Category: Linguistics

  • Clarifying confusing linguistic terminology

    Clarifying confusing linguistic terminology

    So perhaps this is something you’ve never thought about: how come we make the distinction between letters and punctuation marks?

  • More than words

    More than words

    Language is arguably what makes us human. Any Google search will yield millions of writings from people of all occupations— distinguished linguists, biologists, and even philosophers— confirming this finding.

  • Phonetics


    One of the great discoveries of linguistics is that all languages use the same set of building blocks.

  • Orthographies for constructed languages

    Orthographies for constructed languages

    Writing systems extend even to fiction— famously so!

  • Quick primer on computational linguistics

    Quick primer on computational linguistics

    Computational Linguistics stretches all the way back to the Cold War era, where we built machines to translate Russian to English. This task is called machine translating, or MT.

  • Syntactic processing

    Syntactic processing

    Given a set of linguistic rules that describe how elements of a sentence can be put together, a program called a parser will try to find the best grammatical analysis of a sentence. if it’s ambiguous it will produce all analyses.

  • History and evolution of writing

    History and evolution of writing

    The historical record is often divided into two parts: before and after written records (and therefore, writing at all). So, what are the first records of writing?

  • Characteristics of human language

    Characteristics of human language

    So I thought for this post I’d go over a more general topic, and that is some characteristics of all human languages. And I emphasize human because we know that other animals communicate, but their methods of communication differ from human language in certain key ways.

  • Writing systems and language

    Writing systems and language

    In 2018, around 32 million American adults were illiterate. In 2018, there were also 327.2 million Americans living in the United States, which means that around 9% of Americans were illiterate at the time.