anonymous asked:

I don't know anything about linguistics besides what I've seen on this blog and I'd like to learn more. Short of taking a linguistics college class, which is not an option at the moment, do you have any recommended resources for self-education?

OK, I’ll skip over the most obvious point which would be suggesting to follow certain tumblrs from the ling & lang community. You see where we reblog from and can make your own choices. ;-)

You’ll also find some recommendations in the “intro linguistics” tag.

If you want to use books, I would recommend the following: 

  • David Crystal: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language
  • Laurie Bauer: The Linguistics Student’s Handbook
  • Fromkin/Rodman/Hyams: An Introduction to Language
  • Eugene A. Nida: Fascinated by Languages
  • John Lyons: Language and Linguistics
  • Comrie/Matthews/Polinsky: The Atlas of Languages

For the subfields of linguistics, I can recommend the “Understanding Language Series” books by Arnold publishers. 

intro to linguistics prof: …And so in actually pronouncing ‘strength’ /stɹeŋθ/ we insert this accidental [k] between nasal and fricative sounds resulting a pronunciation of [stɹeŋkθ].

me: But… if this k sound is a result of movement of the tongue near the velum between the engma and theta, instead of accidental shouldn’t it be called… accivelar? :D

I immediately die and go straight to hell where I belong.

charlottegamgee  asked:

Just thought I would message you to say I've just declared a major in linguistics and you have had a small part in that decision by inspiring me! I didn't realize what linguistics was until I followed you on here because of game of thrones, then I took an intro to linguistics course, and now here I am! I've just ordered your book because language building is fascinating - I have a huge obsession with Tolkien's elvish languages.

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

May you have as much fun with it as I did! ~:D

How to tell apart theta θ and eth ð

It’s easy to find words that distinguish between other voiced/voiceless pairs in English - bus and buzz, fine and vine - but the two sounds represented by the “th” sequence in English are rarer and harder to learn, especially since English uses the same spelling for both of them.  

A lot of people give up and just use near-minimal pairs like “think” and “this”, or “theta” and “they”, but there are actually a few true minimal pairs that you can use: 

thigh  -  thy
ether  -  either 
thistle  - this’ll 

It’s worth noting that function words in English, like pronouns, prepositions, and determiners, tend to have ð, while content words, especially nouns, tend to have θ.

Theta θ and eth ð are also found in the following noun/verb minimal pairs, at least for many dialects:   

wreath  -  wreathe 

(I put a wreath on the door / I wreathe the door)

teeth  - teethe

(my teeth / the baby is teething) 

loath  -  loathe 

(I’m loath to do it / I loathe doing it) 

sheath  -  sheathe

(in a sheath / to sheathe one’s sword)

sooth  -  soothe 

(for sooth! / to soothe someone) 

Here the vowels differ, but the theta θ to eth ð, noun to verb relationship is preserved: 

cloth  -  clothe

(wear cloth / clothe oneself)

bath  -  bathe

(take a bath / bathe the baby)  

breath  -  breathe 

(take a breath / breathe deeply)

Make sure to try them at full volume, not whispering, because whispering involves turning off your vocal cords (which is why you can whisper when they’re inflamed with laryngitis). 

These sounds are called dental fricatives or interdental fricatives, because the sound is produced by a thin stream of air friction where the tongue is at (dental) or between (interdental) the teeth. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the voiceless interdental fricative, theta, is written θ, and the voiced interdental fricative, eth, is written ð

As a bonus, here’s a minimal pair for ʒ and ð, thanks to recent developments in clothing technology: pleasure and pleather. 

anonymous asked:

I'm going to be studying computational linguistics soon. I don't actually know much about the field. Can you point me in the right direction on where to start on my own before being thrown into classes?

Hi, i’m not a computational linguist myself, so I’d rather see what advice some of or dear followers come up with. 

It also very much depends on the institution where you will start to study which works are considered relevant or important. It cannot hurt to read a general introduction into linguistics, though, something like The Linguistics Student’s Handbook by Laurie Bauer seems like a god and affordable starting point.

Hello! I’ve been around for a year or so, and I’ve made some posts along the way, but I really want to interact more in the tumblr community, so I’m reintroducing myself!

About me:

  • I’m Cassidy 
  • I love languages
  • My blog is a mix up of studyblr, langblr, booklr, and filmblr
  • Obsessed w/ all forms of media! If you’re looking for a film, tv, book, and/or podcast rec, hit me up! 
  • Constantly trying to be more minimalist
  • I’m going to college this fall (class of 2021!) 
  • I’ll be majoring in romance languages and linguistics!
  • I’ve taken Mandarin for 4 years
  • I’ve taken American Sign Language for 3 years
  • Classes I’m taking this semester (hmu if you like/are taking these subjects!):
    • French I
    • Italian I
    • Intro to Linguistics
    • Intro to Physical Anthropology
    • Feminist Fairy Tales

Some blogs I like:

@revisicn @post–grad @dukeofbookingham @becauseliteraturethatswhy

@acadmia @academla @a-bit-of-lit @thehistorygrad

invuctis  asked:

Hi I'm interested in learning linguistics on my own to see if I really do like it enough to take classes for it and then potentially major in it but I have no idea what books would give me what I need. What I'm thinking of are books that cover the basics of linguistics, and cover the various areas of linguistics (applied, historical, anthropological, etc.) on a basic level. I know a google search would give me something, but I'd like to know what you would suggest, as a person in the field.


I really like The Study of Language by George Yule - he goes from the very beginnings (origins of language, all major subfields, lg acquisition, etc) to more complicated stuff, chapter by chapter. And it’s all written in a very accessible way. (and apparently he’s just published the 6th edition)

If you want separate books for each subfield: Lass’ Phonology or Roach’s English Phonology and Phonetics (English-specific); Haspelmath & Sims’ Understanding Morphology; Carnie’s Introduction to Syntax; Palmer’s Semantics; Mey’s Pragmatics: An Introduction.

If you want something less technical, Crystal’s You Say Potato and The Story of English in 100 Words; Peterson’s The Art of Language Invention (surprisingly enough, it’s a really good intro to Linguistics); Forsyth’s The Etymologicon.

If you want something that will speak to your soul, awaken your inner linguist and show you the meaning of life, read Pinker’s Language Instinct

why uni is confusing as hell
  • orthography professor: so you'll be teachers and spelling is very important to you and we'll have multiple tests to ensure that you write Hungarian words correctly because you'll teach children AND ORTOGRAPHY IS VITAL
  • *one hour later*
  • intro to linguistics professor: lol spelling is stupid and rubbish and only spoken language counts as language so don't bother about spelling mistakes

anonymous asked:

I've been into conlanging before I knew what it was and then I lost sight of it and now with a BA and and almost finished MA in linguistics I've stumbled across it again and it's renewed my interest. I've loooked into David Peterson's book but while it seems to be a good introduction for people without linguistic background I wonder what introduction to conlanging you'd recommend someone who has a good basic in linguistics already...or maybe Peterson is still a good start? Thank you :)

That’s a really good question. The fact is that most introductions to conlanging are like Peterson’s The Art of Language Invention in that they’re meant for people with no linguistic background. Many of the classes offered at universities are alternatives for intro linguistics courses. You could go with Advanced Language Construction by Mark Rosenfelder – it includes some more advanced topics than his Language Construction Kit.

Also, just to plug ourselves – many of are episodes are better for people with some linguistic background. We often feature particular languages and talk about particular features, or go more in-depth on a particular linguistics topic. (go check out

I can definitely see a use for conlanging introductions for linguists. As an MA, you have a lot of the basic theoretical background and probably a few favorite languages to pull features from, but there are things you might know:

- How to manage the creative process of conlanging.
- Where to start construction
- Particular linguistic fields (for instance, a lot of ling programs don’t teach much lexicography, but for a presentable conlang you definitely need to know how to write a dictionary.)

I’ll have to see about what I can do there. Maybe we should look into an episode on how linguists can get started conlanging.

The thing is, soulmates don’t always know they’re soulmates. Sometimes the pair will know each other for years and nothing, and then suddenly one day they feel that frission of something when they touch and they just know.

Stiles knows this. He knows there’s this vague, apparently undefinable phenomenon occurring out there in the world because he’s seen it first hand with his dad, his best friend, and about a third of his graduating class. He therefore resents having to pay about six hundred dollars for this information.

“I hate this class,” Stiles announces before Scott has even stepped foot into their apartment.

“Intro to Soulmates again?” Scott asks. He sounds amused, which riles Stiles up even more.

“Yes! Always. I mean, listen to this.” Stiles flips a few pages back in his textbook and reads, “We are as of yet unable to define the feeling that passes between soulmates when they are revealed to one another. Some report feeling something akin to a spark, others a caress, and still others report anything in between and beyond. Though it is hard to define in words, the pair will instinctually know when it happens.”

Scott shrugs. “It’s true.”

“I know it’s true,” Stiles says with a huff. “Everyone knows it’s true. This is all common sense. Why is this a required class?”

“Because you’re in the Humanities,” Scott says, smiling like he thinks he’s hilarious. Dammit, it’s endearing. Stiles just wants to be pissed off.

Stiles waves him off, turning back to his ridiculous textbook. “Yeah, yeah. Go do your science or whatever.”

“I actually only have math classes tomorrow.”

“I am so sorry.”

Keep reading

Hands On (One Shot/Scenario/Request)

Summary: Namjoon isn’t particularly good with his hands and for once in his life, that turns out to be a good thing.

Y/N isn’t sure how Sculpture 101 is going to make her that much more refined when five minutes after arriving to the mossy smelling workshop it’s already assimilating the equivalent of a high school art class, the kind most teenage students took for an easy grade or to fill that empty slot in their class schedule.

Keep reading

Gricean Maxims videos

Gricean Maxims are the type of linguistic phenomenon where there are lots of examples from pop culture. Here are some of them, with annotations: 

This video has examples of all four Gricean maxims from The Big Bang Theory:

This video has multiple clips for specific Gricean maxims. It’s a bit dated in style, but the content is quite clear: 

These two videos riff on the too-fluent non-English speaker trope, where the speakers are being far more informative than required: 

This video illustrates Gricean maxims using old school internet memes: 

Tumblr seems to only allow five videos per post, but other Gricean videos include this explanation from The Ling Space, this video with a philosophy approach, and this video with a lecture/whiteboard-style approach


Catch with Grandfather: A nice little example of ambiguity from the Animaniacs.

spiderivy  asked:

Hello! I'm super interested in doing Linguistics as an undergrad but I'm a little worried - the amount of jargon is really inaccessible and I was wondering, what sort of prior knowledge would you recommend I have before taking a course in Linguistics? Do I even need prior knowledge before going to University of all things for it? I'd love to take the course but I just worry my realm of knowledge on the topic is lower than it should be. Thank you for your time! c:

Really, really don’t worry about it! 

Most people come into linguistics courses knowing absolutely nothing about it. The sorry state of linguistic education in high schools is a topic for another post (although it’s part of the reason I have this blog, ahem), but until that changes, you can rest assured that any linguistics instructor knows that they have to start at the very beginning. About half of the students in most intro linguistics classes have picked it as a random elective and don’t really know what linguistics is, and yet a decent proportion of those people will fall in love halfway through and switch majors – and I know lots of the same people who are now in linguistics grad school or further. 

It’s useful if you have a general idea of a few basic meta-linguistic terms like noun, verb, preposition, adjective, consonant, vowel, subject, object, that kind of thing, although you’ll probably get revised definitions for them anyway in class. I also generally find that students who have some knowledge of more than one language have an easier time of it, partly because second-language classes often teach people these meta-linguistic terms. But the most important part is the basics of any course, like attending classes, doing the readings & homeworks, asking questions when you get stuck, etc. 

If you’re interested, it’s certainly not going to harm you to pick up the basics of the IPA or why syntax trees are a thing, but that’ll just put you ahead of what your future prof is going to assume you’ll know: most students will not have heard of the IPA or syntax trees at all. My post What is language? 8 myths about language and linguistics is approximately the material that you’d find in the first lecture of an intro linguistics course, although I notice I’ve used a few terms like agglutinative and case marking for examples and haven’t defined them: you wouldn’t be expected to know what they are before taking a course. If it reassures you, you can also look up what’s in the first few chapters of an intro linguistics textbook. Here’s one I’ve used

You may also find this post on how to look for linguistics undergrad programs  useful.