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Blog Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

The longest conversation

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 28th, 02008


I was reminded yesterday when speaking with one of the SETI board members of the very interesting conundrum we might find ourselves in if we in fact did receive a message from space.  Above is some imagery from the first seriously high powered transmission from earth, dubbed the Arecibo message:
The [01974] transmission consisted of. . .   Read More

The Future Half-Life of Verbs

by Kevin Kelly on October 24th, 02007

Language evolves, The English we might speak in the future will be different. One long term trend in English moves towards uniform ways of making verbs past tense. Ordinarily we do it by adding “ed” to the end.

To get an idea of where English might evolve to in the coming centuries, several linguists published. . .   Read More

ICANN and now you can too…in Yiddish!

by Laura Welcher on October 17th, 02007

This week, tech sites like DomainInformer reported that ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was unveiling the internationalization of top-level domain names in “11 test languages — Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese, and Tamil.” Uh…wait a second…did they say Yiddish?!! A language with. . .   Read More

Recording last words

by Laura Welcher on September 20th, 02007

The New York Times reported yesterday on the crisis of language loss, and the work of linguists to document languages that are on the brink of vanishing without a trace. This picture of linguists David Harrison and Greg Anderson, and Charlie Muldunga, the only known speaker of Amurdag (a language of the Northern Territory previously. . .   Read More

Most all words replaced in 2000 years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 25th, 02007

This is a great appendix I just came across on the half life of vocabulary in a language. From the text:
The rate of vocabulary change The half-life of a word is the amount of time required for there to be a 50% chance that it will be replaced by a new word. Most. . .   Read More

Is there a proto-language?

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 6th, 02007

San Bushman in Namibia. Linguists say the ‘click’ sound used in San speech may have been a feature of the proto-language.

(Joy Tessman/NGI/GI)

“Linguists seek a time when we spoke as one
A controversial research project is trying to trace all human language to a common root.”

Nice article (CS Monitor) forwarded. . .   Read More

2907 years of the alphabet

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 18th, 02007

I recently came across this very nice animation of the last 2907 years of alphabet evolution. It is a remarkably condensing and simple animated illustration. . .   Read More

The Pirahã

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 25th, 02007

I recently came across this stunningly good linguistics article published in the New Yorker (April of 02007). While I am certain that folks working on our Rosetta Project will have varying opinions on the work being described in the article, I found it an excellent primer into the world of endangered language and field linguistics. . .   Read More

How To Use A Book

by Kevin Kelly on May 6th, 02007

Someday in the future our trouble with our current systems of networking and wireless and routers and protocols and software will seem as charming and obvious as… well as charmingly obvious as the hassles medieval monks may have had with the first books, if you can believe this cool video. It’s a glorious send. . .   Read More

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