linguistics

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

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

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?

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?"

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

In a recent presentation held at the National Museum of Natural History, University of Melbourne researcher Gerald Roche called attention to 21 minority languages spoken in villages across Tibet.

The Incredible Linguistic Diversity of Tibet Is Disappearing

Thanks to national schooling and the Internet, many of the plateau’s unique languages are in danger

Adams worked with artist Emma Segal to create illustrations that represent the new energy terms. The English translation of the words on this image is: Solar Panels, a flat piece resembling a window/mirror placed on top of a building to collect electricity from the sun to power the house.

Inventing a Vocabulary to Help Inuit People Talk About Climate Change

One team is working with Inuvialuit elders to come up with a renewable energy terminology—and maybe revive a dying language

Researchers Want to Revive These 30 Antique English Words

The public can vote on their favorite from a list including hugger-mugger, rouzy-bouzy, nickum and sillytonian

Everyone sees them all, but we don’t all give them the same distinct names.

The World Has Millions of Colors. Why Do We Only Name a Few?

Cognitive scientists suggest that we name the colors of things we want to talk about

Mutineers walk in on a chaplain "with a smoking pistol in his hand" in the Arthur Conan Doyle short story "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott."

Thank Sherlock Holmes for the Phrase 'Smoking Gun'

From its origins to modern day, the favorite cliché of detectives and journalists everywhere refuses to kick the bucket

Anthony Burgess at the PEN International 1985 in Lugano

Anthony Burgess' Legendary Dictionary of Slang Lives

The author and linguist gave up the book after realizing how enormous the task of keeping up with slang would be

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