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.

Do jabs hurt more than shots or dots? Why language matters in medicine - Lippy Linguist

Feb 08, 2022

About a decade ago, Welsh doctor and academic Nefyn Williams wrote an editorial about one of his patients asking him whether the damage to his painful knees, which had been diagnosed as degenerative change, was wear and tear. Williams highlighted how poor this choice of words was in his editorial “Words that harm: words that heal”. In his view, wear and tear, as well as degenerative change designated a passive, helpless state in which the patient could but wait for the damage to increase and spread, engulfed in a gloomy prognosis of ensuing pain and disability. Yet this was not the inevitable future for the patient. There is hope for osteoarthritis patients, as roughly one-third go on to reverse some of the damage. Williams warned that “the words we use to describe illness are very important”, and indeed a … Read More

Language Matters: How to identify Māori English - Lippy Linguist

Nov 02, 2021

Feature Image: Rob Dixon/RNZ. Pupils march in support of Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week).   OPINION: Seals would leap from rocks and Ari would point and I would look but miss seeing then. Pretend I had. And when you looked out as far as you could, you believed in taniwha and that it might be true your tīpuna followed stars to find their way here. This week, following on from last week, we continue discussing Māori English. Perhaps the most salient feature of Māori English is the prevalent use of words of Māori origin, words like taniwha and tīpuna in the excerpt above. As I wrote in an earlier January post, many speakers of New Zealand English (NZE), including Pākehā English(es), also use such words. So how do we identify Māori English? … Read More

Language Matters: Kiwi metaphors of Covid-19 - Lippy Linguist

Sep 07, 2021

Featured image: ‘’Romantic love is sometimes described as a journey: our relationship is at a crossroads, it’s been a bumpy road, we can’t turn back now, we decided to go our separate ways, this relationship isn’t going anywhere.’’   OPINION: If you are anything like me, you have probably been scouring the media for the latest Covid-19 announcements, developments and case numbers. Much of the news related to the new Delta outbreak is couched in recurrent expressions: there is worry around new cases leaking into the community and the Team of Five Million is called upon once again to up its game in order to beat the virus. These expressions constitute metaphorical interpretations enlisted to describe a complex, emotional and wide-reaching situation. Metaphors are not uncommon! Back in 1980, linguists George Lakoff and Mark … Read More

Language Matters: Why focus on ‘native’ speakers may be misplaced - Lippy Linguist

Jul 13, 2021

OPINION: People still ask me: what is your native language? Another variant is how any/which languages do you speak?, and the closely related where are you from? question. Linguists know that native language does not always equate to the language you are most proficient in, or the language you dream in, or the language in which you silently swear at the driver who just cut you off. Native language is for many not even one single language in the first place. Ask me what I am talking about and then I will tell you the language I’d rather say it in. But it can be even more fine-grained than that. Romantic love may be more naturally expressed in one language, parental love in another. And then there is the issue of defining “native speakers”. As we get older, it becomes more … Read More

Hashtags may not be words, grammatically speaking, but they help spread a message - Lippy Linguist

Nov 04, 2020

Andreea S. Calude, University of Waikato and David Trye, University of Waikato Hashtags are a pervasive feature of social media posts and used widely in search engines. Anything with the intent of attracting a wide audience usually comes with a memorable hashtag — #MeToo, #FreeHongKong, #LoveWins, #BlackLivesMatter, #COVID19 and #SupremeCourt are just some examples. First conceived in 2007 by blogger and open source advocate Chris Messina on Twitter, hashtags are now also escaping from social media contexts and appearing regularly in advertising and protest signs, and even in spoken language. But are hashtags words? If there is one thing linguists ought to know, it’s words. But when it comes to hashtags, the definition is not straightforward. In our research, based on a collection of millions of New Zealand English tweets, we argue hashtags are, at best, … Read More

What is your COVID-19 hashtag? - Lippy Linguist

May 13, 2020

A typological silver-lining If you are anything like me, maybe a little guilt is setting in about now, regarding the little amount of progress you may have achieved lately. As our country – and indeed so much of the wider World – is in a lockdown of some form or another, we are all getting used to what people are calling “the new norm”. So have you been trolling through social media lately? (If not, honestly, why are you even reading this?) So let’s put this procrastination to some good linguistic use. While reading so much other than the linguistic articles I should be reading, I came to realise that there is a subtle, yet persistent difference in how people around the world are talking about the current events. And yet, there are similarities too. Language and culture go together … Read More

What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English? - Lippy Linguist

Jan 24, 2020

I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which concerns the history of how English came to rise as a scientific lingua franca***, replacing other decently-performing and otherwise-delightful lingua francas, like Latin, Arabic, French and German. Apparently some 98% of science is written in English! How did English rise to be the language of science? One major trigger for English becoming a scientific lingua franca (spoiler alert!) was the fact that shortly after the First World War, the political situation stirred up a world-wide ban on the German language, with an especially fierce ban of German … Read More

Who’s afraid of the non-native accent? Everyone … unless you tell them about it - Lippy Linguist

Jan 07, 2020

As someone who learnt English late-ish in life, I was always on the look-out for signs which betray my foreignness, afraid that my clumsy mispronunciation or syntactic misalignment will give away my outsider status. And for once, sadly, my worries were well-founded it seems. It’s bad, prejudice is rife! In a study published last year, Roessel and her colleagues found that non-native accents fare consistently worse than native-like accents (2019). This is not new in itself. It agrees with a ton of other previous work. But it’s even worse than we first thought. The 2019 study reports that non-native accents are rated significantly lower on job hire-ability scales than native-like accents, regardless of what the candidates actually said in the interview. Furthermore, they do worse even in the eyes of non-native speakers themselves. Even more troubling is the fact … Read More

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