Category: Linguistics

a new soccer language (by my son and his friend)

My ten-year-old and his friend developed a very ‘simple’ new ‘soccer language’ during practice a few nights ago. It features words like widdleahoo ‘miss the shot,’ twiddleahoo ‘make the shot; score’ and twiddleahoo-er ‘scorer; striker.’ They offer an excellent window into their knowledge of productive […]

june 2013: cake, dialect, digitization, and tolkien

in addition to snorkeling, swimming, some seriously overdue momming, and a long reading list (literature, some pre-fall planning, and a list i’m co-reading with my recently turned ten-year-old), my research agenda remains active this summer. MBDA continues to advance, and i’m writing two different discussions […]


examination of stigmatized language varieties is complex stuff, especially in the context of dominant language ideologies, minority oppression, and the well justified – if sometimes too theoretical – debate about standard English. it’s not my practice to introduce highly controversial topics here, in a class, […]

a brief introduction

this is the fastest and easiest (and briefest) speaker intro i’ve ever drafted. wheeler’s work and its importance make it easy, and brevity is essential (after all, the heavy lifting is in her talk). It’s my honor and privilege to welcome Prof Rebecca Wheeler to […]

a difficult day

possibly the most marked part of any classroom based discussion on language variation, perhaps especially ethnically-based dialectal variation, is the pronounced use of the pronoun forms they  and them (wish i could do a frequency count in class and measure the percentage of they/them). but […]

Teaching Linguistics

Good news: A new LSA publication, the journal Teaching Linguistics, is to be launched formally at the LSA meeting in January (congratulations to the founding Editor, Kazuko Hiramatsu!). This innovative, open access e-journal is adopting a cc licensing model (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike), with options for authors to […]

why textual studies?

Why subsume transcription and textual study within a History of the English Language course? Because close textual study cultivates an understanding of the intimate link between historical language change, the human (i.e. social, political, economic, migratory…) forces responsible for it, and the speakers and writers (dead […]

the ‘real’ Jane Austen, textual study, & historical linguistics

a Jane-ite trawling the internet would be confronted with an unimaginably large number of Austen biographies, fan sites, images, and editions – as well as an array of films and adaptations and even wilder extensions of the Victorian moral canon (in Google-ese: a search for […]