With the taboo on swearing loosening over the past few decades, will profanity lose its effectiveness in spoken language?
Humans have invented many technologies to survive better – spears, pots, calculators, even language. With language, however, the raw material used to fashion the technology is the human body itself.
A clever proces similar to Google's image search is helping to preserve some of the world's 7,000 languages that are at risk of disappearing.
There are hundreds of different languages spoken in the Pacific region that could be lost. So it's important to safeguard what recordings we have in a digital archive available to all.
The discovery that "Huh?" crops up in many languages may have won the researchers an Ig Nobel Prize. But they found much more than that in their search for the universals in language.
Beyond the cool factor of figuring out hominin hearing capacities two million years ago, these findings could help answer the tantalizing question of when did human vocalized language first emerge.
What can a bunch of people grunting in a lab teach us about our capacity to create language systems? A lot about the gesture- or vocalization-based origins of language.