Language

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Language

(I have been meaning to post this for about two weeks, so if it is a bit dated forgive me.) Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by slower reading skills acquisition, and it is associated with certain structural abnormalities in the brain. However, it turns out that different areas of the brain are affected depending…

Language Log details the results of this fascinating experiment. The researcher was looking at second language acquisition, and in order to have a control she tested the native-speakers on the gender of particular words in French. The assumption would be the native-speakers would all agree on the gender of the words, but she found that…

The Evolution of Words

Erez Lieberman et al. at Harvard are looking at the rate of change in words to see if words evolve: Lieberman was struck by this idea when he learned that the ten most common verbs in English (be, have, do, go, say, can, will, see, take, get) are all irregular. Instead of their past tenses…

A boy from Britain who had a case of viral meningitis had to undergo surgery to drain the fluid from his brain. When he awoke and recovered, he had a new accent: William McCartney-Moore of York was struck down with viral meningitis last March and needed brain surgery after doctors found he had a rare…

Baboons show handedness in communicative gestures, tending to be right-handed. This paper analyzed the handedness of baboons to see if they were more likely to use their right or their left hands for communication.