Blog Archives

Sapir-Whorf and Experimentation

If any of you languagephiles out there are not familiar with the Spair-Whorf hypothesis, it posits that the language a person speaks influences his or her thought patterns perception of the world. I have always found this fascinating for a variety of reasons, but especially when considering something like word order in the construction of […]

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Natural Translators?

What kind of person might naturally be a good translator? Maybe this seems like a silly question but I, having been exposed to linguistic diversity relatively late in my life, sometimes find myself envying those who have been exposed to greater linguistic diversity and have an apparent facility with language learning and, especially, the use […]

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Language Preservation Policies

Public policies aiming to preserve a national language are most commonly associated with small nations, whether they be small nation-states (i.e., Iceland, Ireland, and Estonia) or minority nations within a larger nation-state (i.e., Quebecois French, Basque, Catalan, and countless indigenous languages). Nevertheless, now many larger countries are taking action to preserve their majority languages. The […]

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Language Change and Technology

Following up on my last blog, it is worth discussing another important cause of language change: technology. While technological innovation and dissemination have always influenced language change, some speculate that the scale of such influence today may lead to more rapid and significant changes than in the past due to the nature of contemporary technological […]

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New Words in English 2008

The Oxford English Dictionary, whose corpus of texts now contains over 2 billion words, recently released its list of new words for inclusion in the Eleventh edition in the Revised Edition of its Concise Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/newwords/?view=uk Some of my thoughts: “Best”, as used in phrases such as “best of breed” is now in […]

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