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Latest Languages of Africa Stories

2011-12-10 01:18:26

A new study of how compound word formation is influenced by subtle forms of linguistic pressure demonstrates that words which "sound better" to the speakers of a language have a higher chance of being created, suggesting that, like biological organisms, words are subject to selection pressures that play a role in deciding which words become part of a language over time. The study, "Grammars leak: Modeling how phonotactic generalizations interact within the grammar," to be published in the...

2010-07-20 14:36:40

A foreign accent undermines a person's credibility in ways that the speaker and the listener don't consciously realize, new research at the University of Chicago shows. Because an accent makes a person harder to understand, listeners are less likely to find what the person says as truthful, researchers found. The problem of credibility increases with the severity of the accent. "The results have important implications for how people perceive non-native speakers of a language, particularly as...

2010-06-21 20:37:13

Despite the fact that the African languages in Rwanda and Uganda are marginalised in most formal domains in society, they are used far more extensively than commonly believed. This is one conclusion reached in a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterised by a large number of indigenous languages that are not appointed official languages. In fact, Westerners often find the vast linguistic diversity difficult to comprehend. By comparing...

2010-06-17 07:41:00

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine having your own personal creative editor who feeds you great phrasing suggestions as you type. Imagine still that he's multilingual, with impeccable grammar and spelling - Oh, and imagine he works for you pro bono, not charging you a thing. What you're actually imagining is a software called eType. (Sorry, most real editors just aren't this debonair.) Launching today with six available languages, this international software of mystery will...

2009-11-11 17:18:02

Do you speak English as a second language well, but still have trouble understanding movies with unfamiliar accents, such as Brad Pitt's southern accent in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds? In a new study, published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Holger Mitterer (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and James McQueen (MPI and Radboud University Nijmegen) show how you can improve your second-language listening ability by watching the movie with subtitles"”as long as...

2009-05-07 14:42:14

Children as young as 19 months understand different dialects, researchers in Australia found. Catherine Best of MARCS Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney, along with colleagues from Haskins Laboratories and Wesleyan University, report the early development of this cross-dialect skill, which they term phonological constancy. The study, described in Psychological Science, suggests phonological constancy is evident by 19 months of age, but is not yet present at 15 months. In the...

2008-08-15 12:00:48

By SARAH RAINEY IT'S an opertunity that we truely cannot ignor. At least, if we listen to one university lecturer's ideas for spelling out students' problems with literacy - this could be the future of the written word. Ken Smith, a senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks New University, has called for common spelling mistakes made by students to be accepted into everyday usage as 'variant spellings' of some particular words. "Teaching a large first-year course at a British university, I...

2008-06-21 00:00:20

Friends Seminary School Autumn Adkins, 212-979-5035 ext. 193 Assistant Principal Friends Seminary School, regarded as one of the country's top private schools, today announced the addition of Arabic to its curriculum of languages being offered to its students beginning in the Fall 2008 semester. Founded in 1786, Friends Seminary has consistently striven to be at the forefront in education, from its founding as a co-ed school when the education of girls was marginal to establishing...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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