Lingolit II – Linguistics in the pop press

A little more than a year ago, I wrote a Lingoblog article recommending a selection of books discussing various topics in linguistics from a pop science perspective – that is, books that are about technical aspects of linguistics, but which can be understood without any prior knowledge of the field. Since these past twelve months have, for many of us, taken place largely inside the same four walls, there has (to look on the bright side) been plenty of time to read.

LingoLit2 Coverbillede 1

True to form, a handful of the books in my personal reading pile has been about language and linguistics. My previous article was sparked by my conflicted feelings about Daniel Everett’s Language: The Cultural Tool, and I …

Your brain can learn languages your whole life…

a2dc2dd7 2dde 4479 80af

– but it cannot learn languages attending language classes once a week

Back when I was a cheeky 14-or-so-year-old, I taught my mom how to say this English sentence: I am an old and ugly witch! She didn’t have a higher education, but at the age of almost 50, when most of the childbearing and caregiving was over and done with, she had decided that she wanted to learn English at a Danish evening school. Apparently, I wanted to help her out a little, and so I taught her the abovementioned phrase. Of course, I told her that it meant something completely different than what it actually does, and I succeeded in my deception, despite the fact that she had …