Q:Hello, I have a question for you and your followers. I am currently an undergrad with an interest in entering grad school for applied linguistics or TESOL. All I know is that I want to study language in some capacity. My question is how do I go about researching graduate programs? My interests definitely lie within sociolinguistics and education, so at least I have a start there. Any help is appreciated! My ask box is also available just in case.
Submitted by allthingslinguistic.
A group of organised and wickedly funny linguistics students have created a set of “Linguists Against Humanity” cards. These are modeled on, and can be used in conjunction with, Cards Against Humanity - a game that is more or less a NSFW madlibs.
I’ve not had a chance to play with the LAH cards, but they looks great. As far as linguistics based games are concerned, there’s definitely less knowledge needed to play this than LTAG!
One of the best things is that they take requests!
The concept of time and its relevance in languages and Physics
Does time exist? Most physicists argue it really doesn’t (McTaggart’s argument against the reality of time) and that it’s just a consequence of the existence of gravity. We probably ‘created’ time by looking at the consequences of gravity on our lives - gravity gets you older, for example.
If you drop your mug on the floor the reason you can’t go back is that gravity already smashed it into pieces.
So far so good.
We don’t know whether time is real or not, but we do know that the concept of time varies largely across cultures.
As Lewis argues here, you’d think that the Swiss and the Italians have a similar way of conceiving time just because of geographical adjaciency - but we all know it doesn’t work like that. The Italians have an event-related organization of time. It doesn’t matter whether a meeting starts at 9 or 9:20, what’s important is that this meeting happens, and preferably around that time (this of course has very bad consequences in a capitalistic world like ours, as you might have noticed :p). For the Swiss, who live in a protestant culture (exactly as the English, the Germans, or the Americans), time is money.
Sinha et al 2011 analyzed the way Amazonian tribes relate to time. They found out that, for example, the Amondawa people have no words for ‘week’, ‘day’, ‘month’, or ‘year’, and they have no understanding of the concept of ‘age’. Rather, they divide their time in nighttime and daytime - and according to season cycling:
An abstract term for time does not exist in Amondawa. The word kuara (‘sun‘) is preferentially used to denote time intervals in general, since it is the movement of the sun which governs the passage of both the time of day and the seasons. Our ethnographic research has failed to identify any co-occurrence of numerals with any time interval designation.
This, of course, relates to space and numbers as well.
So… next step… next post:
Language and numbers. Do numbers exist in our brains? Or are they just culture-specific items?
Other works on language and time
- Allwood, Jens. Language & Time. 2002. In Publications of the Department of General Linguistics 3, University of Tartu.
- Boroditsky, Lera. 2011. How Languages Construct Time. in Dehaene,Stanislas., & Brannon, Elizabeth. Space, Time and Number in the Brain. Searching for the Foundations of Mathematical Thought. Academic Press.
- Sinhain, Chris., et al. 2012. When Time is not Space: The social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture. in Filipović, Luna. Jaszczolt, Katarzyna., Space and Time in Languages and Cultures. Language, Culture, and Cognition. John Benjamins.