Deedah dialect words and phrases


Ey up! In this blog post I am going to be listing and explaining just a small proportion of the words and phrases that were once or still are heard on the streets of Sheffield. I asked the people of Sheffield to tell me about their dialect and they provided me with the goods. The words that have been included have been sent to me by Sheffield people themselves. If you can think of any more or recognize any of the ones that I’m going to share with you then please let me know in the comments.

I have consulted some of the available Sheffield Dialect Glossaries of the past which I could find in the University of Sheffield’s Western …

The menstrual cycle in linguistics?


When people find out I’m a phonetician who happens to be interested – among other things – also in the potential effects of the menstrual cycle on language and speech, they typically present me with fairly excited reactions. Why would a linguist be interested in anything to do with the menstrual cycle? I’ll attempt to answer this question in this blog entry, with the caveat that my research focuses on phonetics and phonology, i.e. sounds and not, for instance, word order.

Larynx as a sexual organ

The larynx has been called a secondary sexual organ (e.g. Abitbol et al. 1989; Amir & Biron-Shental 2004; Collins & Missing 2003; Hall 1995; Henton & Bladon 1985). This is because the larynx does …

Culture and language of the Kalasha


Denmark has a special connection with the Kalasha people in northern Pakistan. The Danish scholar of religious sciences Halfdan Siiger visited the Kalasha people in 1948, and he wrote a book – not yet published – about their religion. Later, the anthropologists Mytte Fentz and Svend Castenfeldt undertook field work in the Kalasha valleys. They wrote several articles and books about their observations, in particular Myth Fentz’s wonderful book The Kalasha: Mountain People of the Hindu Kush, published in Denmark at Forlag Rhodes.

The Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus possesses a lot of objects from the people, including some gand’aw, or wooden sculptures of ancestors. In addition, Copenhagen linguist Ida Mørch and Jan Heegård visited the area and studied …

Language attitudes towards Sheng: deterioration or unification?

sheng nation

This post is a rewritten version of my paper for the course ‘Postcolonial Linguistics’, offered at Linguistics at Aarhus University in the autumn of 2013. I wanted to delve into different language attitudes towards Sheng – and what better way to do it than through Youtube video comments?

Sheng? WTF?

Sheng is as a language variety of Swahili – a mixture of Swahili, English and a host of regional languages of Kenya. The grammatical structure stems from Swahili while incorporating terms from English and indigenous Kenyan tongues (e.g. Dholuo and Kikuyu). Consider the following example (adapted from Abdulaziz and Osinde 1997:56):

Kithora   ma-doo       za      mathee
steal      PL-money    of      mother
‘To steal my mother’s money.’

Here, kithora stems from the Kikuyu …

Snow: the word’s effect

Snow Cover2

Back when I was a teenager at Pratt’s Corner in Southington, Connecticut, I grew up in an old homestead built in 1827 by Seth Pratt on seven acres of farmland and an expansive forest. It was perhaps when I was 14, or in 1955, in my early high-school days, there was one dull, overcast day in late October around midday when I was with my mother, Anna Marie Bartusiewicz Masthay, in the plain, unlit kitchen as she did her usual chores. While I was standing functionless by the kitchen table, she looked out the southward driveway-side window and suddenly proclaimed in Polish, “Śnieg pada” (‘snow falls, snow is falling, it’s snowing’), and indeed it had begun to snow,

Grammar and lexicon distinction in a neurocognitive context


The ProGram project (Information Prominence and Grammar in the brain) was an interdisciplinary project at University of Copenhagen. I did my PhD as a part of that project. We carried out research based on a linguistic theory and a neurocognitive model. The project was a collaboration between three different faculties at the University of Copenhagen with Kasper Boye as the PI and Jesper Mogensen and Hartwig Siebner the co-PIs.

The linguistic theory, also known as the GRAM theory, places itself between the extremes of generative and construction grammar and defines grammar as being “less important” and always conveying secondary information. Lexicon, on the contrary, can carry the main point of an utterance. For instance, in the expression The

2019 – International Year of Indigenous Languages

indigenous 4

2019 – International Year of Indigenous Languages

2019 – Internationaal Jaar van de Inheemse Talen

2019 – Internationalt år for indfødte sprog

2019 – Ôma askiy kâ-miyawâtamihk iyiniw-pîkiskwêwina misiwêskamik

2019 – Hur gatung haba ba pinang ajimi gi’e palika kakanap taang unavera

On the 28th of January, the start of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) will take place. IYIL is an initiative by the United Nations and is organised by UNESCO. International Years are organised yearly, with the goal of creating awareness for a particular issue of current importance to earth and/or mankind, and to allow and mobilise people to take action for a certain cause. Already in 2016 did the UN decide that 2019 would …