Posted by Neal on March 22, 2010
I’m getting more links these days from some of the linguists on Twitter. Unfortunately, it’s been easy for me to forget to include the name of the person who tweeted the links and brought them to my attention. I know that several in this installment are from @Language_Today.
If you like the occasional stories about Doug and Adam here, you’ll like Thomas Hinkle’s stories about his daughter Grace’s language acquisition at Language Hack. He also writes about his experiences teaching Spanish.
A fascinating look at the grammar/etiquette of creating namesigns (sign-language proper nouns).
The LA Times interviews Franz Josef Ochs, in charge of machine translation for Google Translate.
From the Schott’s Vocab feature in The New York Times, an interview with Arika Okrent (author of In the Land of Invented Languages) and Paul Frommer (creator of the Na’vi language for Avatar) on how to create a language.
From Reuters, an article on China’s minority languages.
Erin McKean takes on guys as a gender-neutral term in her latest Boston Globe column. Here’s an argument for it that I hadn’t heard before: “we’re already used to words in English that have different meanings for the singular and plural: look and looks, arm and arms, manner and manners, and custom and customs all give a wider meaning to the plural without anyone raising a stink — and it’s easy to imagine guy and guys joining the list.”
And lastly, here’s Ben Zimmer’s first column as the new regular “On Language” columnist at The New York Times Magazine, where he explores the nounification of yes and no a bit further.