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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Amanda Sanchez, Feb. 12, 2012

Fascinating article about Kiezdeutsch, a new German dialect. Noticed by scholars in the 1990s but perhaps a decade or more older. It has its own grammatical rules, which can allow for greater expressiveness than standard German. By shoving the verb over, Kiezdeutsch can emphasise not just who is doing something but when. “Musstu” is a pungent fusion of “you” and “must”. Linguists are used to mourning the death of dialects; now they can watch one grow “in real time.” The youth of Germany are the drivers of this new language!
http://www.economist.com/node/21547298

http://youtube.com/watch?v=DL4XS4FOw_s
Amanda Sanchez
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Feb. 2, 2012

Study: Vast majority of EU citizens are marginalized by dominance of English language

The European Union has 27 member countries and 23 official languages, but its official business is carried out primarily in one language — English. Yet the striking findings of a new study show that barely a third of the EU’s 500 million citizens speak English.

What about the other two-thirds? They are linguistically disenfranchised, say the study’s authors. For the EU’s non-English speakers, their native languages are of limited use in the EU’s political, legal, communal and business spheres.

http://www.sciencecodex.com/read/study_vast_majority_of_eu_citizens_are_marginalized_by_dominance_of_english_language-85159

Superb video that explains why this is happening.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CKAeFi1IT54
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Jan. 25, 2012

Major Punjabi Dialects

Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (north western India and in north eastern Pakistan).

This article give interesting insight into the eleven major Punjabi dialects:
http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/01/16/major-punjabi-dialects/#.Tx_AoCPgLog

The following statistics give interesting background on the demographic foundations which create language diversity in Pakistan:

Pakistan is a State of four lands Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. It is a nation of four nationalities: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pukhtoon’s, and Balochis. Population percentages are: Punjabis (44.15%) 78.7 million, Pukhtoon’s (15.42%) 27.2 million, Sindhis (14.1%) 24.8 million, Saraikis (10.53%) 14.8 million, Muhajir’s (7.57%) 13.3 million, Balochis (3.57%) 6.3 million and Others (4.66%) 11.1 million.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=07Y09ScHJpM&feature=related
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Jan. 25, 2012

American dialects from A to Z - The Dictionary of American Regional English to be completed in 2012

http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-15/ideas/30626740_1_oxford-english-dictionary-word-wagons-questionnaires

When Fred Cassidy, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, was named chief editor of a dictionary project to track American dialects in 1962, he had a faster timetable in mind. The Dictionary of American Regional English began in earnest a few years later, when 80 fieldworkers armed with elaborate questionnaires spread out to more than a thousand communities around the country. Some researchers drove green Dodge vans called “Word Wagons,” equipped with clunky reel-to-reel tape recorders—the better to document every uff-da (a Norwegian exclamation in the Upper Midwest) and pitch-in (an Indiana term for a potluck).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0baL36n2plE
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Amanda Sanchez, Jan. 10, 2012

Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_pagel_how_language_transformed_humanity.html
Amanda Sanchez
Comments (3)
  • Jenny Rothberg Jenny Rothberg Jan. 10, 2012
    The concept of viewing language as a tool to rewire someone’s mind by implanting your thoughts into someone else’s mind through speech is intriguing. Thanks for sharing this talk. The power of language is indeed awesome.
  • Nina Dumas Nina Dumas Jan. 10, 2012
    Very eloquent and strong case for why language is the most potent trait that has ever evolved!
  • Kim Hsu Kim Hsu Jan. 10, 2012
    Is there a most potent language, one that can eventually supplant others in a Darwinian way…one world, one language?

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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Jan. 10, 2012

“Occupy” has been named the 2011 Word of the Year.

The word was voted on by the American Dialect Society, which was founded back in 1889 and is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it.

http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/01/09/occupy-word-of-the-year/

The society is made up of linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, historians, grammarians, academics, editors, writers and independent scholars in the fields of English, foreign languages or other disciplines.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TNTKesG4zCw
Jenny Rothberg
Comments (2)
  • Camilla Pashar Camilla Pashar Jan. 10, 2012
    How did “humblebrag” make the list? I'm totally on board with “Occupy.” This annual gathering of the ADS seems quite fun!
  • Bert Breton Bert Breton Jan. 10, 2012
    The same way FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) did. Nevertheless, you're right, they had a good bit of fun at this meeting. That's half of the battle.

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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Dec. 5, 2011

Pennsylvania’s dialects are as varied as its downtowns — and dahntahns:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/pennsylvania_dialects.html

The bottom line is few kitchen tables can be as linguistically cluttered as a Pennsylvania table when the family comes to town.

Based solely upon pronunciation and grammar, researchers generally split the United States into a number of linguistic regions. Those regions come together in Pennsylvania — which makes the state kind of a crossroads of the English language.

Thanks in part to immigration patterns and relative geographic isolation, Pennsylvania is home to six — count’em six — distinct English dialects.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3lZFiyd_-0
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Camilla Pashar, Nov. 28, 2011

iPhone 4S can’t get its head around our dialects: The new iPhone 4S with its voice-activated personal assistant enabled by Siri software, can identify only the British, American and Australian accents. It cannot decipher the kind of English that is spoken in India. Siri is yet to enable the detection of different accents and dialects.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadgetsvenue/6305044087/
Camilla Pashar
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Nov. 21, 2011

Sami, Frisian and Udmurt – the obscure languages of Europe compete in song contest: the “Liet International Song Contest” was staged ths Saturday night, open only to entries performing in European based dialects which few people understand.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/8902137/Sami-Frisian-and-Udmurt-the-obscure-languages-of-Europes-minority-song-contest.html

Organisers claim that the contest “promotes tolerance, multilingualism, friendships and combats racism and eventual risks of ethnic conflicts.”

Janna Eijer, the Friesian singer, won the show. Hope you enjoy her performance!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lrtID2gtgs
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Nina Dumas, Nov. 7, 2011

Vanuatu Languages: A world-first study is about to begin into an intriguing feature of the languages used by Vanuatu’s indigenous populations. While other languages indicate whether an event is in the past, present or future, the Oceanic languages of the French Pacific republic look at whether something is real or unreal. New Zealand linguistics lecturer Julie Barbour has been given a $345,000 grant from her country’s Marsden research fund to carry out the study. More here:

http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201111/3357802.htm?desktop

http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliad/802484135/
Nina Dumas
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