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Jeremy Collins
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Jeremy's posts

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The Glamour of Grammar
A quotation from Lyle Campbell's Historical Linguistics  (1998:5) on the shared etymology of the words glamour  and grammar , in honour of today's xkcd  cartoon: ' Glamour  is a changed form of the word  grammar , originally in use in Scots English; it mean...

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Sound-meaning associations across more than 4000 languages
My friend Damián ‘blasé Damián’ Blasi published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, with Søren Wichmann, Harald Hammarström, Peter Stadler and Morten Christiansen, available  here . The paper was on how there are common sou...

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Sound-meaning associations across more than 4000 languages
My friend Damián ‘blasé Damián’ Blasi published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, with Søren Wichmann, Harald Hammarström, Peter Stadler and Morten Christiansen, available  here . The paper was on how there are common sou...

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Some language universals are historical accidents
There are surprisingly few properties that all languages share.   Pretty much every attempt at articulating a genuine language universal tends to have at least one exception, as documented in Evans and Levinson's article 'The Myth of Language Universals' . ...

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A Global Tree of Languages
I was a reviewer for the Evolution of Language (Evolang) conference for the first time this year, a tedious-sounding task that turned out to be hilarious.  The conference attracts some bizarre manuscripts on the origins of language, one particularly imagina...

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Climate does not affect the way you speak
I was sipping a coffee in a café in Xishuangbanna, southwest China last January when I saw the following news item doing the rounds on the internet: This was a  paper  by Caleb Everett and two of my colleagues/arch-nemeses, Damián Blasi and Seán Roberts.  T...

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Some more maps of language diversity
I made some maps of language diversity, to add to Hedvig's long lists of existing info graphics here and here , using data from Glottolog.  I wanted to make a map showing the number of language families - 272 according to Glottolog, to counting sign languag...

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New paper on language macro-families, from Austro-Tai to Indo-European-Chukotko-Kamchatkan
A new paper was published three days ago in  PNAS  by Gerhard J äger on language macro-families, to add to  Annemarie Verkerk's  list of  phylogenetic linguistics papers that have appeared this month .  I give here both a couple of encouraging results from ...

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The World Atlas of Universal Grammar
The World Atlas of Universal Grammar is an ongoing project documenting features of languages, by a team of more than eight authors.   Each feature is a structural property that describes one aspect of cross-linguistic homogeneity.   A feature has between 0 ...

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Workshop in Jena on Austronesian linguistics, archeology and genetics
Last week at the new MPI for the Science of Human History in Jena, there was a two-day workshop on the peopling of island Southeast Asia and the Pacific, organised by Russell Gray, Lisa Matisoo-Smith and Simon Greenhill.  It was divided between talks on arc...
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