1. glottalplosive:

    there should be a children’s picture book called one wug, two ____, red wug, blue wug.

    Since I already had a red wug image from here, I figured I’d better make this. 

     
  2. tumblinguists:

    A collection of historical sound changes that I curate. Feedback and (cited) submissions are encouraged.

    So I just got this link in my inbox as a submission, and Oh My Gheg, I am in pure awe of this masterpiece.

    Historical linguists, especially those of PhoPho leanings, look at this. Just behold.

    Thank you, man-in-space!

    It would be interesting to compile this data to see which of these changes are more and less common. Some, like palatalization, voicing assimilation, and homorganic nasal assimilation, should be really common, but it would be interesting to see if other trends would emerge. Anyone know if someone’s done this?

     
  3. zmyaro:

    To any Tumblrites who are deaf, hard of hearing, know people who are, or just enjoy cool tech, a start-up called MotionSavvy is working on technology that uses Leap Motion to recognize sign language and and outputs written or spoken English.  The project was started by a group of deaf students at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (yay RIT!) who moved to San Francisco to develop the product with Leap.

    The team has over 800 deaf beta testers, but they are looking for more.  They hope to have a product available to consumers by September of 2015.

    For more information, check out this TechCrunch article and this video.

    The links are definitely worth checking out: according to the TechCrunch article, the prototype only understands about 100 words at the moment, but they’re working on more with the beta testers. I’m guessing it’ll probably be realistic to eventually expect a level comparable to other types of machine translation (Google Translate, etc.), which although by no means perfect is still very useful. 

     
  4. image: Download

    Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns.  
As if it couldn’t get any more delightful, it often uses quotes from Welcome to Night Vale in the practice sentences, which is definitely far more entertaining than See Spot Run. The feedback sentences are also very cute. 
(Hm, I’m pretty sure the second blank in that screenshot should have said “xyr”, in retrospect.)

    Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns.  

    As if it couldn’t get any more delightful, it often uses quotes from Welcome to Night Vale in the practice sentences, which is definitely far more entertaining than See Spot Run. The feedback sentences are also very cute. 

    (Hm, I’m pretty sure the second blank in that screenshot should have said “xyr”, in retrospect.)

     
  5. linguisten:

    » Yurok, Cornish, Wampanoag (Wôpanâak), Kaurna, Maori (Māori)

    For more on the revitalization of Wampanoag, see the documentary We Still Live Here, which can be watched here.

     
  6. Week 2 of Ling Camp

    This week concluded the How Does Language Work? session of Ling Camp. For background and the first week, see: summary of  Week 1

    Day 6 - Ambiguity and Processing

    We looked at various types of ambiguity and what they tell us about language:

    Read More

     
  7. Wordbank

    Wordbank is a new database of children’s language. From the description: 

    Wordbank archives data from the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (MB-CDI), a family of parent-report questionnaires. The Wordbank database enables researchers to recover data filtered by source, age, gender, word, and a host of other variables, enabling simple export of plain-text data for further analysis.

    Wordbank also include a number of reports based on recent research on children’s vocabulary: see how children’s vocabulary grows and changes across early childhood.

    We hope that by pooling detailed word-learning data across labs, we can create a database of unprecedented size that will lead to new insights about the shape of vocabulary development in early childhood.

    There are various interesting things you can do with the database, such as search, seeing summary statistics, and contributing data.  

    You can also use the word cloud feature to generate what are quite possibly the most adorable wordclouds ever. I mean, look at this. D’awwww. 

    I assume the forms like nghtnght or quackqck are standardized short forms driven by character limits, rather than typos, but perhaps someone who knows the database or this questionnaire would like to confirm that? 

    See also CHILDES, a long-established database of transcripts of child language. 

     
  8. An interesting article about morphology in sign languages, by Aronoff, Meir, and Sandler. The whole thing is available here and is quite long, but here’s an excerpt from the beginning that introduces the concept of simultaneous versus sequential morphology and what that means for sign languages: in a nutshell, sign languages have striking similarities to both highly inflected languages, like Navajo, and highly uninflected languages, like Tok Pisin, which you’d think wouldn’t be possible. 

    In the early days of linguistic research on sign languages, in the 1970s and 1980s, researchers noticed that sign languages have complex morphology. Further research showed that this morphological structure is simultaneous, in the sense that the different morphemes of a word are simultaneously superimposed on each other rather than being strung together, as those of spoken languages usually are. As sign-language research expanded to include more linguistic structures as well as more sign languages, several generalizations emerged. First, all sign languages studied were found to have this particular kind of morphology. Second, the grammatical categories encoded by many of these morphological structures, as well as the form that they take, were found to be quite similar across different sign languages. That is, sign languages show strong crosslinguistic similarities in their morphological structures.

    Researchers also noticed early on that sign languages share many properties with young creole languages (Fischer 1978, Meier 1984); yet they differ markedly from young creoles in one crucial respect, the same one that ties sign languages together as a group: their complex simultaneous morphology. What has gone largely unnoticed so far is that sign languages are not confined to simultaneous morphological structures. At least some sign languages also have sequential affixation. These linear structures differ significantly from the simultaneous type, not only in the way the morphemes are affixed to each other, but in other ways as well:

    • the occurrence, grammatical function, and form of the sequential morphological constructions are language-specific;
    • the sequential morphological constructions are variable among signers;
    • the sequential morphological constructions are often of limited productivity.

    This morphological state of affairs presents us with two puzzles; we call them the young language puzzle and the typology puzzle.

    Read More

     
  9. I’m on Lexicon Valley talking about early language exposure, including a video about Nicaraguan Sign Language which I came across when preparing for Ling Camp. See also creolization in general. 

    Also related is the topic of children who grew up without exposure to language, such as Genie and Victor of Aveyron. I didn’t talk about them at the camp since especially Genie’s story involves terrible abuse and neglect, which I thought it might be upsetting for the younger students. 

     
  10. linguistsagainsthumanity:

    We received the above submission from t-o-t-o-r-i-a that really made us laugh and inspired us to hold the first ever LAH contest!!

    Your challenge is to create the funniest combination of LAH cards.  Take a look through our archive — pick one black card, and then choose the appropriate number of white cards to answer the question or fill in the blanks, just like you’re playing CAH.

    To enter, visit our submit page (NOT our ask page) and complete the form as follows:

    1. The words “contest submission” in the title section of the form
    2. YOU MUST BE LOGGED INTO TUMBLR TO ENTER.  Submissions are limited to ONE per person.  This way, we can keep track of usernames/url’s.  We won’t accept your submission if you’re not logged in.
    3. A real working e-mail address so we can contact you if you win (we won’t publish or share it, we promise)
    4. The full text of your chosen black card (e.g., “All linguistics students should learn about ______.”)
    5. The full text of your chosen white card(s).  If your submission involves more than one white card, please put the text of each on separate lines just to help us out.

    We will accept submissions starting…. NOW!  Keep ‘em coming until midnight ET on Friday, July 18.  (Seriously, we won’t accept them after that.)  We’ll turn them into images, and post them on the morning of Saturday, July 19.  Voting will run through midnight ET on Tuesday, July 22.  Whichever submission receives the most notes will win!

    PRIZES!  Nothing too exciting, since we’re just three broke college kids who run a Tumblr, but here’s what we’ve got:

    • Third prize: we’ll post a link to a (non-political, non-religious) nonprofit/charity of your choice
    • Second prize: third prize PLUS a T-shirt featuring an LAH card of your choice
    • First prize: third prize PLUS second prize PLUS the Chinese edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire signed by the three of us because we like to think we’re celebrities

    Good luck!  Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

    With love,

    The LAH Team

    Submit things! And vote, once the time comes! 

    Note: I’m not planning on reblogging any entries, since I don’t think it’s quite fair for a blog of my size to selectively reblog some and not others when votes are determined by notes, so if you want to make sure you catch them, go follow linguistsagainsthumanity