On geographic determinism and nasal vowels in French

Dec 30, 2011 by

In a recent post, I discussed one example of geographic determinism applied to linguistic typology. The thinking behind geographic determinism is as follows: certain kinds of terrain or weather favor certain structural features in...

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Making my case

Dec 26, 2011 by

In the last couple of posts, I’ve discussed the issue of grammatical complexity and have shown that even if an objective measure of such complexity is absent, languages clearly differ as to which grammatical distinctions they...

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I love you!

Dec 24, 2011 by

As linguists, we often tell our students — without giving it a second thought — that all languages are equally grammatically complex. As Guy Deutcher puts it in his Through the Language Glass, “equal complexity is...

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The Spanish Language in the American Southwest

Dec 8, 2011 by

BY JESSE ESPINOZA (“Languages of the World”)  (Spanish language in the U.S. – U.S. Census Data 2007)[i]               Few countries in the world have...

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It’s not all black and white

Nov 30, 2011 by

As was discussed in earlier postings, the cross-linguistic range of color terms is quite complex and languages differ as to how the treat the color spectrum (e.g., see how Hanunoo does it). But interestingly, not all uses of color...

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