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How To Learn Sign Language

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Tag: The Ling Space

Constructed Languages

Constructed Languages

So let’s talk about definitions. What defines a language? Is it just a bunch of words strung together in interesting ways? Or are there some properties that make it special? However you define it, there’s no denying that people love Read more…


How Logical is Language? Sentential Logic

How Logical is Language? Sentential Logic

So let’s talk about logic. Maybe you think it’s only Logic-Bots who care about this, but you might be surprised. In one form or another, logic has been around for thousands of years, and it’s extra interesting to linguists as Read more…


How Complex is Natural Language? The Chomsky Hierarchy

How Complex is Natural Language? The Chomsky Hierarchy

So let’s talk about complexity. For a codebreaker who spends all day decrypting messages and unlocking secrets, knowing what kind of cipher was used makes puzzling out the answer a lot easier. But the vast machine of everyday communication didn’t Read more…


Language and the Brain

Language and the Brain

So let’s talk about brains. We all know they’re delicious… I mean, important. They’re crucial for how we handle life in general, from our heartbeats to our feelings to our walking around. And language is no exception – without a Read more…


Places and Manners of Articulation

Places and Manners of Articulation

So let’s talk about your mouth. Have you ever really thought about your mouth? Because it’s pretty amazing. People have got all these articulators, all these moving parts, that work together to make the huge variety of sounds that we Read more…


How Can Words Change the World? Performative Language

So let’s talk about magic. When you want to make something happen using just your will, it helps to know the proper incantations. Speaking the right syllables at the right time can transform bachelors into husbands, students into graduates, and Read more…


Transfer in Second Language Acquisition

Transfer in Second Language Acquisition

So let’s talk about moving. It’s a real challenge to get all of your stuff from one place to another. The thing is, even if you decide to leave lots of junk behind, one thing you’re always stuck with is Read more…


The International Phonetic Alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet

So let’s talk about sounds. At first, you might think that writing down all the sounds you hear the way that you hear them should be pretty straightforward. But if you’re listening to me now, you’ve probably struggled with enough Read more…


Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar

Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar

So let’s talk about babies. Very cute, right? It’s hard to look at a baby smiling at you and not feel good. But even the most devoted parents don’t generally think of their baby as a cognitive powerhouse. But babies Read more…


What Makes Bad Words Bad? Taboo Language and Euphemisms

What Makes Bad Words Bad? Taboo Language and Euphemisms

So let’s talk about limits. We like to be able to talk about anything we want, and we can – we have the words to explain everything. That’s what language is good at. But just because we can express ourselves Read more…