News from Outside SFU

In the news: Articles on linguistics from across the globe

April 08, 2024

Archaeologists discover previously unknown ancient language

Archaeological research in the Middle East is revealing how a long-forgotten ancient civilisation used previously undiscovered linguistics to promote multiculturalism and political stability.

ChatGPT and the digitisation of writing

It was found that students used ChatGPT alongside many other tools, and in rather individualistic ways often to address specific challenges they felt they had with writing.

Climate Plays Role in Shaping Evolution of Human Languages, New Study Reveals

In new research, scientists from Nankai University and Kiel University analyzed the average sonority of basic words of nearly three-quarters of the world’s languages, and confirmed a positive correlation between sonority and local temperature. 

Does simplification hold true for machine translations?

A corpus-based analysis of lexical diversity in text varieties across genres.

English dominates scientific research—here's how we can fix it, and why it matters

Millions of speakers do not necessarily grant a language strength in academia. This has to be cultivated on a scientific, political, and cultural level, with sustained efforts from many institutions and specialists.

'I'm gonna get totally and utterly X'd': Can you really use any English word to mean 'drunk'?

British comedian Michael McIntyre argued in a comedy routine that posh people can use any word to mean "drunk" in English. Two German linguists took Michael McIntyre's claim seriously and tested it in a linguistic study. 

Study: All Languages around the World Have Words for ‘This’ and ‘That’

Scientists from the University of East Anglia and elsewhere studied 874 speakers of 29 different languages, including English, Spanish, Norwegian, Japanese, Mandarin, Tzeltal, and Telugu, to see how they use demonstratives.

When languages collide, which survives?

Shared beliefs, assumptions, and feelings toward specific language forms often determine whether a specific language will survive or disappear, especially within multilinguistic societies.

Why AI software ‘softening’ accents is problematic

Critics contend accent-softening software plunges us into a contemporary dystopia where technology is used to erase individuals’ differences, identity markers, and cultures.