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Posts Tagged "linguistics"

Anthropology in Practice

Modern Lessons From a Lost Language

he back side of the Magdalena document shows  translations for numbers from Spanish to a lost language.  Photo by Jeffrey Quilter

Note: This article originally appeared on AiP on December 13, 2010. It won a Research Blogging Award. It’s hard to imagine that knowledge could be lost today. Technology seems to have put the ability to know almost everything within our grasp. So when researchers announce they “found” a previously unknown Peruvian language, it’s a pretty tantalizing [...]

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Food Matters

Linguistically Modified Foods? How Language May Shape Perception Of GMs

Alphabet Stew'ing: The language of GM can be confusing.

As politicians are aware, you betcha language can impact public opinion. In the 2012 presidential election, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had their word selections analyzed. Public reaction was sometimes more favorable than others, demonstrating how the power of words (or things remotely resembling them) should not be misunderestimated. The ability of language to shape public perception isn’t limited [...]

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Guest Blog

Play, Informal Learning Cultivate Kids’ Interest in STEM

A visitor learns to solder and connect a circuit in a workshop at the New York Hall of Science's Maker Space.

When I was eight years old I couldn’t speak English. I’d been born in another country and came to the U.S. because my father’s postdoctoral medical research brought us here. Frustrated with my inability to communicate with others, I stopped trying. I didn’t want to play with the other kids anyway – at least that’s [...]

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Telltale Language Reveals Who Is Keeping a Secret


Sharing a secret can forge a relationship and solidify a bond with a friend. Keeping a secret, however, can eat away at our health and happiness.  As it turns out, hiding a painful truth also changes the way we communicate with others. By analyzing big data sets such as email logs and Twitter feeds, psychologists [...]

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Vote for the Most Annoying Ear Worm [Poll]

We solicited readers’ nominations for the most annoying earworms yesterday via Facebook. We winnowed the list and now are presenting the poll below to ask readers to vote for the worst, most tiresome earworm plaguing us, thanks to supermarket music, radio and TV jingles, waiting room speakers and so on. Vote now to see the [...]

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The Science of Ear Worms, or Why You Can’t Get That Damn Song out of Your Head


They go by many names: Brain worms, sticky music (thanks Oliver Sacks), cognitive itch, stuck song syndrome. But the most common (if also the most repugnant) is earworms, a literal translation from Ohrwurm, a term used to describe the phenomenon (and perhaps bring to mind an immediate association with corn earworms). If you’re an academic, [...]

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Artificial Intelligence: If at First You Don’t Succeed…

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The last symposium in M.I.T.’s 150-day celebration of its 150th anniversary (who ever said that geeks don’t like ritual?) is devoted to the question: "Whatever happened to AI?" Of course, that is a particularly appropriate self-introspection for M.I.T. because a lot of artificial intelligence action occurred there during the past 50 years. The symposium [...]

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