Three of a kind: Revealing language’s universal essence

(PhysOrg.com) -- On the surface, English, Japanese, and Kinande, a member of the Bantu family of languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have little in common. It is not just that the vocabularies of these three ...

Community size matters when people create a new language

Why are languages so different from each other? After comparing more than 2000 languages, scientists noticed that languages with more speakers are usually simpler than smaller languages. For instance, most English nouns can ...

Shakespeare's skill 'more in grammar than in words'

William Shakespeare's mastery of the English language is displayed more in the grammar he used than in his words, according to a researcher at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Evolutionary biology can help us understand how language works

As a linguist I dread the question, "what do you do?", because when I answer "I'm a linguist" the inevitable follow-up question is: "How many languages do you speak?" That, of course, is not the point. While learning languages ...

New clues to Wikipedia's shared super mind

(Phys.org) —Wikipedia's remarkable accuracy and usefulness comes from something larger than the sum of its written contributions, a new study by SFI Research Fellow Simon DeDeo finds.

How languages are built

Parents are often amazed by the speed at which children acquire language in early childhood, becoming fluent around three years of age. Compare this with the average adult attempting to acquire a second language, and it’s ...

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