Linguistics blogs

[Edit: Since this blog post is getting a lot of traffic right now, let me use this opportunity to point something out: in the physics blogosphere, people usually have a blogroll where they link to all the other physics blogs they like. This makes it easy for newcomers to find more information if they are interested, and it also leads to a more tight-knit blogging community as they also cross-reference to other people’s blog posts more often. That way you get the feeling of a community of physicists. In linguistics that usually never happens (and I’m not talking about the 5 million links to defunct blogs on Language Log). That is just a small way to increase science communication, an issue close to my heart. So if you write a blog, please do it, it’s not that hard.]

Following up on physics blogs, here is my choice of linguistics blogs.

A couple of words before I start. The blogging landscape in linguistics is really different from the one in physics. It was a bit more difficult to find good blogs that are actually about linguistics (and believe me, I’ve searched, a lot!). Keep in mind that I’m interested in linguistics as defined in this post. That is, I exclude blogs that are about language, but not linguistics, e.g. stuff about writing style, strange/funny/weird words, literature etc… My personal ideal of a blog is something like Sabine’s Backreaction for physics: it tries to explain concepts from fundamental physics to interested laypeople and sometimes also discusses what’s new and hot.

The two best linguistics blogs I can think of are Martin Haspelmath’s Diversity Linguistics Comment and Norbert Hornstein’s Faculty of Language.
Now these two blogs occupy quite different corners of the linguistic landscape, and I think it’s fair to say that they are usually found at opposite ends. Martin Haspelmath is a typologist and close to functional linguistics. Although his general interests in linguistics are quite different than mine, I find his writings extremely valuable and often find myself agreeing with a lot of points that he makes.

Norbert Hornstein is a staunch generativist and writes a lot about the big picture issues that I myself am interested in as well. I’ve learned a lot from reading this blog, and the posts as well as the comments give you a good taste of the opinions of (one part of) the field. For me personally his beliefs are a bit strong. I am not saying that his beliefs are wrong or that I would necessarily disagree with most or many of them, just that he is strongly dedicated to a particular view. This e.g. leads him to write things like “Chomsky is always right”, with the amount of sarcasm not above 90% ;). He is also an avid lover of acronyms (to be adorned with -ish on good days), with E (empiricism) and A (associationism) as his main opponents, who can’t explain how LADs acquire Gs for their specific L from the PLD 😉
Another thing that’s unfortunate is that he decided to cut it back towards the end of last year, but at least it seems that he is not totally able to keep his promise.

Maybe Omer Preminger (also from UMD) will fill this position. I think it’s fair to say that his posts are mainly for professional linguists. He doesn’t blog that often but what he writes is always worth reading.

A newcomer blog is Philosophy of Linguistics by José-Luis Mendívil. I really love this blog as he writes very lucidly, and does so quite often about topics that I find very interesting. See e.g. his writings about biolinguistics or about Jackendoff.

Gillian Ramchand initially blogged about linguistics at Language. Worthwhile posts are especially the reports about the 2015 Athens conference, see e.g. here and here. Sadly, the blog is defunct now; she continues blogging, however, at her personal homepage.

Probably the most famous linguistics blog is Language Log. Perceived 90% of the posts, however, are about strange translations of Chinese signs which I personally don’t think is that interesting. What makes it attractive, however, is that a couple of heavy-weight linguists (like Kai von Fintel, Chris Potts, …) sometimes write posts or comments over there. If something larger happens in the field of linguistics, you can also be sure that it will be discussed over there, like the Piraha wars.

Other blogs that are more or less narrowly about linguistics include:

Talking Brains, a blog by David Poeppel and Greg Hickok, which contains some compelling posts (see here for a guest post by William Matchin); but most of the posts are just announcements of academic job offers.

Angelika Kratzer, the world’s most famous semanticist, has her own blog, My semantics  notebook: infrequent blogging, mostly not about linguistics per se, with occasional gold nuggets like this one.

A Replicated Typo (older version found here) is a blog not about grammatical theory but about evolutionary linguistics and neighbouring fields

The Science of Language is blog which I wish would be way more active. From their own description: “people interested in the science of language do not all live under the same roof. We hope that this blog can be something like that roof–or at least a tent–under which people interested in the language sciences can gather, share idea, and have discussions. The goal is to have posts every week or two with interesting content about topics in the language sciences. The tone will generally be informal, the methods generally formal.” People like Ted Gibson (here) or Peter Hagoort (here) blog there.

Just to be authoritative and as complete as possible, here are some inactive linguistics blogs: Ink o’ Ling, Linguistics Anonymous, Heidi Harley’s old and ‘new‘ blog, as well as languages of the world.

Peter Svenonius posts rarely but has two very wonderful posts, one about Athens 2015 (damn I wish I was there) and the other is a list of most cited works in linguistics.

Pieter Seuren’s blog is also defunct by now. He has an interesting series of blog posts on Chomsky and the sociological side of linguistics.

Humans Who Read Grammars is a very cute blog mostly by Hedvig SkirgĂ„rd. Not always my cup of tea, but I love this post here as well as this one. I also like the posts about Athens 2015 (I know, I know) and a similar conference in PoznaƄ 2014, “Quo vadis linguistics in the 21st century“.

Then there’s also languagehat which I basically just mention because it turns up now and then on blogs.

Penultimately, there is zaragozalinguistica which seems to be legit but I can’t read it because it’s in Spanish. But there’s the link for all my zero Spanish readers.

Finally, there is probably the most famous pop-sci linguistics blog, All Things Linguistics. It’s your cringy perpetuum mobile of forcing wugs into every meme possible to signal in-group status. No, but jokes aside, there are some interesting posts over there, as well as generally very good overviews over online resources for linguistics, linguistics in movies and books etc…

Update: Dan Milway has a blog that is about linguistics proper. His posts are mostly for interested laypeople and professionals.

Some other additions are the Ordinary Working Grammarian aka Chris Collins who blogs semi-regularly, see e.g. his timeline of wh-in-situ research or his opening remarks at the workshop in honour of Richard Kayne.

I will also include the tumblr site of TheLingSpace here, in addition to its mention in the linguistics online resources.

I also found Daniel Gutzmann’s blog – he doesn’t blog that often, but when he does, it’s about use-conditional meaning.

There’s also outdex, a blog by Thomas Graf and friends that sofar looks pretty amazing, see e.g. this post about different ways to do linguistics or this one about the T/Y-model.

Antonio BenĂ­tez-Burraco writes the blog ‘The biolinguistic turn‘ with posts about common themes in biolinguistics like brain oscillations and self-domestication.

There’s also an unfortunately largely defunct blog Linguistics Commentary by Benjamin Bruening.

phantasia[i] is a welcome new blog by Kirill Vasiltsov about linguistics proper!

There’s also a completely defunct blog by Michael Geis, The Language Guy. A taste of his posts are here, here and here.

I honestly don’t know why I didn’t link to David Adger’s blog yet. My only apology is that I thought I had already done it. I know it exists, I know it’s good, and now it’s finally on this list! As an appetizer, here are two great posts.

So there’s your authoritative list of valuable linguistics blogs! I’m always open to additions to the list, so don’t hesitate to write me!

This entry was posted in Linguistics, Online resources linguistics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Linguistics blogs

  1. Pingback: New linguistics blog | particle linguistics

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