Willies, Ghillies, and Horny Highlanders: Scottish Gaelic Writing has a Filthy Past

Cheeky. Tim Large Most people’s shortbread-tin ideas about the Highlands and Islands are missing a key traditional ingredient. By Dr. Peter Mackay / 10.24.2017 Lecturer in Literature University of St. Andrews Think of Scotland’s Highlands and islands and you probably think hills, glens, tartan, shortbread, bagpipes, caber-tossing, whisky, haggis, stags in the mist, grandiose aristocrats, bearded ghillies and high-kicking kilted dancers. Or[…]

The Americanization of the English Language: A Frightfully Subtle Affair

The terribly good Brief Encounter (1945). The BFI/Eagle Lion Distributors Is British English being swallowed up by American English – or are both versions simply following the same path to a more informal language? By Dr. Paul Baker / 11.08.2017 Professor of Linguistics and English Language Lancaster University Brits can get rather sniffy about the English language – after all, they originated it. But a Google[…]

Combining Linguistics, Archaeology, and Ancient DNA Genetics to Understand Deep Human History

TonelloPhotography/Shutterstock.com Each discipline tells us only part of the story. And so the truest picture of prehistory comes from triangulating these independent lines of evidence.    By Dr. Michael Dunn (left) and Dr. Annemarie Verkerk (right) / 03.29.2018 Dunn: Professor in Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University Verkerk: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for the[…]

Thinking the Unthinkable: Tracing Language Back 15,000 Years

Linguistic controversy: could ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia? Sharon Mollerus Looking at language in prehistory. By Dr. Michael Dunn / 05.22.2013 Professor in Linguistics and Philology Uppsala University Just about everyone has a personal stake in language, and many people — expert and amateur — feel entitled to an opinion. But linguists care more[…]

Studying Chimpanzee Calls for Clues about the Origins of Human Language

Nisarg Desai observes wild chimps known as Sandi, Ferdinand and Siri in Tanzania. Michael Wilson, CC BY-ND Do chimpanzee talk to each other? Scientists follow and record chimpanzees in the wild to find out – and to fill in details about how human language might have evolved. By Dr. Michael Wilson / 05.08.2018 Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior University of Minnesota Freud, Wilkie and the[…]