Skip to main content

Posts

Latin did not die; it evolved and it is still very much alive.

A common belief among people is that Latin has ceased to exist centuries ago, or, in other words, Latin died. But, is Latin really dead? And, as language nerds, do we believe this without first considering the facts? So, in this article of today, you are going to see that Latin is not dead; Latin is still alive and kicking! But how is that? Read on! 
While Classical Latin is undoubtedly a dead, though not an extinct, language; some residue of this Classical Latin, called Ecclesiastical Latin, still roams our society as we speak, you can find it in such things as the Pope’s Twitter account. But this is not the kind of Latins I wanna talk about here. I want to talk about the one which has around 800 million speakers worldwide today; Modern Latin.
Modern Latin is what came to be known as Romance Languages, manifested in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, etc. which can be regarded as dialects of Latin. Have at the following Romance Language family tree for a second…
Recent posts

What is a Wug?

A wug is an imaginary cartoon creature created and first used by psycholinguist Jean Berko Gleason to test people’s ability to use the English plural morpheme*. The test usually involves two cartoon panels—one depicting one wug with the caption “This is a wug,” and the other depicting two wugs with the caption “Now there is another one. There are two of them. There are two ____.”
If the test subject has the plural morpheme in his or her English, the test subject will fill in the blank with “wugs.” If not, then the blank usually gets filled with “wug.”
Here are the two panels, which show you what wugs look like.




Note that the wugs only elicit one of the allomorphs** of the plural morpheme, namely the [z] allomorph that is suffixed to a noun that ends with a voiced consonant (like /g/). Other creatures may be needed to elicit the [əz] in “dresses” and the [-s] in “socks.”
*A “morpheme” is a sequence of sounds [or combination of movements in sign language] that carries a meaning, and wh…

Amazing facts about Arabic.

Arabic is an old and beautifully scripted language. Its impact on western languages is profound and it carries a lot of significance. As much as you know about Arabic, there is always room to know more. That's why we at The Language Nerds brought to you an infographic that was put together by guys at fluentarabic.net that summarizes some of the amazing facts about Arabic. Have a good read!


Thank you for reading the article. Please share it if you think it deserves. Have a blessed day!

The surprising benefits to being bilingual (infographic).

Speaking a second language pays devidends as it has strong cognitive and social benefits. So, whatever trouble you took to learn a language, trust me it's worth it. We at The Language Nerds brought to you an infographic that was put together by Visually which sums up the benefits of being bilingual. I'm going to leave you with the infographic for now, have a good read!


From Visually.

Please share the article if you think it deserves. 

Babies start learning language in womb, studies reveal.

How we learn and use language is a miraculous feat that science knows so little about. Babies use language meticulously at a very young age.  It could come up as surprising that babies have any contact with the outside world before they are born, but new evidence came to light which suggests that babies can hear noises from inside the womb. Not just that, they are actively involved in learning the sounds of the language their mothers speak. So, in a way, language learning starts in the womb, well before than previously thought. Now let's break this down in more detail. 
Unborn babies start to respond to noises sometimes between the 24th and 30th weeks of pregnancy. That means they begin to process sounds and distinguish among most of them, especially vowels since they are the most audible. It is interesting to note that they respond specifically to language, as opposed to other sounds. Studies have shown that newborns, immediately after birth, show increased brain activity when l…

4 Tips to give power to your writing.

The following writing tips come to you from Niklas Göke, a renowned blogger and writer at the Huffington Post. Göke says that these tips took him 3 years of writing to collect. The Language Nerds brought these tips to your fingertips that you can learn in no more than 2 minutes. Aside from the read-a-lot and the like tips, here are the ones that Göke suggests:  Refuse to use the word “thing.” Each thing can be described in more detail. When we don’t describe it, we’re just being lazy. Don’t drown the cake in frosting to avoid baking a new one. Describe each thing, let a device be a device, a trait be a trait, a feeling be a feeling, etc.
Before: “This is the greatest thing my parents taught me.” After: “This is the greatest lesson my parents taught me.” No brackets. Like “thing,” parentheses only weaken what you actually want to say. If you want to say something, say it. If not, don’t. Whether it’s the brackets that are unnecessary or what’s in them is for you to decide. But one of the t…

Why wasn’t English replaced by French during the Norman Conquest?

War is an annihilator, the winner seeps out everything, including people. But how did English survive the Norman Conquest?  There are actually two very general and hugely complex questions involved here, not one:
(1) What were the specific sociolinguistic conditions in medieval Britain that allowed the maintenance of English? (2) Why do languages become replaced by other languages in the first place?

Let's start with question number two, and then the answer to number one will become clearer. So, Why do some languages replace other languages?
Languages, like economic systems, are self-organizing systems in the sense that properties of the system arise independently of any directing authority.  At no point in history of English has any government had to tell English speakers:  "mark plural nouns with an -s suffix". That just happened on its own as the outcome of the breakdown of a much more complicated inflectional system of Old English.  Likewise, people's choices to u…

Overheard conversations in languages people assumed others didn't understand.

Overheard conversations are the best, especially if the conversations are about you and people assumed you didn't understand the language they were speaking. We at The Language Nerds compiled some of the funniest and unexpected real stories that happened to real people. I will let these people speak to you about the conversations they overheard in a language people assumed they didn't understand.  Louise: "I was at a bar in Scotland, sipping my drink, whilst my friend had gone to the restroom. Two guys around my age came in and stood a few feet away from me. I noticed them looking at me.
#1: She’s hot! Reckon I could get her to come home with me haha?
#2: I dunno like, these foreigners can be a bit stuck up.
#1: Want to bet on it? £5 says I have her number by the end of the night.
#2: A tenner says you can’t!

So guy number 1 walks over. And in very slowly enunciated English he offers to buy me a drink and points to my empty glass just to reinforce what he had said.
I’ve h…