Category Archives: Linguistics

The Virtual Linguistics Campus: free online linguistics tuition for all

Ever been interested in language or linguistics, but not had the opportunity to study it? Would you like to learn about the fundamental tenets of linguistic theory in your own time, for free, but still put together by a prestigious … Continue reading

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Linguistics for laypeople: language contact

Language contact, whether between similar dialects or typologically different languages, almost always influences change in one or more of the languages in question. Linguistic borrowing of any sort is closely associated with certain socio-historical and socio-cultural factors, namely those of … Continue reading

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Linguistics for laypeople: inflection vs derivation

In the study of Morphology, which is concerned with the structure of words, there has traditionally been a distinction drawn between two types of affixes, inflectional and derivational. An affix is basically what your traditional Latin or German grammars would … Continue reading

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Why German (sometimes) makes me cry

You’ll all have heard the semi-truth that German has really really long sentences where all the verbs come at the end. The period of German I am looking at (the language of the eighteenth century) is well-known for having ‘imprecise … Continue reading

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Mountweazels, dictionaries and esquivalience

In preparation for teaching  this term, I was perusing Lieber (2010), which is a pretty readable introduction to the key topics in Morphology. One thing that is different about this book from others, however, is the author’s decision to include … Continue reading

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Attitudes to linguistic borrowing

So I’ve been quiet on the blog-front in recent months: mostly finishing my MPhil thesis and revising for exams. Now I find myself in that slightly eerie Zwischenphase between Masters and PhD. Happily, I’ve had plenty of things going on to … Continue reading

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‘Simplicity’ and Linguistics

I was happily re-reading this excellent introduction to Linguistics this evening, when I stumbled across a sentence that annoyed me. ‘Obviously, [example X] is consistent with general scientific guidelines which require us to always seek the simplest and most elegant … Continue reading

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