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Articles on Linguistics

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Arizona’s cities and towns have been flooded with signage during the heavily contested 2022 elections. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Why campaigns have a love-hate relationship with their signs

Supporters and volunteers love them. But it’s difficult for political scientists to determine whether they even influence the outcome of elections, since no two campaigns or election cycles are alike.
Is living in a language-rich world enough to teach a child grammatical language? kate_sept2004/E+ via Getty Images

AI is changing scientists’ understanding of language learning – and raising questions about an innate grammar

Linguists have long considered grammar to be the glue of language, and key to how children learn it. But new prose-writing AIs suggest language experience may be more important than grammar.
Words can have a powerful effect on people, even when they’re generated by an unthinking machine. iStock via Getty Images

Google’s powerful AI spotlights a human cognitive glitch: Mistaking fluent speech for fluent thought

Fluent expression is not always evidence of a mind at work, but the human brain is primed to believe so. A pair of cognitive linguistics experts explain why language is not a good test of sentience.

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