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Linguistics & Cognitive Science


Language Geek

  • Learning with Readlang

    Learning with Readlang

    I’ve recently started using Readlang.com a lot more, adding it to my list of daily language learning tools. It’s similar to LingQ and Learning With Texts, but ultimately, I’ve found that I like Readlang the most out of the three. It’s speedie…
    - 28 May 17, 10:12am -
  • Beginning steps in Swedish

    Beginning steps in Swedish

    A few weeks ago, I received my copy of Schwedisch ohne Mühe. This was very much a spur of the moment purchase, based largely on this train of thought: I’ve long been interested in Viking history; I’m interested in Old Norse; I should check out a…
    - 3 Oct 16, 4:17pm -
  • Strange Languages in Stranger Things

    Strange Languages in Stranger Things

    Like many people, the wife and I just finished up Stranger Things a few nights ago. I ended up absolutely loving it – great story, great acting, great 80s vibe. It was just lovely. So I was very, very happy to see that Netflix actually lets you wat…
    - 11 Aug 16, 8:33am -
  • Hallo wieder (Back at it)

    Hallo wieder (Back at it)

    I mentioned this a while back on the Facebook page for my blog, but for those that missed it (why don’t you like the Facebook page? 😉 ): the missing passion has been found. No real secret to that, other than I did what lots of people do and reco…
    - 2 Jul 16, 11:23am -
  • Loss of Passion

    Loss of Passion

    So, it’s clearly been quite a while since I last wrote here. I’ve tweeted a few things here and there, but I’ve largely been silent on Twitter, too. What gives? If you look at my previous post, you can probably connect the dots. My trip to Germ…
    - 19 Apr 16, 5:30pm -
  • Germany and “What did they just say?”

    Germany and “What did they just say?”

    So, I mentioned previously that my wife and I were going to Germany for our honeymoon. We went in early September, and were there for a little over a week. It was a great trip, and I’m glad to have been able to go. Obviously, with my love for the G…
    - 28 Oct 15, 9:49am -
  • A short video overview of the Gold List vocabulary method

    A short video overview of the Gold List vocabulary method

    Reader Christopher Huff made a short video, providing a great, concise overview of the Gold List vocabulary method. If you’re interested in giving the method a try, check it out! See Christopher’s own site here.
    - 17 Sep 15, 8:59am -
  • The Goldlist Method

    The Goldlist Method

    I wrote about the “Goldlist method” quite some time ago (just shy of 8 years ago, wow!), but never really gave it a fair try. (If you’re totally lost about what the Goldlist method is, it’s probably best to start with the creator’s page her…
    - 20 Jun 15, 12:33pm -
  • Spotify and Language Learning

    Spotify and Language Learning

    I’ve been a big fan of Spotify ever since it launched in the states a number of years ago, not only because it’s great for music discovery, but also because it’s a veritable treasure trove for language learners. For a long while, listening to d…
    - 7 Apr 15, 5:30pm -
  • Language Bits

    Language Bits

    Just some bits and bobs I’ve watched / read lately about language learning that I found interesting. Enjoy!   Steve Kaufmann has a nice video up about dealing with anxiety and language learning, specifically while speaking, but what he says can re…
    - 17 Nov 14, 9:40pm -

Language Magazine

  • newDrums Amplify Speech Across Amazon
    The Amazonian Bora people mimic the rhythm of their language for communication over large distances using drums Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Université Grenoble Alpes have found that the drummed spe…
    - 7 hours ago, 25 Apr 18, 2:10am -
  • newSociety-wide Benefits of DACA
    According to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has had a “significant impact” on the educational outcomes of undocumented immigrant youth, including a 15% increase in h…
    - 20 hours ago, 24 Apr 18, 1:01pm -
  • To Celebrate World Book Day, Spanish Language Day, and English Language Day, 10 Books from Spanish Authors to Read in English or Spanish
    Today is a big day, with three coinciding celebrations all at once. World Book Day is a celebration of authors, books, and most importantly, reading. According to their website, it is “the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a…
    - 2 days ago, 23 Apr 18, 5:28pm -
  • Spanish Fades with Generations
    Although U.S. Latinos believe it’s important for future generations of Hispanics to speak Spanish and the vast majority speak the language to their children, less Latino parents ensure their children speak Spanish as they become second- and third-g…
    - 5 days ago, 20 Apr 18, 6:18pm -
  • Newspapers, Childhood Reading Key to Strong Vocabulary
    Researchers at London’s Institute of Education have found that children who are avid readers reap the rewards well into adulthood. The participants of the study who were avid readers as children scored significantly higher on vocabulary tests as ad…
    - 6 days ago, 19 Apr 18, 12:48pm -
  • Latvia Drops Russian High Schools
    Last month, the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) passed amendments to its education laws according to which ethnic-minority schools will have to transition to Latvian-only secondary education in the 2019/2020 academic year. In passing the amendments, lawm…
    - 8 days ago, 17 Apr 18, 3:29pm -
  • Voxy Resource Video
    Grow your business Attract and retain the world’s top students and employees when you offer them access to Voxy. Provide targeted English content Give learners access to the real-world content they need to achieve their goals, from career-aligne…
    - 12 days ago, 13 Apr 18, 1:40pm -
  • Good Readers Read More
    A new study of more than 11,000 7-year-old twins found that how well children read determines how much they read, not vice versa. Furthermore, the authors of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry study found that how well children read is h…
    - 14 days ago, 11 Apr 18, 7:49pm -
  • Bilinguals Single Out Second Language While Reading
    Reading and speaking in a second language can be difficult, especially when the second language was learned later in life. However, a new study in Cognition shows that bilinguals who are highly proficient in their second language can not only overcom…
    - 15 days ago, 10 Apr 18, 3:45pm -
  • Advancing English Learner Equity in Math
    Report Shows Promising Practices in California and Offers Key Recommendations A new report from The Education Trust—West finds promising practices around the state that are increasing math supports for English learners (ELs) and boosting achievemen…
    - 15 days ago, 9 Apr 18, 11:57pm -

Mr. Verb

  • You've been warned, interwebs ...
    What you thought was the cold lifeless corpus of Mr. Verb may be twitching again ... stay tuned.Bwahahaha.
    - 29 May 17, 3:29pm -
  • Ignorance, appropriation, and exoticization

    Ignorance, appropriation, and exoticization

    ... all wrapped up in one nice package in this morning's New York Times!It's a little hard to know where to start. Well, let's start with ignorance. The media never gets stuff about language right, so that's no surprise. And in some places it's hard…
    - 24 Apr 16, 11:16pm -
  • Untitled

    This was fun (well, for a language nerd, anyway). I spotted this eggcorn in an article about Wisconsin's education-destroying governor:  "... or who serve at the leisure of these appointees." I was really baffled because that only works as an eggcor…
    - 12 Aug 15, 12:58am -
  • Language Capital Project
    Some of the Wisconsin Englishes folks have talked off and on about doing maps of 'linguistic resources' in communities, figuring out where different languages are used in businesses and community organizations, for instance. Turns out that Tucson is…
    - 11 Aug 15, 9:00am -
  • LSA speaks up for tenure and academic freedom at the University of Wisconsin
    Subject line pretty much says it all. See here.
    - 23 Jun 15, 10:21am -
  • UW: Should I stay or should I go?

    UW: Should I stay or should I go?

    There’s a lot of talk now about UW faculty being poached or just looking to flee the state. The following is a real letter from a senior faculty member at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I have been saying that the first real question for…
    - 19 Jun 15, 12:29pm -
  • Open attack on academic freedom and free speech

    Open attack on academic freedom and free speech

    Look at this clip of an interview with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. The host, Mike Gousha, asks specifically about tenure, "why do changes need to be made?" Starting around 2:00, Fitzgerald responds with this:The idea that anybody should…
    - 17 Jun 15, 8:06pm -
  • Zapf and linguistics

    Zapf and linguistics

    Hermann Zapf has passed away. The NYT obit has a good sketch of his life and work, including designing Palatino and Optima fonts. In linguistics, he has a special place because his Dingbats font provided a face, so to speak, for Optimality Theory (al…
    - 10 Jun 15, 8:43am -
  • The real misperception about the politics surrounding the University of Wisconsin

    The real misperception about the politics surrounding the University of Wisconsin

    This blog has been silent about recent developments aimed at destroying the University of Wisconsin by more rapid defunding, by dismantling tenure and by forbidding shared governance.We've seen the Board of Regents decline to step up and urge the sta…
    - 9 Jun 15, 9:42am -
  • Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas 6: Uppsala, Sweden

    Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas 6: Uppsala, Sweden

    Various UW folks have attended this workshop and recommend it highly. Besides, it's Sweden in September.The 6th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas (WILA6) will take place on September 24–26, 2015, at Uppsala University, Uppsala,…
    - 30 May 15, 11:28am -

Sci American: Language & Linguistics

    The Cranky Linguist

    • Wheel of Fortune: Ebonics is "wrong"
      [I just posted this on Wheel of Fortune's contact page.]On yesterday's show one puzzle included the word "embroidered." An African American woman solved the puzzle but pronounced this word so that it sounded like "emroided."  I believe that this hap…
      - 35 days ago, 21 Mar 18, 3:09pm -
    • Social Science at the Olympics
      Friday night, watching the Olympic opening ceremony, I was reminded of Chinese-American anthropologist Francis Hsu. The commentator described the opening ceremony (which had some very nice moments) as representing one of the differences between East…
      - 73 days ago, 11 Feb 18, 7:43am -
    • Yesterday's email from the UNF president
      From the desk of President John Delaney:I wanted to follow up on a message I sent to the campus community earlier today, about a flurry of social media posts which included a threatening message and a disturbing image. While Federal law (FERPA) norm…
      - 15 Nov 17, 9:36am -
    • Carriacou in 1967

      Carriacou in 1967

      This is a silent video by someone named Dennis Furbush in Carriacou in February 1967.
      - 9 Oct 17, 2:13pm -
    • 9/11: Something to think about
      Osama bin Laden, quoted in The Guardian October 2004:"God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people i…
      - 12 Sep 17, 10:19am -
    • Why anthropology needs to be taught in school (guest blog)
      Recently there has been a trend in education towards emphasizing the STEM academic disciplines while excluding the legacy disciplines of the “Social Sciences”. Recent (and continuing) news* shows the folly of moving away from the social sciences-…
      - 8 Aug 17, 3:53pm -
    • Senator Ben Sasse doesn't understand human nature (part II)
      In my previous post, I tried to introduce the anthropological concepts of Independence Training (IT) and Dependence Training (DT).  These are contrasting parameters of enculturation that all human societies share, but to differing degrees.  All hum…
      - 6 Jun 17, 3:54pm -
    • Senator Ben Sasse does not understand human nature
      I finally got around to viewing Bill Maher's most recent edition of Real Time, in which he used the "N-word" while talking with Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE).  I think the reaction has been overblown but maybe more about that another time.More interesti…
      - 5 Jun 17, 9:16pm -
    • Purging the blackness...
      Our so-called president Trump is practically frothing at the mouth to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act; to back out of the Paris climate agreement; and to roll back the recent loosening of restrictions on Cuban and trade and travel.  Doe…
      - 1 Jun 17, 3:01pm -
    • Congressman King's precursors

      Congressman King's precursors

      As reported here and elsewhere, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently claimed that we owe "civilization" to the Europeans; nobody else contributed significantly.  This idea is straight out of the playbook of the 19th-century evolutionists, who claimed t…
      - 15 Mar 17, 12:06pm -

    The Lousy Linguist

    • Putting the Linguistics into Kaggle Competitions
      In the spirit of Dr. Emily Bender’s NAACL blog post Putting the Linguistics in Computational Linguistics, I want to apply some of her thoughts to the data from the recently opened Kaggle competition Toxic Comment Classification Challenge.Dr. Bender…
      - 28 Dec 17, 4:36pm -
    • A linguist asks some questions about word vectors
      I have at best a passing familiarity with word vectors, strictly from a 30,000 foot view. I've never directly used them outside a handful of toy tutorials (though they have been embedded in a variety of tools I use professionally). There is somethi…
      - 18 Oct 17, 8:16pm -
    • Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning (Andrew Ng)

      Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning (Andrew Ng)

      I recently watched Andrew Ng's excellent lecture from 2016 Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning and took notes. I post them as a helpful resource for anyone who wants to watch the video. I broke it into the following sectionsEnd-to-End DL for ri…
      - 14 Sep 17, 6:47pm -
    • NLPers: How would you characterize your linguistics background?

      NLPers: How would you characterize your linguistics background?

      That was the poll question my hero Professor Emily Bender posed on Twitter March 30th. 573 tweets later, a truly epic thread had been created pitting some of the most influential NLPers in the world head to head in a contest of wit and debate tha…
      - 8 Apr 17, 6:53pm -
    • Small Towns Do Tech Startups Too

      Small Towns Do Tech Startups Too

      I'm participating in the Startup Weekend event in Chico CA sponsored by Chicostart. Great first night. The 60 second pitches were awesome. So much variety and interesting problems to solve. I pitched my own idea about using Watson to identify fake…
      - 25 Mar 17, 11:01am -
    • Chico Startup Weekend

      Chico Startup Weekend

      I'm looking forward to participating in Chico Startup Weekend, sponsored by Chicostart. I can't say what the weekend holds, but it's nice to know there's this kind of energy and drive in small town America. Startups ain't just for Austin and Mountain…
      - 24 Mar 17, 5:02pm -
    • Using IBM Watson Knowledge Studio to Train Machine Learning Models

      Using IBM Watson Knowledge Studio to Train Machine Learning Models

      Using the Free Trial version of IBM's Watson Knowledge Studio, I just annotated a text and created a machine learning model in about 3 hours without writing a single line of code. The mantra of WKS is that you don't program Watson, you teach Watson.F…
      - 22 Mar 17, 3:11pm -
    • Annotate texts and create learning models

      Annotate texts and create learning models

      IBM Watson has released a free trial version of their online Watson Knowledge Studio tool. This is one of the tools I'm most excited about because it brings linguistic annotation, rule writing, dictionary creation, and machine learning together in a…
      - 9 Mar 17, 10:44am -
    • one of the best preschools in chico
      My sister's preschool, Kids First Learning Center, was voted one of the best prescools in Chico in the local News and Review Best of Chico contest. Very cool
      - 14 Oct 16, 2:43pm -
    • the value of play for preschool children
      A nice article came up in The Atlantic about the comeback of recess and play in elementary schools. My sister posted some thought about how she encourages play when she teaches her preschool kids: For our little Chico preschool, play and education a…
      - 25 Sep 16, 4:32pm -
    Dosha Pops
    Dosha Pops
    Dosha Pops
    Dosha Pops

    Thoughts on Translation

    • Translating in Lilt: one translator’s experience
      This is a guest post by Suzanne Rietveld (suzarieve@gmail.com). Suzanne translates between Dutch and English; she has a background in horticulture and has worked in women’s health—these are her primary translation specializations. She is also an…
      - 6 days ago, 19 Apr 18, 4:51pm -
    • New podcast: raising bilingual children

      New podcast: raising bilingual children

      In this episode of Speaking of Translation, Eve, Corinne, and special guest Jennifer Bikkál Horne discuss strategies for raising your children bilingually–a topic that, while not directly related to translation, is of interest to lots of us in the…
      - 8 days ago, 17 Apr 18, 2:51pm -
    • Marketing tip: beating analysis paralysis
      In a world of too many (and ever-increasing!) choices, most of us are familiar with the concept of analysis paralysis. In the face of too many options–whole, low-fat, skim, soy, or almond milk in that latte??–we either a) make no choice at all–…
      - 22 days ago, 3 Apr 18, 4:51pm -
    • New podcast: Eve and Corinne’s favorite new tips and tricks
      In this episode of Speaking of Translation, Eve and Corinne share some new tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently and learn new skills. Including: Text-to-speech proofreading (having your computer read your translations out loud). Addendum…
      - 36 days ago, 20 Mar 18, 6:16pm -
    • Resources for practicing French interpreting
      As I mentioned on a recent Speaking of Translation podcast about goal-setting, one of my medium-term goals is to improve my French interpreting skills. Because…well…everyone needs one big, crazy dream, and this is mine. Back in the day (think 200…
      - 41 days ago, 15 Mar 18, 7:08pm -
    • Translation Workshop: French to English–open for registration
      Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my recent survey about translation technique courses. The response to that survey was overwhelmingly positive, and I’m excited to announce that the first class–Translation Workshop: French to English…
      - 54 days ago, 2 Mar 18, 10:52am -
    • Text to speech proofreading: worth a try!
      Because I’m not a naturally gifted proofreader, I’m always looking for new and helpful proofreading tools. I have proofreading issues: I read too fast, and start skimming I don’t enjoy proofreading, so I put it off Because I’m not naturally g…
      - 63 days ago, 21 Feb 18, 3:42pm -
    • Beyond the Basics of Freelancing: starts Monday

      - 70 days ago, 14 Feb 18, 11:11am -
    • How much do freelance translators earn? Is it enough? 2018 edition
      Back in 2011, I wrote this post about how much freelance translators earn. After almost seven years, it’s still the most popular post on this site, with over 21,000 views. A reader recently sent me a series of questions about translator income: “…
      - 77 days ago, 7 Feb 18, 12:43am -
    • Link: Barry Olsen reviews an automated interpreting earpiece
      Do you subscribe to Jost Zetzsche’s Tool Box Journal newsletter? If not, you should. It’s a monthly roundup of all things language technology-related. I always feel that Jost tracks translation technology so that I don’t have to: instead of com…
      - 90 days ago, 25 Jan 18, 1:32pm -
    PopMuse

    About PopMuse

    A curated aggregation of musings from across the land and of different subject matters for the scanoholics.