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Articles on Language

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A student from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia performs the Jaranan Dance in Surabaya as part of the campus’s summer program in 2018. ANTARA FOTO/Moch Asim

Closure of Indonesian language programs in Australian universities will weaken ties between the two countries

When Australian universities cancel their language programs, they abandon their crucial role in promoting engagement with Indonesia. In the long run, ties between the two countries will suffer for it.
Rhyming means something different in ASL than it does in spoken language. Zed Sevcikova Sehyr

An interactive visual database for American Sign Language reveals how signs are organized in the mind

In American Sign Language, some words rhyme, some look like what they mean and some are used more often than others. A new database of these features paves a pathway for ASL research.
Humans are constantly changing our languages in terms of sounds, words, meanings, and grammar, so much so that it becomes increasingly difficult to understand our own distant relatives across time and space. (Unsplash/Lucrezia Carnelos)

Curious Kids: How are languages formed?

A young reader asks: How are languages formed?
Signs of a fraying relationship can appear in subtle ways. Betsie Van der Meer via Getty Images

Evidence of an impending breakup may exist in everyday conversation – months before either partner realizes their relationship is tanking

Psycholinguistic researchers analyzed more than 1 million Reddit posts a year before and a year after users posted about their breakup.
Communication between people would be very difficult, if not impossible, without discursive memory. Our memories allow us to understand each other or to experience irreconcilable differences. (Shutterstock)

Why some words hurt some people and not others

Because of context and history, some words and phrases carry a heavy burden with them. Their mere mention can bring back painful memories and problematic situations.
Children begin to learn grammar well before they start school, when they craft their first short sentences. RonTech2000/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why does grammar matter?

Grammar isn't a way to bully people for making mistakes, says a longtime English instructor. It is a way to understand how our language operates, in all its many written and spoken varieties.
While government-level relations are important, nothing beats personal contacts for building strong ties between Australia and India. AP/AAP

6 unis had Hindi programs. Soon there could be only 1, and that’s not in Australia’s best interests

Hindi is the most widely spoken language of India and of the many people of Indian origin in Australia. The teaching of Hindi has been in decline at a time when the need for it has never been greater.

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