It doesn’t have to be all fun and games.
Children as young as eight or nine could be taught in a more adult, analytical way.
Use it at your peril.
The word 'like' has a grammar, and by looking at it, we can learn a lot about what 'like' means and what it contributes to someone’s speech.
What factors contribute to some places having many, while other places have few?
Linguists have a lot of largely untested theories. Borrowing a tool from ecology, researchers built a model that didn't look for one worldwide explanation.
‘Ahhhh… That’s better!’
As calls are made to ban swearing at work, in public and even at home, a linguist comes out fighting for harsh language.
The platform has provided a forum for the written Scots language to evolve that wasn't possible before the advent of social media.
Does it matter what something or someone is called?
New research shows that there's much in a name: people will use the sounds in names to infer someone’s physical and personality traits.
ivosar via Shutterstock
Britons are notoriously bad at learning other languages. Here are some of the things that they find difficult.
Slang: sometimes difficult to decipher.
The relationship between street slang used by young people and secret codes deployed by gang members is not always straightforward.
Writing wasn’t just invented once by a single person. Many different ancient societies invented writing at different times and places.
Writing has only been a part of the human story for the last 5,000 years. In comparison, humans began to communicate using speech some 50,000 years ago.
Gayle started life as a language spoken by gay men. But its use has shifted over time.
Gayle remains as popular as ever -- but it has evolved, shifted and become a language spoken by more than just gay men.
Receptionists are in the firing line when patients get disgruntled.
Analysis of 228,000 comments shows that while surgeons are likely to be called ‘outstanding’ and ‘brilliant’, receptionists are branded 'arrogant' and 'rude'. But it's not because they do a bad job.
This explains why some aspects of English can be hard to learn for speakers of other languages.
Ever heard of lexical selection? Every time you open your mouth you change the way future generations will talk.
If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
When you listen very closely, the Duchess of Sussex still sounds like she's from Los Angeles.
One way to see the value of meaning is to share information and cooperate with others.
The self-help books are full of advice on how to get meaning in life, but it helps to understand what meaning actually is. Science may be able to provide some answers.
Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language.
Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
The Aussie accent has been lambasted as "lazy", but this view doesn't come from the facts.
When it comes to linguistic innovation, young women are often leading the charge.
A linguist explains the physical technicalities and sociological meanings of creaky voice' – a sound found in diverse gender and age groups, yet often associated particularly with younger women.
Limited contact between the first British Sign Language communities created dialects that are still in use today.