Category Archives: Linguistics

We think what we speak

Each language has a toolkit to help us learn what to pay attention to. So argues Stanford psychology professor Lera Boroditsky during this episode of the Stanford University radio show Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature) (website, iTunes). Boroditsky studies … Continue reading

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The Structure of English Words

This one is for you word nerds out there. Stanford linguist William Leben offers a lively romp through the history and structure of the English language in Structure of English Words (iTunes) on iTunes U. Even if you hated grammar … Continue reading

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History of the English language

If you’ve ever wondered why English spelling is so complicated, check out Towson University Professor Edwin Duncan’s lecture History of English Orthography (or how our spelling system came to be so screwed up), one of the video lectures available for … Continue reading

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Closing the achievement gap

It’s no secret that African American children who grow up speaking the informal vernacular known as Ebonics or African American English often have a hard time in school settings that require formal English, and consequently often get lower reading test … Continue reading

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The history of information

The theme of this UC Berkeley history of information course is “not by technology alone.” Although we are bombarded every day with news of some new technology which will “revolutionize” our lives, this course offers a more nuanced view. Yes, … Continue reading

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Languages and cultures of America

Linguist Max Weinreich wrote, “A Language is a Dialect with an Army and a Navy.” What he was getting at is that the distinction between a dialect in a language is often more political than anything intrinsic to the language … Continue reading

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