language links, linguistic anthropology

Language links 11/30

Every Monday, I share some of what I’ve been reading in the past week.


“I died and went to dialect heaven!” is a phrase you’re very likely to hear in conversation with Wolfram. He says it readily and often – in publications, presentations and interviews – because he means it. From a fantastic article on Southern U.S. languages and dialects.

For Thanksgiving, JSTOR took on performatives — words like “thank” and “promise” that do something in the course of being said.

Also for Thanksgiving: turducken and piecaken. (Side note: one of those words is in WordPress’s spell check. One isn’t.)

Mental illness is one of many challenges teachers must help students face. One teacher writes about using language mindfully to support this goal.

Sobering reflections on category names, race, and gender:

Psychologist Sandra Waxman … showed 4-year-old children a photo of a person, informing them that this person was good at a new game called zaggit. She then showed them photos of men and women of different races and asked who among them was also good at playing zaggit. In the absence of a label, children showed no inclination to believe that excellence at the game was limited to people of the same race or gender. But when the zaggit player was given a label (“This one is a Wayshian”), children said that people of the same race or gender were more likely to be good at the game than those of a different race or gender.

Want to read more linguistics?

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