The Geography of ‘Book’

Oct 2, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in May 2013] As explored in my earlier posts (see also here, here, and here), the spatial distribution of words for a given meaning can reveal interesting patterns of both language spread and...

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Say “Cheese”!

Sep 29, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in March 2013] As noted in my earlier post, dairy consumption is a predominantly European tradition, due to higher levels of lactase persistence (that is, ability of adults to process lactose, a...

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What will you have: tea or chai?

Sep 28, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in August 2012] A cup of steaming-hot tea on my desk made me wonder about the names for this drink in different languages: in Russian we call it chaj, but most other languages I know—English,...

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Are Words Just Like Genes?

Sep 20, 2014 by

[Thanks to Rory van Tuyl for drawing my attention to Morell's article and to Martin Lewis for many enlightening discussions of these issues and for helpful editorial suggestions] In an article published on September 19, 2014 in...

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The Geography of the “Onion” Vocabulary

Sep 18, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in January 2013] [Thanks to Diane Nelson, David Pesetsky, Steven Lubman, Alex Dratva, Alexei Kassian, Hsin-Chang Chen, and Ruta Nylander for their help in researching this post.] Examining the...

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Hebrew proven to be the “original language” by a deaf pers...

Jun 13, 2012 by

A curious article at the Jewish Deaf Multimedia website claims that Hebrew (Ancient or Biblical Hebrew, that is, which is not the same as Modern Hebrew) has been proven to be the "original language", that is "the first language to ever exist". How was it proven? And is it actualy true?

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