1. humanswhoreadgrammars:

    This document is slides from a lecture by Haspelmath sometime ago, but they’re very readable as they are and give a very good overview of discussion of why typology is possible. He brings up different arguments by a number of prominent scholars of the field in a clear and informative manner.

    Anyone into language diversity should totally check it out!

    /h

    I especially enjoy his characterization of the guiding approaches of various linguists working in or in reaction to linguistic typology: 

    1. Language typology is impossible (Boas)
    2. Typology is possible based on cross-linguistic categories. (Chomsky)
    3. Typology is possible without cross-linguistic categories. (Haspelmath himself) 

    Other interesting works by Martin Haspelmath: Are nouns, verbs, and adjectives actually real categories?

     
  2. Crowdsourced Linguistics: What linguistics terms do you still have trouble with?

    The linguistics-explaining resources of the internet are still a work in progress, and I’ve recently heard from several people that for certain terms or ideas it may still be difficult or impossible to find good explanations at a beginner level online. It would be a huge task for me to try to explain them all myself, and I’m not even sure exactly which terms are the most needed. But fortunately, we don’t just have a static internet: we also have people, and people who know things about linguistics. 

    So here’s the plan. 

    Read More

     
  3. Lauren Ackerman, who you might recognize as wuglife, is on Lexicon Valley talking about what happens to vowels at high pitches. It’s fascinating, contains cute animals, and I definitely learned things while I was editing it, so you should check it out

    Another really nice demonstration of a related phenomenon is in this real-time MRI of “the diva and the emcee”.

     
  4. curiosaplenty:

    I saw this visualisation of the IPA consonant symbols located in the mouth reblogged elsewhere today. I’ve succeeded in locating down the designer and hi-Res versions. Yipee! It seems to be part of an “Introduction to Phonetics” pack.

    These are really great visualizations (the flickr link includes both consonants and vowels) and I’d definitely recommend them to anyone teaching or learning the International Phonetic Alphabet.

    See also: the IPA vowel chart superimposed on a diagram of the vocal tract and the IPA for English as an elaborate set diagram.

     
  5. Week 3 of Ling Camp

    This was the first week of my second Ling Camp session, Make Your Own Language. Previously: How Does Language Work? Week 1 and Week 2

    The premise of this session was to learn about linguistics by creating a conlang (constructed language), an idea that has been applied with success to undergrad courses (for example, here’s Christine Schreyer’s conlang course, and I know there are others although the names escape me for the moment). To my knowledge, conlanging has not been tried with a 9-14 aged group before, although I know individual conlangers who have started making languages at a young age. But if anyone has examples that I’ve missed, feel free to let me know! 

    Final note: the individual days aren’t as dense with activities as in How Does Language Work?, because I wanted to allow a lot of free time for the students to work on their languages. (I’m not assigning homework for summer camp!) 

    Read More

     
  6. 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. 

     
  7. 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?

     
  8. 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. 

     
  9. 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.)

     
  10. 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.