Articles on Linguistics

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Augustine, one of the few remaining speakers of Tembé, recording a story using an Android phone. Steven Bird

Androids in Amazonia: recording an endangered language

The village of Akazu’yw lies in the rainforest, a day’s drive from the state capital of Belém, deep in the Brazilian Amazon. Last week I went to Akazu’yw, carrying a dozen Android phones with a specialised…
Endangered languages are being preserved using cheap mobile phones. Steven Bird

Cyberlinguistics: recording the world’s vanishing voices

Of the 7,000 languages spoken on the planet, Tembé is at the small end with just 150 speakers left. In a few days, I will head into the Brazilian Amazon to record Tembé – via specially-designed technology…

Voters take candidates on face value

In modern politics, a candidate’s image is everything, linguistic anthropologists researching US presidential campaigns have…
Macquarie is changing its definition of misogyny… but it still applies to the leader of the opposition. AAP/Pan Macmillan

Tony Abbott is a misogynist, however the dictionary defines it

As an academic, I often become obsessed with the meaning of words. They lure me in with their conceptual promise, and then I get hooked and tangled on distinctions and disciplinary nuance. Perhaps unsurprisingly…
Few have made such a significant contribution to political thought as Noam Chomsky. AAP/Tracy Nearmy

Chomsky, linguistics, politics and a response to an unfair allegation

Noam Chomsky’s political detractors typically resort to misrepresentation and vilification but one might expect a higher standard from academic colleagues, especially in his own discipline of linguistics…
Noam Chomsky explicitly rejects the idea that language may be implicated in politics. AAP

The paradox of Noam Chomsky on language and power

In his recent speech accepting the Sydney Peace Prize, Chomsky returned to a recurrent theme from his work in political science: that the violence perpetrated by the West is not represented in our media…

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