1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 101 Articles

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling was recently revealed to have written a crime novel, "The Cuckoo's Calling," using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. How she was found out involved a couple of linguistic experts analyzing the "little words" that are used in the novel's text.  Continue reading...
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A news story that flitted across the headlines earlier this year reported on a study called "The Geography of Happiness," in which researchers in Vermont subjected 10 million geotagged tweets to sentiment analysis. Their object was to arrive at a metric for the relative happiness of people in a place. "The Geography of Happiness" breaks new ground in the analysis of digital-age linguistic data, while also raising interesting questions about the limits of obtaining reliable results from algorithm-driven research on big bags of words.  Continue reading...
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About Those Dialect Maps...

You might have seen a set of American English dialect maps making the rounds online after a Business Insider piece about the maps went viral. But where does all of that survey data come from? Our own Ben Zimmer has the story on Language Log — read his post here.
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How To Speak Teen

Visual Thesaurus contributor James Harbeck recently appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition to give a phonetic breakdown of noises that teenagers often make. Listen to the segment here, and read more about teenage sounds on The Week here. Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root, anyone?
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Figures of speech in which a part stands for the whole contribute to making linguistic expression so rich, flexible, complex, and interesting. For human speakers, it's a lifelong learning opportunity and a palette from which to paint word pictures and create new expressions. For computers trying to understand language, it can be an intractable problem.  Continue reading...
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Few of us get through a week without asking some version of the question, "What's happening?" There's always a lot going on and there are always a lot of people who want to know about it. Authorities want to know about it too, if what's going on threatens the safety or security of a population that is under their protection. A 21st-century way that authorities try to find out what's going on is called event detection.  Continue reading...
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There's a new game in town. Actually, there are a number of new games, all of them about words. They give you an opportunity to test your language skills and aptitude, as well as to advance the cause of science. The games are GWAPs, that is, games with a purpose, and they help researchers develop valuable training data for getting computers to process language the way humans do, only better and faster.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 101 Articles