linguistics

Early Etruscans had advanced knowledge of art, farming and metallurgy, leading some historians to believe the civilization originated elsewhere before settling in what is now Italy. DNA analysis shows they were actually locals.

New Research

Where Did the Ancient Etruscans Come From?

A new DNA analysis suggests the enigmatic civilization was native to the Italian Peninsula

The Tuxtla statuette, discovered in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1902, now resides in the National Museum of Natural History.

What Secrets Does This 1,800-Year-Old Carved Stone Hold?

The Tuxtla Statuette illuminates an endangered Latin American culture

Historians have long thought that Slavic peoples did not develop an alphabet until the ninth century—but the new findings suggest otherwise.

Cool Finds

Runes Found on Seventh-Century Cow Bone Could Change Slavic History

The Germanic writing suggests Slavs used an alphabet more than 200 years earlier than previously believed

Peter Mark Roget compiled his influential thesaurus late in life.

Before He Wrote a Thesaurus, Roget Had to Escape Napoleon's Dragnet

At the dawn of the 19th century, the young Brit got caught in an international crisis while touring Europe

Hieroglyphs line the walls in a shrine
to the goddess Hathor at Serabit el-Khadim.

Who Invented the Alphabet?

New scholarship points to a paradox of historic scope: Our writing system was devised by people who couldn’t read

Father Reginald Foster celebrating his birthday in 2019

Father Reginald Foster Used Latin to Bring History Into the Present

Who speaks Latin these days? A surprisingly large number of people, thanks to the late friar, who died on Christmas Day at 81

This month's picks include Mantel Pieces, The Dead Are Arising and A Series of Fortunate Events.

Books of the Month

How the Alphabet Got Its Order, Malcolm X and Other New Books to Read

These five October releases may have been lost in the news cycle

A policeman stands over a graffiti drawn to bring awareness to social distancing as a preventive measure against COVID-19 in Chennai, India, on April 9, 2020

Covid-19

How 'Social Distancing' Can Get Lost in Translation

Governments around the world grapple with how to deliver important guidelines on minimizing the spread of COVID-19

It's hard enough to talk about our feelings. Now, try doing it across languages.

The Meanings Behind Words for Emotions Aren't Universal, Study Finds

Certain emotions may be universal. But the way humans describe their feelings, it seems, is not

Well then what would we call a cow that jumps over a moonmoon?

New Research

If a Moon Has a Moon, Is Its Moon Called a Moonmoon?

A new study suggests it's possible some moons could have moons and the internet wants to give them a name—but scientists have yet to actually find one

Millennial mainstays like “twerk,” “emoji” and “listicle" have been included in the official Scrabble dictionary.

"OK," "Sheeple" Says Scrabble, Which Added 300 New Words to Official Dictionary

“For a living language, the only constant is change,” says Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster

The graffiti found on St. Sophia's walls includes sketches of cats, business announcements and invocations of medieval curses

Artificial Intelligence Can Now Decipher Medieval Graffiti (Cat Sketches and All)

Researchers sought to decipher the 11th-century graffiti adorning the walls of St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev

"My goal with music is to represent myself in a natural and sincere way," says musician Alidé Sans, "and what is more natural and sincere than an Aranese woman expressing herself in Aranese?"

Catalonia

This Musician’s Songs Give Powerful Voice to a Language in Crisis

Singer and linguistic activist Alidé Sans hails from an isolated Catalan valley where a rare dialect is spoken

Say what? Residents of the town of Liberal, Kansas, are developing a new accent thanks to changing demographics in the area.

Trending Today

This Town In Kansas Has Its Own Unique Accent

Immigration over the last 40 years has all the young people in town speaking English with a slightly Latin feel

Robert Bly, one of the poets who scored in the top ten for dynamism.

New Research

Analysis Breaks Down the Annoying "Poet Voice"

It's not just you; poets also read their works aloud with long pauses, weird cadences and almost no emotion

Why Researchers Believe These 100,000-Year-Old Etchings Weren't Symbolic

In a new study, the markings — which resemble hashtags —were not found to be distinctive based on time and geography

Malacites of the Wanabaki Confederacy standing along the edge of the water at French village, Kingsclear, celebrating Corpus Christi Day, ca 1887.

Researchers Are Tracing Wabanaki Canoe Routes in New Brunswick

The First Nation routes were ancient “highways” that traversed rivers, creeks and streams

The body-shaped sarcophagi of Karajía contained the remains of high-ranking Chachapoya ancestors.

New Research

When Genetics and Linguistics Challenge the Winners’ Version of History

New research shows that indigenous Peruvians were more resilient than the conquering Inca gave them credit for

Jedek speakers

Cool Finds

Unknown Language Discovered in Malaysia

About 280 people north of the Malay Peninsula speak the language, which is called Jedek

We've got you covered.

Winter Olympics

Five Whimsical Words of the Winter Olympics, from 'Skeleton' to 'Salchow'

The sports are hard. The words are harder. We're here to help

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