The Munsee of southern Ontario (Canada) and their struggle to preserve their language

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In the southern part of the Canadian province of Ontario, there are two small Indian reserves on which several hundred Munsee Indians live. Their own language, like so many Native American peoples in North America, has gradually disappeared over the past century, so that by 2023 there is only one Munsee Indian living who grew up with Munsee as mother tongue.

It has been common practice in Canadian schools for much of the last century to ridicule and, if necessary, forcefully stamp out Native American languages from the minds and hearts of Native children. The pain and shame that came with this, eventually led the young Native American parents to raise their own children in English in order to spare …

An excellent tool for learning Greenlandic by yourself!

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Liv Molich has a website: Learn Greenlandic. There is an accompanying printed workbook Kompendium til Grønlandsk 1 2. This workbook is written in Danish and is thus by default directed specifically to the Danish speaking readership. However, I choose to write this review in English because a wider audience should take notice of it.

Liv Molich’s Kompendium is just that: a workbook accompaniment to a language course. It makes no claim to be anything else. However, the 97 A4 pages can in fact be read on their own and the workbook is remarkably self-contained. Add in the QR-code links to digital resources, and it is a full language course for the beginner in its own right. I chose to …

Lingua Franca: Elusive contact language of Christian slave colony based in Algiers finally pinned down


Not long ago, I wrote a review on, discussing Nolan’s (2020) book The Elusive case of Lingua Franca. That book was an open-ended study akin to an enchanting yet frustrating detective novel, in search of the famous contact language of the Mediterranean. It discusses the difficulties in tracing that famous ‘mixture of all languages, by means of which we can all understand one another’, ‘that all over Barbary and even in Constantinople is the medium between captives and Moors, and is neither Morisco nor Castilian, nor of any other nation’, as Miguel de Cervantes describes in Chapter XLI of the Don Quixote, most probably, the “Lingua Franca”.

Cervantes wrote the masterpiece of Don Quixote …

On Conlanging, Action Figures & Te Reo Māori


Conlanging is the art of designing your own languages.

Bionicle is a franchise of buildable action figures produced by the Lego company from 2001 to 2010.

Te Reo Māori is a language in the Austronesian language family, and is spoken by approximately 186.000 people in New Zealand.

This is a story at the intersection of those three topics.

Part 1: Action Figures

I was born in 1995, so 2001 was the year I turned six. That places me just at the younger end of the intended demographic for Bionicle, the then-new line of action figures from the toy company Lego. In the years to come, these figures would take up a good deal of my attention, and several of my …

Chinese in political communication

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Today is UN Chinese Language Day, a day ‘to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as … equal use of all six official [UN] languages’. Of course, there’s no such thing as the Chinese language – there are hundreds. Today, there’ll be no end of blogs on the history of Chinese characters and the richness of Chinese cultures. As researchers looking at Chinese political communication, we wanted to take a different angle.

Naturally, all languages are shaped by politics. But this is especially true in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Over the last 70 or so years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has gone to great lengths to control language use. This ranges from reforms of …

Voices that scare us: perspectives from an audio horror production

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The NoSleep Podcast is a horror fiction podcast created and hosted by David Cummings. David Cummings is the creator and host of The NoSleep Podcast, the preeminent audio horror fiction podcast. Started in 2011, the podcast now has over 500 episodes and has been downloaded more than 200 million times. As a voice actor, Cummings has appeared on many audio fiction podcasts and has voiced roles alongside notable actors such as Elijah Wood, Kate Siegel, and Kristen Bell. Born in Toronto, Cummings now lives near Niagara Falls in Canada with his wife Kelly.

The following is the result of a very pleasant interview I did with David, where we chatted about evil voices, the development of stereotypical evil in horror, …

On Friday the 10/02, Noam Chomsky will give a lecture at ViGør in Aarhus


On Friday the 10/02, Noam Chomsky will give a lecture at ViGør at Aarhus University. This is a wild announcement, not only because he will be doing it from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean via Zoom at the ripe old age of 94, but also because this means it will be possible to hear the arguably most famous and debated linguist in the world talk about his theories live in the Nobel Auditorium at the University of Aarhus.

Even if you’ve only dipped your toe in the world of linguistics, it’s almost impossible to not have heard of Noam Chomsky. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and has since published numerous groundbreaking theories. …