Andreea Calude

Dr. Andreea S. Calude is a linguist at the University of Waikato. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Auckland. She researches grammar, language change and language evolution, but really, she will consider just about any language project that falls in her hands. She has a particular interest in New Zealand English (NZE) and in the use of words of Māori origin in NZE.

A bunch of bad guys – why David Cameron needs corpus linguistics - Lippy Linguist

May 20, 2019

An innocent turn of phrase….or is it? If you are David Cameron, you will have by now learnt that size nouns used in SIZE NOUN + OF + NOUN constructions can get one in a whole bunch of hot water (well…maybe not the exact terminology but the idea behind it at least)! In 2016, he had the misfortune of Twitting the phrase a bunch of migrants in relation to the migrant situation at the refugee camp in Calais. If you want to know what’s wrong with a bunch of migrants see the explanation in this blog post by Robbie Love – a corpus linguist from CASS (Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences at Lancaster University,UK). What is special about BUNCH + OF+ NOUN? Actually, nothing at all. It turns out that nouns which are used to express quantities: lots, heaps, piles, masses, … Read More

“Units of Linguistic Analysis” and why the past of English “go” is “went” - Lippy Linguist

Apr 23, 2019

We are sitting on his bed, and my son pulls out all the different ponies – they are of different colours and sizes – and then he says “I know, I know a good idea [ideas are things that he knows, not things that come to him], let’s organise the ponies by colour”. My best friend is aptly impressed, and I laugh – yes, my four-year old is already on his way to organising the world. Rather like a good little linguist – right? Well, not necessarily … The Linguistic Unit: units everywhere The first lecture I ever took in linguistics blew my organisational-mind away. I can still see the wonderfully-entertaining and knowledgeable late Scott Allan pacing up and down a small stage underneath the Auckland University library, telling us how sounds are formed in English. If anyone could … Read More

Let’s get things done! - Lippy Linguist

Feb 15, 2019

If language is about getting a message across and about getting things done, then there is nothing that does it better than a verb. The more I study verbs, the more I feel this humble grammatical object is key to understanding so much about how we communicate and how our minds work. All you need is VERBS If actions speak louder than words, then verbs speak the loudest. And if you are going to get on with doing something you better know who is doing it (the subject) and who is in the firing line – or who is undergoing the consequences of the event (the object). One set of verbs which are especially interesting are verbs of eating and drinking. Why are these verbs so special? Because most languages in the world seem to have them, though albeit some languages … Read More

A day in the life of a working parent – Suffrage 125 - Lippy Linguist

Sep 17, 2018

I am not the first to write this kind of post. There are lots (I am going to be slightly ‘posh’ and use “there are” instead of the more colloquial “there’s” cause I am a posh mum today). This is what a day in my life as a working mum can look like. It’s barely 6am and I am staring at the copying screen on my laptop: “copying, copying, copying” – how much longer? Bucket! I need to run and fetch another bucket from the garage because our 3-year-old son is throwing up for the 2nd (or is it 3rd?) time since midnight. Tummy bugs are the pits. How many buckets is one supposed to have in the house?, I think to myself, jumping over piles of dirty sheets and soiled fluffy toys. Yes, those Egyptian cotton sheets … Read More

One story, two languages: sign and spoken language share the theatre stage - Lippy Linguist

Jun 28, 2018

Andreea S. Calude, University of Waikato and Laura Haughey, University of Waikato This article was co-authored by Kellye Bensley. Would you go and see a bilingual or multilingual show if you only spoke one of the languages staged? What if by going, you could open your mind not just to a new language, but also a new culture? In New Zealand, it is rare to see theatre performed in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), and rarer still to see it performed through the hands of a first language user. Award-winning theatre company Equal Voices Arts has developed two original shows performed in both NZSL and New Zealand English (NZE) to enable both Deaf and hearing audiences to share the experience. Sign and spoken language share stage In New Zealand, around 25,000 people use … Read More

Does good grammar really matter? - Lippy Linguist

May 08, 2018

This post was originally published on The Spinoff. The emphasis placed on formal written grammar in schools obscures the fact that English has many kinds of grammar – and they’re all equally valid, writes Waikato University senior lecturer in linguistics, Andreea Calude. “But don’t you want your kids to get a job one day?” There are almost 200 people in this room. It’s hard to believe that so many people want to come and listen to a talk on grammar and whether it matters. I get the distinct feeling many are dreading the awkward conclusion that after all is said and done, grammar does not really actually matter. But you are a mum, one will say. Don’t you want your kids to get a job one day? The truth is that I have spent some ten years of my life thinking … Read More

Language lost and found – keeping your mother tongue going one song at a time - Lippy Linguist

May 02, 2018

I still sing that song sometimes – if you ever hear me sing it, you really wished you hadn’t, trust me! I just can’t sing. But in a foreign language, even bad singing sounds bearable. Or so I tell myself. Mi-a zis mama că mi-o da, văleleu, văleleu, zestre când m-oi mărita, văleu, văleu, văleu, Două-zeci de perne moi văleleu, văleleu, toate pline de strigoi, văleu, văleu, văleu… My daughter arrived like most kids do, with a big bang, and then everything changed. I always intended to speak Romanian to her, that was not ever going to change, and I always intended for her to know that half of her DNA carried eastern smells and explosive emotions. The other half was British. A calm, collected, patient doll of freckles. Born on Kiwi soil, she would … Read More

The slippery grammar of spoken vs written English - Lippy Linguist

Mar 16, 2018

Andreea S. Calude, University of Waikato This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. My grammar checker and I are on a break. Due to irreconcilable differences, we are no longer on speaking terms. It all started when it became dead set on putting commas before every single “which”. Despite all the angry underlining, “this is a habit which seems prevalent” does not need a comma before “which”. Take it from me, I am a linguist. This is just one of many challenging cases where grammar is slippery and hard to pin down. To make matters worse, it appears that the grammar we use while speaking is slightly different to the grammar we use while writing. Speech and writing seem similar enough – so much so that for centuries, people (linguists included) … Read More

I spy with my little eye a few grammar misconceptions - Lippy Linguist

Feb 26, 2018

I don’t know how other people are, but certain things immediately evoke strong emotions for me; freshly brewed coffee makes me feel warm and cosy, hearing “kia ora” makes me feel at home, and reading pieces such as Paul Little’s latest article reminds me why I write this blog post: because people sometimes need to know the truth and not a perpetuated myth dressed up in imperial clothing. There are a number of misconceptions in Mr Little’s piece (although I admit even I like his writing style), but here are three of the most glaring ones for me. Apparently, English does not have a language commission looking after its interests, unlike say Māori, Welsh and other languages, because it is so “flexible and adaptable”. Maybe speakers of Māori or Welsh might benefit from attending the odd yoga class, but … Read More

The Deep History of Number Words - Lippy Linguist

Jan 16, 2018

Unclenching his tiny fist, my son shows me the palm of his hand and says I want this many blueberries. His father asks you want five?. The boy meets his gaze, holds out his hand, and slowly unclenches each finger, one by one, counting slowly but steadily one, two, three, four, five…yes, five. He is extremely pleased and I am wondering if he is pleased that his father had guessed correctly or whether he is pleased at his own ability to count all the way to five – not a mean feat for a small human of only 3. As for me, I am just pleased we still have five blueberries left. Numbers come early But why do numbers and number words matter so much, from such a young age? True, they don’t matter to everyone – some cultures do … Read More