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.
Words shed light on our world.
Curioso via Shutterstock
Different languages have different ways of describing the world – and this in turn affects how speakers see the world.
One of the ways we work out what proto-language might have been like is by looking at languages which have developed from nothing in recent times. One of the best examples is Nicaraguan Sign Language.
In the space of a few short years, deaf Nicaraguan school children created their own language. This example may give us a clue about how spoken language developed over thousands of years.
Inflammatory words can prime a mind.
A new theory of language suggests that people understand words by unconsciously simulating what they describe. Repeated exposure – and the simulation that comes with it – makes it easier to act.
Afrikaner descendants representing Argentina, South Africa today and the country’s old flag.
Richard Finn Gregory / GOODWORK
A small community of Afrikaners has been living in Argentina since the early 1900s. Linguistic research has found they're like a time capsule, reflecting pronunciation and syntax from an earlier era.
What do you do when 'no deal' looks like a disaster? Stick another word in front of it. Problem solved.
Maningrida, a community on Australia’s remote north-central coast, is a language hotspot.
At the Maningrida football Grand Final in 2015, commentary was recorded in nine languages. But elsewhere, the threat of language loss poses a serious risk to our nation’s cultural inheritance.
Sometimes the only way of telling similar medication apart is by name.
Lookalike and soundalike medication names are causing dangerous problems.
Changes in the way we pronounce certain sounds tell us a lot about our changing values.
Sports terms are no longer restricted to the playing field – many have become a part of our everyday parlance.
Ever wonder where the words 'sport', 'umpire' and 'drubbing' come from? Here's a short primer of sporting lingo ahead of the AFL and NRL Grand Finals.
No one is saying the tennis star wasn't angry. But it's worth asking whether you thought she was more angry because she is a woman.
Wikigraphists via Wikimedia.
Why our understanding of the relationship between ‘place’ and ‘language’ is crucial for social justice.