language links, ling-anth links

Language links 4/3

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

I enjoyed watching actors from around the world sing the same song in different languages. (Bonus fun: I immediately recognized Takeshi Kaga from the original Iron Chef.)

To go along with a new documentary, CBS has published a glossary of gender identity terms.

The difference between a dialect and a language is, and has always been politically rather than linguistically defined. And scholars in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro are making a push to recognize that all four speak variants of the same language, They argue that in addition to being divisive, the recognition of multiple languages creates significant translation costs.

There’s nothing strictly new in this piece on sexism in workplace language, but it’s a good overview of some of the small instances of linguistic sexism women face daily.

Did you know that the use of “pretty” as an adverb dates back at least to Shakespeare? Or that “to mortify” used to mean to kill?

Also, did you know that there’s a historical dictionary of Canadian English? The entry for eh is almost 5,000 words long. (You can’t make this stuff up.)


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