Where was human language born? — part 2

Apr 15, 2011 by

As has been correctly pointed out to me by Amittai F. Aviram, there is an additional problem with Atkinson’s claim that languages lose phonemes (and consequently, become less and less complex). It is well known from the study...

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What’s in the name: Germans?

Mar 22, 2011 by

Sometimes keeping track of peoples and their languages is not an easy task because the same group (and its language) may bear different names in different languages. Quite often we refer to a group by a name that is different from...

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Heritage languages and the Melting Pot model

Jul 22, 2010 by

In yesterday’s posting, I introduced the topic of Heritage languages, that is languages spoken at home as part of one’s cultural and ethnic heritage. I also mentioned that Heritage languages as a whole are growing both in...

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Language vs. orthography

Jun 28, 2010 by

In his comment to my postings about drawing a boundary between language and dialect, Alexander Francis correctly pointed out that another factor that affects people’s perception of whether they share the same language or speak...

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Language or dialect?

Jun 25, 2010 by

In his comment to an earlier posting, Joel Hoffman said that “what seems like a dialect to one person might seem like a completely different language to another”. And this goes right to the core of why it’s so...

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