Linguistic diversity and time

May 10, 2011 by

The world’s 7,000 or so languages are not distributed evenly over the the world’s landmass. Hotspots of linguistic diversity include such areas as Western Africa, the Caucasus and Papua New Guinea. But what determines...

read more

You say "tomato", I say "tomahto"…

Apr 26, 2011 by

It is no surprise than people in different parts of the English-speaking world, or even of the US, say things differently. Claire Bowern, associate professor of Linguistics at Yale University and co-creator of the North American...

read more

Adding apples and oranges?

Apr 25, 2011 by

In several earlier positngs (and also here), I discussed the research on the geographical origin of language by Dr. Atkinson recently published in Science. In those postings I identified several problems with Dr. Atkinson’s...

read more

Only American English in America? No way, Jose!

Jan 4, 2011 by

Over the holiday break, I received an email from an anonymous correspondent, possibly a Belgian of Flemish descent, in response to my posting about the linguistic situation in Belgium and language laws more generally. I did not...

read more