Articles on Linguistics

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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. Unsplash/Jo Hilton

Curious Kids: how did spoken language start?

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. Elijah O'Donnell/Unsplash

Hearing hate speech primes your brain for hateful actions

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

Language and identity: lessons from a unique Afrikaans community in Patagonia

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.
“Aitch” or “Haitch”? It’s long been a point of contestation among English speakers. Felicity Burke/The Conversastion with apologies to Dr. Suess

Haitch or aitch? How a humble letter was held hostage by historical haughtiness

An unspoken class war has long been waged around the pronounciation of the letter "h" - is it haitch or aitch? Despite a snobbish leaning to the latter, haitch makes more sense.

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