014 by

Long-time readers of my blog know that I tend to kvetch about the ways that Russian is represented in books and films. But I have finally found a show that I not only like, but can also praise for their remarkably well-done Russian...

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