Today is International Mother Language Day!
A great opportunity to celebrate linguistic diversity, to support projects to explore and protect endangered languages, to find out about language minorities and linguistic diversity in your own country!
Here is a list of holidays and special dates with relation to language and linguistics. This list will hopefully expand in the near future and we will add more information to the indicated events.
Recently, the plans for a Museum of Linguistics have been widely spread through the (social) media. In winter 2019, Planet World has been announced to open as the first interactive museum on language in the USA.
There are already a number of similar musea, maybe you will have the opportunity to visit one of them in the near future. Please drop a comment, if you know of other such places or if you would like to report on your visit in one of them!
The murder of Richard Montague, disruptive innovator in the thriving field of formal semantics (as he might be called by advertising companies today), is an unsolved police case. His theories of natural language, and their many successors, are of course still taught today, as any student in our semantics courses can tell you. For taking some time off from the intellectual effort that it takes to come to grips with logical languages, without leaving the topic altogether, there is an exciting option: A few years ago, Aifric Campbell published a murder mystery, The Semantics of Murder, which is constructed around the real-world events surrounding the life of Richard Montague. Here’s your exceptional chance to enjoy a structural analysis of a higher-order quantificational formula in a relaxing environment – as a student of semantics you might want to check out page 58 of the 2008 softcover edition right away!
Manfred Sailer gave a talk at the one-day workshop on “The Syntax of Idioms”, organized by the Leuven & Utrecht project of the same name. In the morning, project members presented their results and the database of idioms in Dutch dialects. In the afternoon, there were invited talks by Julia Horváth (Tel Aviv) on “Idioms and ‘Constructions’: Implications for the architecture of grammar”, Martin Everaert (Utrecht) on “Idioms: what you see is what you get?”, and Manfred on “The meaning of `meaningless’ idiom parts”.
Manfred’s talk was based on joint work with Sascha Bargman on how to model the syntactic flexibility of non-decomposable idioms such as kick the bucket `die´.
The Linguistics Association of Great Britain has posted a list of grammatical terms, with definitions and explanations. Dick Hudson has posted the following message on linguistlist today:
As some of you may know, the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) has a long-standing interest in building bridges to schools and an education committee responsible for this building process (http://lagb-education.org/).
The severe destructions by Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015 have put the state Vanuatu on the media headlines. Vanuatu is a fascinating country, also from a linguistic perspective: It has the highest number of languages per inhabitant and it is one of the few states that have a creole language among its official languages. Continue reading Vanuatu: A Linguistic Hotspot→