Tribe Revives Language on Verge of Extinction

Local native languages teeter on the brink of oblivion all over the world...but forces are creating new ways to save its hidden, cloistered corners.


Speaking Multiple Languages Can Influence Children's Emotional Development

Code-switching, or switching back and forth between different languages, happens all the time in multilingual environments, and often in emotional situations.


How Technology is Changing Chinese, One Pun at a Time

There are now more than 500 million people online in China. They are microblogging, instant messaging, texting. The result is changing the Chinese language


Insights From the Youngest Minds

...infants just a few weeks old show a clear liking for people who use speech patterns the babies have already been exposed to, and that includes the regional accents, twangs, and R’s or lack thereof.


Looks Like a Rodent, Croons Like a Bird

Hyraxes’ songs have something rarely found in mammals: syntax that varies according to where the hyraxes live, geographical dialects in how they put their songs together.


Repeat After Me

Few linguists doubt that natural selection has played a part in humans’ linguistic ability. We all speak. Our vocal tract is honed to produce the sonic richness and precision of speech. Animals couldn’t speak even if they wanted to.

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How Immersion Helps to Learn a Language

Learning a foreign language is never easy, but contrary to common wisdom, it is possible for adults to process a language the same way a native speaker does.


How Do You Say ‘Disagreement’ in Pirahã?

In 2005 Dr. Everett shot to international prominence with a paper claiming that he had identified some peculiar features of the Pirahã language that challenged Noam Chomsky’s influential theory...that human language is governed by “universal grammar”


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