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.

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

Evolution actually – A tale of two disciplines - Lippy Linguist

Nov 09, 2017

I wrote a recent post which touched on adopting approaches from other disciplines, specifically biology, and applying them to language data. It started a long time ago, that we realised language, as abstract and elusive as it might seem, can be thought of (and even more, modelled) in a similar vein to biological phenomena – people credit Darwin with this idea but given what we know about the attribution of scientific discoveries, the idea likely floated around in the air much before him. The realisation, once upon a time, was surely just a nice metaphor, a mere comment thrown to the wind, but today, it has had some unexpected consequences. The sparks of war It is not unusual to see research articles that ask linguistics questions and provide answers to these using methods borrowed from population genetics and evolutionary … Read More

Kia ora: how Māori borrowings shape New Zealand English - Lippy Linguist

Sep 29, 2017

New Zealand English is one of the youngest dialects of English. It exhibits a number of unique features and the use of words from the indigenous Māori language is probably the most salient and easily recognisable one. In our latest research, we found that the process by which Māori words are most frequently borrowed resembles the Darwinian concept of evolutionary fitness. Of words and genes Borrowings from Māori are so common that visitors to New Zealand only have to exit the plane to be greeted by haere mai. Sinead Leahy, CC BY-ND   New Zealand English is spoken nearly 20,000 kilometres away from the language which gave rise to it. Distinct from its closely related cousin, Australian English, but often mistaken for it, our variety of English is unique to New Zealand/Aotearoa. New Zealand English … Read More

The Freakonomics of questions - Lippy Linguist

Sep 27, 2017

Not every question is made equal 7am. Early. I am grumpy and not just at the prospect of the 48h journey we are about to embark on across the world, from London to Auckland. I need coffee. As I enter the café below our apartment, a female voice greets me: “What can I get you?” I stare blankly. It’s a café. It’s early. Coffee. Coo-ffee. Except of course there’s (yes, I am comfortable with using “there’s” here – a post for another day) a billion types of coffee (they even do flat whites in this part of the world nowadays). A simple question, yet the answer is slow in coming. According to new research, it is ok that I find such questions difficult. They are. Not every question is made equal and the “social economics theory of questions” can help … Read More

Learning foreign languages - Lippy Linguist

Sep 03, 2017

One of the perks of an academic career is having the ability to apply for, and all being well, be granted sabbatical leave. Of course, travelling with 2 children under 5 around the world is not quite the kind of sabbatical that most academics hope for, but I consider myself lucky to have a supportive husband who will willingly grab his passport and suitcase no matter how crazy the adventure (particularly if England – his country of birth – is one of the stops). Despite the feeling that we are a small travelling circus (though I feel comforted in not being alone in this feeling, as David Haywood so entertainingly details), here I am, in the heart of Reading, in the south of England, a stone-throw away from London leafing through the latest copy of the Guardian, as though … Read More