Making my case

Dec 26, 2011 by

In the last couple of posts, I’ve discussed the issue of grammatical complexity and have shown that even if an objective measure of such complexity is absent, languages clearly differ as to which grammatical distinctions they...

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The Purification of the Icelandic Language

Dec 8, 2011 by

BY JONATHAN POTTER (“Languages of the World”) Languages borrow words from each other all the time. If you are not convinced, try ordering food from an Italian restaurant without saying any words borrowed from Italian....

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Mother tongue comes from your (prehistoric) father, or does it?

Sep 22, 2011 by

According to a recent study, conducted by Peter Forster and Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge and discussed in Science Daily, “language change among our prehistoric ancestors came about via the arrival of immigrant...

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What is the most difficult language to learn — and why?

Jun 3, 2011 by

As mentioned in the previous posting, there are numerous rankings of “difficult” (and “easy”) languages to learn (note that we are talking about second-language learning here, not acquiring one’s native...

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Blending in

Nov 16, 2010 by

Blending in is probably not what Sarah Palin wanted to achieve (and certainly not what she achieved) with her now-famous “refudiate”. But what it is is a blend, a form of word formation whereby two (or more) words are...

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