Lippy Linguist

Does good grammar really matter?

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More

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

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More

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The slippery grammar of spoken vs written English

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More

I spy with my little eye a few grammar misconceptions

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More

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The linguistic landscapes of bilingual picturebooks: Teaching children that languages are created equal

Guest Author Feb 02, 2018

By Dr Nicola Daly Often when we hear someone speak, we start making inferences about the characteristics and personality of the person. There is a considerable body of research concerning language attitudes which shows, for example, that when we hear a person speaking with a Received Pronunciation or RP British English accent (also known as the Queen’s … Read More

Anki – Turning Chinese character-learning from a mountain into a molehill

Guest Author Nov 28, 2017

Guest post by Louise Stevenson, Linguistics, History and Chinese language student at the University of Waikato Those who study Mandarin Chinese are familiar with the question, “But isn’t that one of the hardest languages to learn?” Usually, I like to challenge this question by pointing out how wonderfully straightforward the grammar is – no case-marking, no articles, and no inflection … Read More

Evolution actually – A tale of two disciplines

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More