background preloader

Logophilia

Facebook Twitter

Being fluent at swearing is a sign of healthy verbal ability. By guest bloggerRichard Stephens Swearing is an incredibly versatile aspect of language – take the word “fuck” for example.

Being fluent at swearing is a sign of healthy verbal ability

This highly charged word, still offensive to many people, has many uses beyond its literal meaning. This was colourfully demonstrated by linguists Anthony McEnery and Zhonghua Xiao from Lancaster University in the UK in their research on spoken and written English. They observed its use as a general expletive (oh fuck!) , a personal insult (you fuck!) Still, despite this complexity, there remains a very commonly held belief that swearing is a sign of inarticulateness and low IQ – something that the US-based psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay set out to challenge in new research published in Language Sciences. Dozens of student volunteers were set a rather unusual task – to say as many different swear words as they could think of in one minute. Jay, K., & Jay, T. (2015). Post written by Richard Stephens for the BPS Research Digest. Do Bilingual People Have a Cognitive Advantage? - Neuroskeptic.

For years, psychologists have been debating the “bilingual advantage” – the idea that speaking more than one language fluently brings with it cognitive benefits.

Do Bilingual People Have a Cognitive Advantage? - Neuroskeptic

Believers and skeptics in the theory have been trading blows for a while, but matters recently came to a head in the form of a series of papers in the journal Cortex. The bilingual advantage hypothesis states that bilinguals excel at ‘cognitive control’ also known as ‘executive function’ – meaning that they find it easier to suppress “reflex” responses and focus on the task at hand. The theory is that whenever they’re speaking or listening to one language, the brains of bilinguals have to use cognitive control to actively suppress the other language, to avoid getting mixed up.

Because they’re constantly practicing cognitive control, bilinguals are better at it – so the theory goes. Psychologists Kenneth Paap, Hunter A. In this paper, Paap et al. discussed issues such as flawed study designs and publication bias. What linguists say about Kevin Spacey's bizarre Southern accent on House of Cards. The last two seasons of Netflix's House of Cards have wavered between shocking and silly, campy and sinister, good and bad.

What linguists say about Kevin Spacey's bizarre Southern accent on House of Cards

But the show has always had one big, scenery-chewing constant: Kevin Spacey's Southern accent. Spacey's accent is as crucial to his character, the diabolical Frank Underwood, as venom is to a cobra. The lines Spacey delivers as the conniving congressman (now president) are some of the most ridiculous in television history — "I've always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs. " But they're only enhanced by Spacey's slow-cooked, honey-glazed take on the South Carolina drawl. But is Spacey's accent accurate at all? Kevin Spacey's Southern accent is passable. "I suspect that some Southerners might recognize that he doesn't sound quite right," Dr.

What Thomas and linguists listen for are "features. " Did that make no sense? Frank Underwood sounds like a Southerner born before World War II. 20 readers who lost fluency in their language. 13 July 2014Last updated at 20:28 ET For many of us, the thought of ever forgetting how to speak our native language would seem preposterous.

20 readers who lost fluency in their language

But for some readers, it became a reality. During a five-year captivity in Afghanistan, US soldier Bowe Bergdahl apparently lost some of his language capabilities - news which prompted the Magazine to ask under what circumstances a person could lose their native or first language. In response, readers wrote in to tell their own stories of language loss or confusion. Here's a selection. Kristina Schmale O'Hagan, Ireland Kristina Schmale O'Hagan in Ireland Having had to switch from German to English, I now realise how inextricably linked language and culture are.

I can also swear in English... yet do not know any German expletives! The Largest Vocabulary in Hip hop. Useless.jpg (JPEG Image, 598×344 pixels) The Bilingual Advantage. Bollocks to it. Teenagers love to swear.

Bollocks to it

Says who? Says science you melon farmers. And what could be better than a top ten of teenage swearing compiled by science wielding psycholinguists? A US – UK show down. Let the cursing commence. The book Trends in Teenage Talk: Corpus Compilation, Analysis and Findings was written to summarise the findings of research on the word use of teenagers in London. In Chapter 4, on slang and swearing, the authors compare the frequency of swear words in London teens to the same from an earlier study in East Coast American adolescents. First the Londoners: And now on to the East Coast Americans: I would first like to express my disappointment that the word bollocks is being neglected by UK teenagers. Unfortunately, a decline in social standards and a lack of respect for tradition is leading to a generation of fucking obsessed adolescents. However, the small sample size of the American data means it may not be the most reliable guide to the true population ranking.

The History of English Orthography.