David Adger in Nautilus and other stuff

The latest issue of Nautilus is devoted to language, and against all expectations they actually have valuable article about linguistics there (not just linguists that are asked to pontificate about Donald Trump’s language, although there is that as well).

First comes an interview with David Adger (at least partly the reason for this is his upcoming book “Language Unlimited“), with refreshingly nuanced and diplomatic takes on topics like UG and Piraha. You also get the sweet old #mergehype.

Next is a piece by David Adger himself where he explains the basic ideas of current Minimalism like Merge and Move in a very accessible manner. I really wish more popular articles about linguistics were like this and the usual “Hey let’s talk about language, therefore culture yadayada Trump yadayada deeply engrained image something something yada” or the one time where they let a non-linguist blather on about the emergence of language (let’s not talk about it).

(Let me at this point also take the opportunity to plug in David Adger’s blog (with articles like this one).)

Nautilus also published a short story by Ted Chiang (of Arrival fame) about talking parrots. It’s not as dumb as it sounds, but also not as awesome as we’re used to from him.

As for other random stuff loosely related to linguistics:

An article in the Atlantic about Williams Syndrome and its often associated hyper-sociality where Cedric Boeckx makes an appearance with a paper about the self-domestication hypothesis popular among biolinguistics people (Cedric has a small Biolinguistics group in Barcelona).

A short sketch on BBC2 about the dangers of artifical intelligence that can subtitle videos with an accuracy of 93% (and that has problems with proper names like Vladimir Puking).

There is an interesting collection on LinguistList of Famous Linguists describing their life paths – makes for some interesting reads!

The dozens of texts that people have written on the occasion of Chomsky’s 90th birthday (Happy Belated Birthday!!!) are online.

There is such a thing as the International Cognitive Linguistics Association, they have a website, and on that they give a short overview of what cognitive linguistics actually is and how it came to be historically. Maybe I will at some point in my life understand what functional/cognitive linguistics is all about.

That’s it so far!

 

 

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