Researchers hiding in fear of GDPR

gdpr

GDPR – business or pleasure?

Do you remember GDPR (or, for mnemonic assistance, Gitte and Per)? This is one of three posts on the EU law that everybody feared last year: What did we think it was, what is it, and what effects has it had?

In the weeks before 25 May 2018, I received up to thirty e-mails a day (yes, I have too many accounts at webshops and social media) with similar text: “We are updating our Privacy Policy”.

gdpr mails e1570434980257gdpr mails2 e1570435009106

… all on occasion of GDPR, EU’s new data law, which Lingoblog has written about here and here.

The many e-mails made me think if I ought to send a similar one out to all of my …

Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010)

600

Lingoblog continues to provide you with suggestions for your summer readings on various linguistic topics. This week we have found a biography of language researcher Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010).

In January 1999, a few years after I had moved to Denmark, I was astounded to come across an interview in the Danish weekly Weekendavisen with the renowned Danish phonetician Eli Fischer- Jørgensen (henceforth EFJ) and marveled: She is still alive! Having made her name in publications as early as the first half of the past century, in the interview EFJ still appeared intellectually unabated, and full of new writing plans yet. She even remarked that she hoped soon to finish a major work on a special liturgic form of Danish!

In …

Why are there so many different types of “R”?

rhotic

One of the things that got us excited about linguistics back in the days wasn’t any kind of scientific holy grail, such as why only humans have language or whether we are born with an innate language faculty. It was something very simple, namely: why are there so many different types of “R”?

As a speaker of an Eastern-Dutch dialect, I (Jeroen) noticed I could never roll my R’s with the tip of my tongue like in Spanish or Italian. Rather, I roll my R’s with my uvula (the little “ball” in the back of your throat, see the picture below). Why, I wondered, do I roll my R’s in my throat, whereas most people in Amsterdam roll their R’s …