Tagged: language

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

Andreea Calude 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 … Read More

Puzzling over politeness - Lippy Linguist

Andreea Calude Aug 20, 2017

As a parent of young children, I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders in regulating how our children speak – particularly when we are in public, but also during family get-togethers. Are they sufficiently polite? Do they remember to say “please” and “thank you”? Do they say “sorry”? The rules for such behaviours are assumed to be uniform, … Read More

Worlds of Words - Lippy Linguist

Andreea Calude Aug 07, 2017

Ever since the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax, we may have all moved on a little from the “language X has Y words for Z”. It has indeed turned out that all those words for snow were actually based on a mere handful of roots (basic core words) that then acquired various bits of words (morphemes) to make what looked … Read More

Words as windows into our minds - Infrequently Asked Questions

Andreea Calude Jul 06, 2017

This article was originally posted on Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Past and Future series where, as part of 150th anniversary celebrations, early career researchers are invited to share discoveries in their fields from days gone by or give us a glimpse into where their research may take us in the future. This article is by Dr Andreea Calude, … Read More

If we ever came across aliens, would we be able to understand them? - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 29, 2016

James Carney, Lancaster University Many scientists believe that alien civilisations exist. For them, the question is now whether we will encounter them in the near future or a very long time from now, rather than if at all. So let’s imagine that we suddenly stand face-to-face with members of an alien species. What would we do … Read More

Amazing animal facts - Pointing At Science

Steve Pointing Jul 06, 2016

Birds that fly non-stop, central heating for ants, and decoding the language of pigs – all this and more on Dear Science today on 95.0 bFM radio, or listen to the podcast on demand. Birds that fly non stop We’ve all heard about amazing feats of endurance by migrating birds, and especially those that cross the oceans. Several species … Read More

The race to digitise language records of the Pacific region before it is too late - Guest Work

Guest Work Mar 22, 2016

Nick Thieberger, University of Melbourne A suitcase of reel-to-reel audio tapes arrived recently at the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. They were from Madang, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), were made in the 1960s and some contain the only known records of some of the languages of PNG. There are very few records … Read More

Moa and Maori dogs – lessons for modern ecological life - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Sep 24, 2014

Dr Priscilla Wehi As a zoologist living within a Māori community, Dr Priscilla Wehi became interested in the ecological information contained in Māori oral tradition. When she discovered a potentially new approach to exploring ecology by dating ancestral sayings, or whakataukī, she and Hēmi Whaanga at the University of Waikato developed a group. Their work on whakataukī has created … Read More

Left-handed myths and the origin of language - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves May 22, 2014

Emeritus Professor Michael Corballis Left and right-handed people are watching pantomimes and making up words in the latest Marsden-funded work by the University of Auckland’s Emeritus Professor Michael Corballis. While the study participants are thinking about gestures and language, the research team is watching their brains. Professor Corballis explains why this may help us understand how talking in humans … Read More

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