Author Archives: richard

Mapping Linguistic Phylogeny to Politics

In a recent article covered in Nature in Societes Evolve in Steps, Tom Currie of UCL, and others, like Russel Gray of Auckland, use quantitative analysis of the Polynesian language group to plot socioanthropological movement and power hierarchies in Polynesia. This is based off of previous work, available here, which I saw presented at the Language […]

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Nøp and Abinadaima

Last Wednesday, a few people who had attended my talk the previous week got together with me in a pub in order to create a language in one night. Around eight of us were present, and we came up with two separate languages. Or, at least, we came up with something. Here I’ll present those […]

Posted in Conlang, General, Linguistics Musing | 1 Comment

Lewis and the Hrossa

Few people know that CS Lewis, as well as being an incredibly famous Christian author and the creator of the Narnia series, created a science fiction trilogy. It was (rumoured) to be a bet with JRR Tolkien to see who could create a space travel, and who a time travel, series. Tolkien created Numenor as a time-travelling […]

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The Death of Cochin Creole

Rozario, the last Cochin Speaker The article linked above concerns the death of Rozario, the last speaker of Cochin Creole. Cochin Creole was a mixture of Malayalam (Not Malay) and Portuguese, as well as various other unspecified local languages in the area of Kochi. It talks to a large extent about Portuguese verses Malayalam […]

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Done up and Shaven

The miners who have been stuck under ground are now finally reaching the surface. Reuters reports: “Like wives on the surface who had their hair and nails done for the occasion, the men looked groomed and clean-shaven.” This strikes me as odd. Not because I can’t understand it – it’s a comparison between two states […]

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A Gross Discussion

In the film The Linguists, the two linguists are portrayed as being surprised and fascinated by the counting system in an Indian language they were documenting (probably related to the newly discovered language Koro). It counted in base 12, and then again in base 20 (if I remember correctly.) Thus, 32 was realised as something […]

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So, I figured I should share this on here at some point. I have an internship with SAIVUS – the Society to Advance Indigenous Languages of the United States. What I’ll be doing is working on iPhone apps (I hope, time willing) for Lakota, an endangered Native American language spoken in the Dakotas. Here’s the […]

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Must Needs

On the first day of Syntactic Theory I made the mistake of raising my hand in class and asking about the construction “I must needs go.” I say mistake, not only because ‘needs’ can be parsed as an intensifying adverb according to this blog, which presents a rather different case than the stacked modal construction […]

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A Conlang Talk in Edinburgh

So, here’s the youtube video for the talk I gave at the University of Edinburgh last week on Conlangs. It was a fun talk to give, and I gave it to around 75, but the sound recording is bad for the first 20 minutes or so, so I’ve subtitled it. Should be a good watch. […]

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Dwarf, Dwell, and Dweomerlaik

I’ve decided to double post my posts on the LangSoc blog here. Also, this mayn’t be about conlanging – but I’ll make sure it’s about language. § The problems with blogging as an undergraduate are manifold. Most of the issues derive from the fear of being wrong, which I never seem to have acquired. After […]

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