Recently some scholars in language acquisition and education have posted links on Facebook to the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (henceforth CCFC), which is asking the US Federal Trade Commission to stop the company Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) from advertising its products. According to CCFC, YBCR sells a system that promises to teach […]
According to an article in the New York Times, American Sign Language is now the fourth most-studied language among US college and university students. While enrollment in foreign-language courses generally has held steady or increased only modestly, enrollment in ASL courses increased more than sixteen percent between 2006 and 2009. Instructor Amy Ruth McGraw suggests […]
I continue my observations on Japan’s complex writing system with notes on two texts: the cardboard covers enclosing two six-packs of happoshu, or low-cost beer.
There hasn’t been a Roundup post made since September, and I have a horrible sinking feeling that the person who was meant to post the missing Roundups was me. So with apologies and without further delay, here is Roundup #15.
Ellen F. Prince, Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, died in her home in Philadelphia on Sunday 24 October. The Linguistics Society of America (via an email to members) and Language Log have reproduced an announcement from the University of Pennsylvania. Although Professor Prince was not an anthropologist ― her work on […]
Ingrid Piller at Language on the Move looks and English-medium news coverage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent declaration, “Multikulti ist absolut gescheitert.” Piller says that the English language press largely seems to misunderstand the comments.
My commute to my new job at Nagoya University this morning revealed that macarone is alive and well among Japanese taggers.
Yesterday John McWhorter discussed the recent call by the DEA to hire “Ebonics translators” on Talk of the Nation. He did a good job describing his positions on translation and education, but his parting remarks on the nature of language variation were cut short. I presume to expand the description.
Roundup #13 looks at fear of the number thirteen, as well as the study of WEIRD subjects in psychology.
Stanley Fish notes that critics of the so-called ‘Ground Zero mosque’ see the terrorist attacks of September 11 as an act committed by Islam, for which all Muslims are responsible. In contrast, the stabbing of a cab driver by an attacker who reportedly asked the driver if he is Muslim is seen as “the act of a disturbed individual,” not a representative of an anti-Islamic position.
This week’s Roundup comes from the sports department.
Caster Semenya, gender tests, and bodies out of place
World Cup woo woo
From Claire Bowern:
Some colleagues at the University of Auckland and I are conducting a survey on North American English and trialling the use of flash web recording for phonetic analysis. If you would like to participate by recording a short wordlist, please visit our web site.
Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has apparently upset some Americans with his reference to “the small people.” My first reaction when I heard Svanberg’s remarks was that he must have been aiming for “the little guy” and produced a near miss.
The Arizona Department of Education is asking school districts to remove teachers who speak “heavily accented or ungrammatical” English from classrooms where students are learning English. In response, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona has drafted a statement summarizing research on language variation and its effects on language acquisition.
In this edition of our bi-weekly Roundup: the satirical journal Speculative Grammarian tackles fieldwork; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is discussing a resolution condemning Arizona’s new immigration law; work summarized in Science Daily suggests that loss of hearing in one ear affects children’s scores on language tests.
This morning I received two separate emails from Nova Publishers inviting me to contribute to upcoming books.
After several minutes of reflection, I have decided not to submit my work.
The word socialism seems to be much in vogue in the United States recently, primarily as an epithet for one’s political opponents, especially for representatives of the Obama Administration or the Democratic Party, but also for “the Media” collectively.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find two recent blog posts pointing out how this usage differs from the traditional definition of socialism as a political position.
Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #3
The Boston Globe’s “The Word”, Conversations with Ron Scollon, Monkeys with Internet Access, Voting Osage, and more
A piece in Scientific American Mind called “Accents Trump Skin Color” reviews work by Katherine Kinzler and colleagues suggesting that, for young children, accent is as important as visual cues to race, gender, and age in selecting friends. The magazine article was interesting, and led me to look for the research paper it was based on.
A radio quiz program suggested that Toyota uses a character written with eight strokes, while Toyoda uses one with ten, and that eight is a more auspicious number. This is strange for at least two reasons.
It turns out that BBC News contributor Kathryn Westcott published an article last week addressing the question, “Why is the car giant Toyota not Toyoda?” which does a pretty good job explaining the apparent inconsistency.