13 words we borrowed from Arabic


You may be surprised!  Find all of them here: https://www.indy100.com/article/arabic-english-words-roots-same-etymology-learn-language-amazing-7624371

A linguistic anthropologist explains why, um, “filler words” are OK to use


Source:  https://qz.com/921004/lets-stop-demonizing-filler-words/


To give a full list of discourse markers in English is probably impossible, but they include:

  1. Connectors like and, or, and but
  2. Markers of time like now, then, and next
  3. Words that show similarity and difference, including like and unlike
  4. Cause-and-effect words like then, therefore, and because
  5. Ways to introduce examples, such as for instance and such as
    summarizing words and phrases like briefly, to sum up, and as I was saying
    and all of the other words and phrases that connect our speech and writing to its larger context

The 10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken In The World Today


Be ready to be surprised.  This is a great article!  https://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/the-10-oldest-languages-still-spoken-in-the-world-today/

Listen to the beautiful diversity of voices around the world on this interactive map


An interactive map. Hover and listen:  http://www.wired.co.uk/article/localingual-map-voices-around-world

A Map of Lexical Distances Between Europe’s Languages


Screenshot 2017-03-09 17.23.13Read the article here at http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/a-map-of-lexical-distances-between-europes-languages

MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together


Interesting report at https://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2015/08/mit-claims-to-have-found-a-language-universal-that-ties-all-languages-together/

They found what they expected: “All languages have average dependency lengths shorter than the random baseline,” they write. This was especially true for longer sentences, which makes sense—there isn’t as much difference between “John threw out the trash,” and “John threw the trash out” as there is between the longer examples given above.

They also found that some languages display DLM more than others. Those languages that don’t rely just on word order to communicate the relationships between words tended to have higher scores. Languages like German and Japanese have markings on nouns that convey the role each noun plays within the sentence, allowing them to have freer word order than English. The researchers suggest that the markings in these languages contribute to memory and understanding, making DLM slightly less important. However, even these languages had scores lower than the random baseline.

NPR Podcast: Nature of Communication



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