Linguistics & Language Neurology
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Linguistics & Language Neurology
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How Americans Speak: the Facts – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How Americans Speak: the Facts – Lingua Franca - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Pictured above is Noam Chomsky: no Philly vowels
 
If you really want to know how people use the English language in North America, you will find one consistently reliable peer-reviewed source of information, four times a year: the journal American Speech, sponsored by the American Dialect Society and published by Duke University Press.
 
And though it is scholarly and research based, there’s a surprising amount of information that is intelligible to anyone, even without special training in linguistics.
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Falling out, lashing out and blurting out: phrasal verbs connected with arguing (1). – About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

Falling out, lashing out and blurting out: phrasal verbs connected with arguing (1). – About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
by Liz Walter We use phrasal verbs a lot, and it’s worth learning as many as you can. In this post, I will look at phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs connected with arguing – there is a surprisingly large number of them! It is often important to know what preposition to use after a phrasal verb,…
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MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together

MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Language takes an astonishing variety of forms across the world—to such a huge extent that a long-standing debate rages around the question of whether all languages have even a single property in common. Well, there’s a new candidate for the elusive title of “language universal” according to a paper in this week’s issue of PNAS. All languages, the authors say, self-organise in such a way that related concepts stay as close together as possible within a sentence, making it easier to piece together the overall meaning.

Language universals are a big deal because they shed light on heavy questions about human cognition. The most famous proponent of the idea of language universals is Noam Chomsky, who suggested a “universal grammar” that underlies all languages. Finding a property that occurs in every single language would suggest that some element of language is genetically predetermined and perhaps that there is specific brain architecture dedicated to language.

However, other researchers argue that there are vanishingly few candidates for a true language universal. They say that there is enormous diversity at every possible level of linguistic structure from the sentence right down to the individual sounds we make with our mouths (that’s without including sign languages).

There are widespread tendencies across languages, they concede, but they argue that these patterns are just a signal that languages find common solutions to common problems. Without finding a true universal, it’s difficult to make the case that language is a specific cognitive package rather than a more general result of the remarkable capabilities of the human brain.

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This Neuroscientist Explains Why Today's Kids Have Different Brains | EdSurge News

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has a lot to say about the brain, and he’s done so in a lot of places. He’s written bestselling books, given a popular TED Talk, hosted a PBS series called “The Brain with David Eagleman” and teaches as an adjunct professor at Stanford. He’s also the founder of the Center for Science and Law, which studies how advances in brain science can shape the legal system (although his work also focuses on brain plasticity, or how we learn and absorb new information).

This week he gained yet another new audience: a room full of thousands of educators as the opening keynote for the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago.

Via John Evans
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Many people believe myths about how the brain works

Many people believe myths about how the brain works | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

Even many professional educators and people with neuroscience training hold popular misconceptions. In a recent study, researchers found that the general public believed 68 percent of brain research misconceptions, many of which relate to education and learning.


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Nik Peachey's curator insight, June 20, 1:42 AM

This is an interesting introduction. You can read the full report at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01314/full

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Twitter Audit: A Step-by-Step Guide

Twitter Audit: A Step-by-Step Guide | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

To get the most out of Twitter you need to keep your account in good shape and have a decent understanding of who is following you. The Twitter audit process that we’ve laid out below will keep you on top of your Twitter game.


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P is for Phonotactics

P is for Phonotactics | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Why is baseball called be-su-bu-ro in Japanese? Why do most learners say clothiz and not clothes? Why am I called Escott by Spanish speakers and Arabic speakers alike? Why can we say /gz/ when it is the middle of a word (exam) and at the end of a word (dogs) but not at the beginning?…

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Language Log » Webster’s Second and Webster’s Third: Editors going against stereotype

« previous post | next post » One of the most well-known pieces of lexicographic history is the controversy that greeted the publication of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Whereas the predecessor of W3, Webster’s Second New etc., had been regarded as authoritatively prescriptive, W3 was condemned in the popular media for its descriptive approach, the widespread perception of which can be boiled down to “anything goes.” (For the details, see The Story of Webster’s Third by Herbert Morton and The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner.) I recently came across two articles that seem to be largely unknown but deserve wider attention— one by the General Editor of W2 (Thomas Knott), and the other by the Editor-in-Chief of W3 (Philip Gove). Each article is notable by itself because it fleshes out the author’s attitude toward usage and correctness, and does so in a way that undermines the stereotype that is associated with the dictionary each one worked on. And when the two articles are considered together, they suggest that despite the very different reputation of the two dictionaries, the authors’ attitudes toward usage and correctness probably weren’t far apart. KNOTT’S ARTICLE, published in 1934, the year that  W2 came out, is titled “Standard English and Incorrect English.” (It’s paywalled, but if you don’t have institutional access to JSTOR, you can sign up for limited free access here.) Most of the article is devoted to Knott’s reflections on the development and characteristics of Standard English and of what was apparently referred to at the time as “Substandard English,” which we would now call nonstandard or vernacular. Knott notes that the latter is judged harshly (no surprise), but in doing so, he distances himself from those judgments: This is the material that dictionary editors are obliged to call Dialect, Local, Provincial, Illiterate, Vulgar, Low, etc., etc. Some of the words, patterns, and usages belong to what I have hinted, in my title, may be regarded as Incorrect English. It is the kind of English that sometimes slips into the speech and the written work of students who have not come from a thoroughly literate background, and is met with punishment from the teacher, with denunciation from the rhetorician, and with drastic disapproval from literate businessmen. But it is not allowed to appear in the written work of professional writers save (rarely) in quoted conversations or when used in “first-person” stories, as by Ring Lardner. It is significant that, from Chaucer to Lardner, this type of language is used almost invariably for the production of humor. Knott traces a pattern of social and economic changes that he describes as having resulted in a huge increase in the schools being flooded with speakers of nonstandard dialects: Prior to 1870, when the production of wealth at last made universal compulsory schooling possible, the total annual number of Substandard-Language students who entered and remained in the schools was both relatively and actually very small. It has been increasing markedly since 1870. And since 1920 it has become a torrent. The teacher sometimes wonders where all those communities can be in which the language remains Substandard. Toward the end of the article, Knott speaks to those teachers, and that’s where things get interesting. Knott displays a degree of enlightenment greater than do many people even now, 84 years later: [As] to the teacher whose classes are sprinkled or saturated with students who do not control either Standard Printed, Standard Written, or Standard Spoken English: Whatever “practical” devices you may find it profitable to use in compelling your “Substandard” students to learn the vocabulary and the patterns and usages of Standard English, your real problem is to teach such students what is to them, at least partly, a foreign language. “Substandard” students are not “making mistakes.” They are simply talking or writing their own native language. It may be that some teachers will, by studying the methods of foreign-language teaching, create a workable technique for applying those methods to the Standard-English “foreign-language” problem. Remember that many of these students “make mistakes” because their speech habits have been formed solely on the model of what they heard in families and communities in which there are still few books, newspapers, and magazines, often in families and communities of recent foreign extraction in which, for obvious reasons, Standard English is not known or spoken at all. Remember that these students are required, suddenly, and often against their unenlightened will, to drill themselves in, and to master, the vocabulary, patterns, and usages of language that has been in process of increasing cultivation for 500 years by thousands of ingenious and clever artists and thinkers who have given us rich resources that cannot be mastered at all by many of us, and only after long discipline by a relatively small number of us. Above all, do not (I beg you) rap students on their sensitive knuckles with the sharp-edged rod of impatience or sarcasm or despair when they (sometimes) fail to realize that they have to the end of a sentence, and especially when they falter a bit in their continuity of control over the structure complex sentence pattern (“Awkward Construction”). Don't merely tell to write “shorter and simpler” sentences. A student who is striving, with momentary unsuccess, to grasp a complicated thought and utter it in adequate language, should be encouraged even to the extent of being guided with helpful, constructive criticism and advice. He (or she) is usually a growing person, not a defective person. We do not forbid babies to try to walk because at first they cannot climb a ladder or flap a foot from the accelerator to the brake. THE ARTICLE BY GOVE, “A Perspective on Usage,” originally appeared in 1963, two years after the publication of Webster’s Third, in a collection of papers published by the National Conference of Teachers of English. The papers had been given at the NCTE’s Spring Institutes on Language, Linguistics and School Programs, and ultimately some of those papers were republished along with papers from the program from 1964, under the title The English Language in the School Program. After about a page of general background that is eminently skippable, the article gets down to business: what teachers need from scholars of language is “enlightenment and guidance so that they can teach the truth about language.” In particular, teachers need help in countering “a body of artificial rules that began in the eighteenth century” and that “were not originally formulated on the basis of what users of the language do, but rather of what they ought to do in the opinions of a few.” In support of this cause, Gove quotes none other than Noah Webster, as if to taunt the critics who had condemned W3 for flouting tradition: But when a particular set of men, in exalted stations, undertake to say, “we are the standards of propriety and elegance, and if all men do not conform to our practice, they shall be accounted vulgar and ignorant,” they take a very great liberty with the rules of language and the rights of civility. [quoting Webster’s Dissertation on the English Language 1780)] Gove rejected the view that for descriptivists, anything goes. In particular, he denied the accusation by Wilson Follett (who had denounced W3 as “a scandal and a disaster”) that “linguistic scholarship…has for some time been dedicating itself to the abolition of standards; and the new rhetoric evolved under its auspices is an organized assumption that language good enough for anybody is good enough for everybody.” Moreover, Gove went beyond merely rejecting the antidescriptivist position; he offered a definition of “good English.” Or at least, he called it a definition; it might more appropriately be called an approach to identifying good English. And under that approach, the central criterion was appropriateness to the situation: “Good English is that form of speech which is appropriate to the purpose of the speaker, true to the language as it is, and comfortable to speaker and listener. It is the product of custom, neither cramped by rule nor freed from all restraint; it is never fixed, but changes with the organic life of the language.” [quoting Robert Pooley, Grammar & Usage in Textbooks on English (1933)] …“‘good’ English is that which most effectively accomplishes the purpose of the author (or speaker) without drawing irrelevant attention from the purpose to the words or constructions by which this purpose is accomplished. Thus, for ordinary purposes, ‘good’ English is that which is customary and familiar in a given context and the language which should be used is that which is currently being used, provided this current use does not bring unwelcome attention.” [quoting Sumner Ives, Word Study (December 1961)] Although these statements paint with a broad brush, Gove’s recognition of such a concept as good English is in and of itself at odds with the stereotype of the anything-goes descriptivist libertine. And by focusing on what is “comfortable to speaker and listener” and “customary and familiar in a given context,” and on avoiding language that will distract from the speaker or author’s purpose, Gove was sharing common ground with prescriptivists such as Bryan Garner and David Foster Wallace, who correctly note that people are judged based on their language, and that in situations in which Standard English is expected, being unable to speak that dialect puts you at a disadvantage. In sharing that view, Gove is hardly unique among descriptivists. Quite the contrary. But given the major role that the controversy over W3 has played in the Language Wars, and the fact that it was Gove’s vision that shaped W3, it’s valuable to have this statement of his position. April 11, 2018 @ 9:15 pm · Filed by Neal Goldfarb under Dialects, Dictionaries, Language and society, Language attitudes, Language teaching and learning, Prescriptivist non-poppycock, Standard language, Usage Permalink
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Neuroscience should be taught to all teachers to help pupils learn

Neuroscience should be taught to all teachers to help pupils learn | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Professor Barbara Oakley is writing a book for 10 to 15-year-olds on the science behind learning

 


Students feel if they can’t figure it out right off the bat, then they must be stupid and that discipline is not for them. This is really seen in disciplines like Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths].


“That is when kids start falling off as they think they’re just not a maths person which just isn’t true at all. They just don’t know how to learn effectively and so they just give up.


“We are really trying to help kids get these learning tools early on so they can study things without putting themselves in a restricted box of ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘I can’t do that’.”


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British and American English difference

British and American English difference | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
British and American word differences

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BBC - Culture - The rebirth of Britain’s ‘lost’ languages

BBC - Culture - The rebirth of Britain’s ‘lost’ languages | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish, which is spoken by fewer than 1000 people. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn, writes Holly Williams.

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DARE Digital Fieldwork Recordings – UW Digital Collections

DARE Digital Fieldwork Recordings – UW Digital Collections | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
"From 1965–1970, Fieldworkers for the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) conducted interviews with nearly 3,000 “Informants” in 1,002 communities across America. They visited native residents in all fifty states and D.C., collecting local words, phrases, and pronunciations. In addition to answering more than 1,600 questions from the DARE Questionnaire, many of the Informants, along with auxiliary speakers, agreed to be recorded by the Fieldworkers. These recordings consisted of conversational interviews as well as readings of “The Story of Arthur the Rat” (devised to elicit the essential differences in pronunciation across the country). This fieldwork data provided invaluable regional information for the Dictionary of American Regional English Volumes I–VI (1985–2013) and Digital DARE."
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Fun Resources for English Linguistics – Anne Curzan

Fun Resources for English Linguistics – Anne Curzan | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Compiled by Anne Curzan and Hayley Heaton, University of Michigan 
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Classifying languages is about politics as much as linguistics

Classifying languages is about politics as much as linguistics | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
CROSS the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia and you face a few hassles.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 26, 2:30 PM

The linguistic differences between languages can be slight, but if politics and identity are involved (as they invariably are), these small linguistic differences can seem massive.  "Languages" can occasionally be dialects with their own armies.  

 

Scoop.it tags: languageculture, borders, political, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

WordPress TAGS: language, culture, borders, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

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Neuroscience at work: how to have more productive conversations

Neuroscience at work: how to have more productive conversations | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

Communication in a business environment can often go wrong, even when it’s carefully planned. To understand how to better express ourselves with colleagues, we must first appreciate the neuroscientific aspects at work – i.e. how our brains interpret information – before we can modify our approach.


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Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape (MULL)

Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape (MULL) | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Explore Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape's 1,882 photos on Flickr!

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Sue Lyon-Jones's curator insight, July 11, 3:10 AM

An interesting collection of visual prompts for teachers.

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Connecting student Engagement and Neuroscience

Connecting student Engagement and Neuroscience | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

A common issue observed in classrooms nowadays is the absence of engagement between teachers and students.

This problem shouldn’t be placed on students being disengaged during a monotone one-sided lecture. Instead, teachers need to adapt their teaching methods and find something that will act as a catalyst in the classroom. Engagement in lectures has been linked with neuroscience when discussing how the brain reacts differently in an interactive environment.

Humans are categorized as social creatures, we live in communities, interact with each other on a daily basis, to the extent that success is achieved when working with others. Why should the education scene be any different? As a student too often a teacher reads off prepared PowerPoint slides for an hour, while students frantically try to fit all the information in their notebooks. This teaching method causes students to lose focus on the lecture and not understand the material.


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– Making visible the impact of researchers working in languages other than English: developing the PLOTE index

– Making visible the impact of researchers working in languages other than English: developing the PLOTE index | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
As outlined in the Leiden Manifesto, if impact is understood in terms of citations to international publications, a bias is created against research which is regionally focused and engaged with loc…

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Let's stop talking about the '30 million word gap'

Let's stop talking about the '30 million word gap' | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

"Did you know that kids growing up in poverty hear 30 million fewer words by age 3? Chances are, if you're the type of person who reads a newspaper or listens to NPR, you've heard that statistic before ..."

 


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Beginners' Guide To The Lexical Approach - EFL Magazine

Beginners' Guide To The Lexical Approach - EFL Magazine | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Beginners' Guide to The Lexical Approach.The term "teaching lexically" was coined by Hugh Dellar, In this "Beginners' Guide To The Lexical Approach"

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As A Black Woman, I Wish I Could Stop Code-Switching. Here’s Why.

As A Black Woman, I Wish I Could Stop Code-Switching. Here’s Why. | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
Talk the way you talk. Code-switch if you aren’t being understood, but never make it your responsibility or only option. The way you speak is perfectly valid.
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BBC - Culture - The colourful secrets of Britain’s centuries-old slang

BBC - Culture - The colourful secrets of Britain’s centuries-old slang | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
We all are part of at least one tribe, and tribe talk has existed for centuries. Each group has a distinctly flavoured jargon which unites their members and provides an easy shorthand.

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Dorothy R. Cook 's curator insight, June 23, 5:04 AM

Sometimes talking to much can be a strategy of a plan because people indulge in all that is said that they forget that for some the most deadliest of things is the secrets never said that some have taken to their grave and others know but just dont or want say. The truth is in some cases whats not said is deadlier that what is said but no there is no secret that God does not know and God do not let the secrets go uncounted or untold read about King David in the Bible. Jusg because you/ they dont say doesnt mean God dont know and it has not been revealed and judged by God.  Think on the secrets not told or spoken.

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Why does the UK have so many accents?

Why does the UK have so many accents? | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it

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Are Americans trashing the English language?

"Are American's trashing the English language? The Economists language expert, Lane Greene, knows a thing or two about English. Lane is a fan of words, lots of words, and Lane is an American living in London. He's become accustomed to British English slang. But Lane often hears Britons complain that there are too many American words and expressions creeping into British English, these are called Americanisms. British writer Matthew Engel can't stand Americanisms being used in Britain and even wrote a book about it. But are Americanisms trashing British English?"


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 26, 2017 5:47 PM

This video touches on important cultural and spatial dynamics of the linguistic change impacting the world's current lingua franca...in other words, this is incredibly relevant to human geography. 

 

Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English, diffusion,

 colonialism.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 12:00 PM
I found this video very enjoyable to watch and I learned a lot more about how British people feel about the American language, especially in their own culture. I knew that American English and British English had some small differences with the spelling of some words and differences in some terms for the same object such as lift and elevator. But I didn't realize how some American phrases or "Americanisms" have crept into the British English language and are causing some English citizens to be upset about it.
In response to this information, I have to side with Lane Greene's opinion towards the end of this video. The fact that "Americanisms" are creeping into the British English language is the sign of a healthy and developing language. It means that one language that is being affected by another language because it has a global reach throughout the world. This is a positive thing that shouldn't be feared because as we can see from history, languages change over time and tend to never stay the same.
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English Dialect Resources – Anne Curzan

English Dialect Resources – Anne Curzan | Linguistics & Language Neurology | Scoop.it
English Dialect Resources 
 
"Dialects play an important role in identity and diversity. They can have unique grammatical features, pronunciations, and lexical items. Linguists document dialects to uncover the diversity that exists within languages, both based within a single country (e.g. regional dialects of American English) and across the world (American English, British English, South African English, etc.). These resources focus primarily on English variation within the United States. Some focus on specific states, others on specific types of linguistic data (e.g. syntax). Also included are dialect quizzes meant to predict where the taker is from and articles from the media about dialect features."
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