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Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak. Academics at the University of York have discovered a correlation between genetic and linguistic diversity and concluded that at least in Europe people who speak different languages are also more likely to have a different genetic make-up.

Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

The study, led by Professor Giuseppe Longobardi in York's Department of Language and Linguistic Science, in collaboration with geneticists and linguists at the Universities of Ferrara and Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, has discovered that language proves a better predictor of genetic differences than the geographical distribution of population. As part of his study he observed significant correlations between genetic and linguistic diversity across the Indo-European and non-Indo-European-speaking populations of Europe. Professor Longobardi said: "To a very large extent linguistic differences correspond to genetic differences in the relevant populations.

The subtle sounds that English speakers have trouble catching. Mapped: The crazy relationships among European languauges. What Noises Do Animals Make In Other Languages? Here Is An Important Guide. 13 Cool and Interesting Facts About the Spanish Language. We are only a few hours away from El Día E, the big celebration of everyone who speaks Spanish.

13 Cool and Interesting Facts About the Spanish Language

If you are a native Spanish speaker or made the choice to learn it… CONGRATULATIONS! To close this worldwide celebration, here are 13 cool and interesting facts about the Spanish language. Best of 2014: Communication Charts Help You Negotiate In Different Cultures. British linguist Richard D.

Best of 2014: Communication Charts Help You Negotiate In Different Cultures

Lewis created diagrams that capture negotiating characteristics across 27 different countries Culture shock is at times an unfortunate reality of international travel. The surprises that arise when immersed in another culture are part of the adventure, but when conducting business abroad, cultural misunderstandings can lead to unsuccessful negotiations. Renowned British linguist Richard D. Lewis attempted to provide a solution for this issue by charting the typical negotiating techniques in nearly thirty countries around the world. Lewis, who brought the popular language school Berlitz to East Asia, Portugal and Finland, is the founder of Richard Lewis Communications, which provides cross-culture communication services and training to individuals and organizations around the world. Americans, for example, like to lay all the cards on the table and reach a conclusion as soon as possible, although sarcasm and provocation could provide roadblocks. How Computers Are Changing the Way We Explain the World.

Imagine it’s the 1950s and you’re in charge of one of the world’s first electronic computers.

How Computers Are Changing the Way We Explain the World

A company approaches you and says: “We have 10 million words of French text that we’d like to translate into English. We could hire translators, but is there some way your computer could do the translation automatically?” Quanta Magazine About Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent division of whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. At this time, computers are still a novelty, and no one has ever done automated translation. For several decades, most computer translation systems used ideas along these lines—long lists of rules expressing linguistic structure. They did this in a clever way. Click to Open Overlay Gallery When I first heard about this approach, it sounded ludicrous.

Go Back to Top. 8 Excellent Books on Discourse Analysis for Research Sudents. Uh, Why Do We Say Um? Umm… uh… Where to begin?

Uh, Why Do We Say Um?

The typical conversation is chock full of stumbles and awkward pauses, often heralded by those pesky fillers, um and uh. It's easy to overlook these not-quite-words as unimportant, but linguists are now starting to believe they have a purpose — and may even be subject to the same kind of language trends as real words. "Younger people and women relatively use 'um' more frequently than men and older people," said Martijn Wieling, a professor at the University of Groningen who has studied the ums and uhs of Dutch speakers and Norwegians, among others.

The gender/age schism also shows up in American and British English and in German. Why um and uh should are used differently is a bit of a linguistic mystery. The purpose of um Conversational language is often a mess. C: I remember it over aunt Matty. Pragmatics. Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and semiotics that studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.


Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, linguistics and anthropology.[1] Unlike semantics, which examines meaning that is conventional or "coded" in a given language, pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar, lexicon, etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance, any pre-existing knowledge about those involved, the inferred intent of the speaker, and other factors.[2] In this respect, pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, time etc. of an utterance.[1] The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called pragmatic competence.[3][4][5] Example: "I"