How To Catch A Russian Spy

Dec 6, 2011 by

One interesting way in which a person’s (native) language reveals itself is the so-called Stroop effect, which can be illustrated with the image below (from Wikipedia). If you look at the first set of words, it’s not that...

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It’s not all black and white

Nov 30, 2011 by

As was discussed in earlier postings, the cross-linguistic range of color terms is quite complex and languages differ as to how the treat the color spectrum (e.g., see how Hanunoo does it). But interestingly, not all uses of color...

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Mind your manners!

Nov 21, 2011 by

In a recent series of posts on conversational implicatures (see here and here) we’ve discussed H. Paul Grice’s theory on how we recognize and interpret implicatures, including the four conversational maxims he has...

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On space-time-emotion metaphors

Nov 3, 2011 by

In earlier postings, I discussed the use of metaphors in language and the role that metaphorical extension plays in semantic change. There is, however, a whole area of language where such metaphorical extension is crucial: the...

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You save what you speak?

Oct 25, 2011 by

As noted in a number of previous postings (see here and here), recently more and more non-linguists come out with research involving language. And very often, whether it’s biologists, physicists or economists that make claims...

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