Oh come on, you could tell it was sarcasm … right?
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Because sarcasm is often difficult to discern and improperly used, it can operate as a linguistic mulligan. But deploy the excuse too much, and you might raise some eyebrows.
The ability to achieve native-like language proficiency cannot be exclusively attributed to age as other factors, such as cognitive, social and emotional aspects, are important.
Second-language learners from different age groups seem to have equal chances of becoming highly proficient speakers as long as they are placed in a supportive environment.
If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language.
Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
Inflammatory words can prime a mind.
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.