For decades, forensic linguists have helped crack cases involving false author attribution, masked voices, false confessions in criminal cases and copyright disputes.
Grammatical metaphor is different to what we understand to be "metaphor". It's a way of converting words and shortening clauses, so more information can be packed into fewer characters.
Hashtags are infiltrating language well beyond their original use on Twitter — and linguists are struggling to define their role.
In languages from Central Asia to the Amazon and New Guinea, stringing multiple ideas together is something children learn at an early age.
Grammar is a set of tools to make meaning rather than a set of rules to follow. The difference is in how we teach it.
Quotation slips for the first Oxford English Dictionary.
A new book, which weaves fiction into the origin story of the Oxford English Dictionary, was declared a hit even before its release. Readers will judge whether it lives up to the hype.
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Have you been pulled up by a "grammar Nazi"? Now you can correct them back.
Why not teach languages the way we actually use them?
The conventions used in texting and tweeting are fundamentally altering how people communicate, but many language apps still rely on old-school English-language grammar.
Philip Pullman thinks this coin needs another comma. What do you think?
Philip Pullman's call for a boycott against the new 50p coin is just the latest Oxford comma controvery.
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'Greengrocer's' may be in mourning, but the rest of us can sigh with relief.
Stark naked? Not quite…
Pedants should reach for their red pens now.
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.
Graphics: Emil Jeyaratnam/The Conversation; Photos: Mohammed Saber/EPA
When reporting violence, grammar matters: the use of voice is key to apportioning blame and, importantly, an accurate depiction of what has taken place.
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Organisational twaddle is everywhere. It's time to climb the 'strategic staircase' and incentivise our corporate leaders to abandon it.
We use different grammar when speaking or writing, but the difference is so subtle that linguists were blind to it for centuries.
Spoken language evolves differently and faster than written language, and there are good reasons why this is the case.
Software tools can take multiple languages to entirely new spaces.
Software tools for South Africa’s Nguni languages may assist with redress and effective communication.
The language that you speak may affect your approach to climate change.
Research suggests that speakers of "present-tensed" languages such as German and Finnish - in which the future can be describe in the present tense - are more likely to support stronger climate policies.
‘I want to be effluent’: malapropisms and mispronounced words were a regular gag in the TV comedy Kath and Kim and continue to peeve many people today.
Do you wince at a mispronounced 'Moet'? Do you cringe at unintentional portmanteau words, like 'misunderestimated' or 'insinuendo'? You are not alone.
World map of linguistic families / Wikimedia Commons
Evolutionary biologists ask very similar questions about species to those asked by linguists about languages.
New research gives weight to Noam Chomsky's idea of a universal language ability.