Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Summer Links

Posted by Neal on July 29, 2011

  • A thorough investigation of the history of different from/than/to from Stan Carey.
  • The hilarious linguistics love song (h/t to Stan Carey)
  • Another blog post from Stan Carey, this one linking to no less (uh, fewer?) than four websites that allow you to easily type and display IPA characters. I’ve put all the stuff I got from Stan first to get it out of the way. Seriously, you should just subscribe to his blog. He’s always writing about, or linking to, interesting stuff.
  • A post on the African American English blog Word, on black sign language.
  • David Crystal on why and how the past tense texed for texted might have arisen.
  • The puzzlers from this year’s International Linguistic Olympiad, being held this week in Pittsburgh. (h/t to Language Log)
  • The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, a fledgling database that catalogs regional variation in American English, not in pronunciation, not in lexical items (soda vs. pop), but in syntactic constructions (might could, needs done, etc.), with links to research papers.
  • The Idiomizer, another site that was created only recently, but should be a good translation resource as it accumulates more data. The goal: Input an idiom in a source language, find the functionally equivalent one in the target language. I asked it for “a little bird told me” in French, and sure enough, got (in French) “my little finger told me”.
  • A video of Michael Erard’s interview with “hyperpolyglot” Alexander Arguelles, who describes his mind-blowingly intense, driven, sustained, and disciplined daily regimen for learning whichever dozen or so languages he’s currently working on.
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3 Responses to “Summer Links”

  1. Ran said

    The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project is really interesting. (Your link to it is broken, by the way, but fortunately its web-page is the first Google-hit.) Most of its phenomena are ones that a lot of us will have encountered before, but the details are often surprising: who knew, for example, that a-prefixing (as in “was a-tellin'”, “kep’ a-beggin'”) had both syntactic restrictions and phonetic ones? I sure didn’t! And “so don’t I” is surprising from start to finish. If I came across it in the wild, I don’t think I’d even understand what was meant by it.

    • Neal said

      Oops. Looks like I put in the hyper without the link. Fixed now; thanks.

      I had a hard time believing people could actually be saying “So don’t I” without meaning it as a joke, but apparently they are.

  2. EP said

    Way cool love song!

    Forgive me my disfluency
    There’s nothing I can do you see…

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