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.
A young reader asks: How are languages formed?
Adil Najam, international relations professor at Boston University, interviewed 99 experts about what the post-pandemic future will bring.
Pardee Center/Boston University
There's no going back to normal after COVID-19, partly because our pre-pandemic world was anything but normal.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Carson City Airport on Oct. 18, 2020, in Carson City, Nev.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Americans can survive a second Trump term if they resurrect a language of critique and possibility that draws from history and shields the U.S. from authoritarianism.
Research on how children learn show we develop language skills by recycling other parts of our minds.
To some, White House aide Jennifer Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman are impartial truth-tellers; to others, they are power-hungry bureaucrats.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Public officials are now in the spotlight: Does the public view them as professionals, bound by duty, or as elites who invoke ideals while pursuing their own agendas?
England fans celebrate the team’s World Cup penalty shoot out victory on the beach in Brighton.
Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Some on the left view sport as a distraction. But life is a struggle. And there shouldn't be anything wrong with finding something to celebrate.
Fire engulfs the Branch Davidian residence near Waco, Texas on April 19, 1993.
Ron Heflin/AP Photo
The story of the Waco siege is a story of how the media and the government can work in concert to shape a narrative and dehumanize victims.
LSD is far safer than alcohol or tobacco, so why don't drug laws reflect it?
New research gives weight to Noam Chomsky's idea of a universal language ability.
Don’t underestimate what I get about the world around me.
Baby image via www.shutterstock.com.
A revolution in the tools and techniques developmental psychologists use to investigate kids' knowledge and capabilities is rewriting what we know about how and when children understand their world.
‘All Greek to me, mate.’
When we ditched high-school Latin we lost a great intellectual training. Here's how to get it back without resorting to a dead language.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-gay bill into law on February 24 2014.
Consensual same-sex conduct is a crime in 38 African countries. The media in those countries are very much in cahoots with their rulers. But they're getting their comeuppance from Twitter.
‘What’s in it for me?’ is a common question today, but not one that necessarily produces the best answers for collective wellbeing.
The concept of the greater good has made a comeback in Europe in an era of budget austerity, but in Australia too few of us are alive to its meaning – and to its vulnerability.
Linguist and mother ignoring Steven Pinker’s advice.
There's nothing like raising an infant to help galvanise one of the greatest debates in modern linguistics.
Few have made such a significant contribution to political thought as Noam Chomsky.
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.
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…