Articles on Language

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Baboons make sounds, but how does it relate to human speech? Creative Wrights/Shutterstock.com

Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years

Researchers say it's time to finally discard a decades-old theory about the origins of human language – and revise the date when human ancestors likely were able to make certain speech noises.
A document in Tengwar, the script of the Elvish languages invented by JRR Tolkien, Dozza, Italy. Luca Lorenzelli via Shutterstock

How to build a ‘perfect’ language

From Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, writers and linguists have invented an array of new languages.
It’s a simple word with a strange history. Andrii Oleksiienko/shutterstock.com

Why do we say ‘OK’?

The word 'OK' has only been around for 180 years, but it's become the most spoken word on the planet.

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