For years, linguists have been compiling corpora of different languages and their various subcomponents in order to learn more about the nature of human communication. Analyzing these large datasets of text or spoken language, researchers have been able to draw fascinating conclusions about the underlying grammars of languages, the ways languages have changed over time,Continue reading “Phonology and Music”
Author Archives: Daniel Ben Levi
The Linguistics of LOL
In my last post, I wrote about John McWhorter’s The Secret Lives of Words, a fascinating article that explained how language changes over time. Building off of that discussion, I’d like to examine the history of ‘lol,’ a word that many of us use in our day-to-day lives, perhaps without giving thought to what itContinue reading “The Linguistics of LOL”
The Secret Lives of Words – John McWhorter
The other day, I was skimming through the New York Times’s opinion piece column when I found an absolute gem of an article titled The Secret Lives of Words, written by Columbia University linguist John McWhorter. Today, I’d like to share McWhorter’s insights on why old books sometimes feel so incomprehensible, why our policies surroundingContinue reading “The Secret Lives of Words – John McWhorter”
Feature Story: Unlocking the Secrets of the Brain
Imaging Technologies and AI in the 21st Century Questions surrounding the brain functions behind language learning, speech comprehension, and cognitive disorders have puzzled researchers for decades, but in the last few years, advancements in brain imaging technologies and artificial intelligence have started to produce answers. Now, a new technology out of Carnegie Mellon’s Biomedical FunctionalContinue reading “Feature Story: Unlocking the Secrets of the Brain”
Is Linguistic Relativity Real?
A few months ago I made a post discussing the theory of linguistic relativity, explaining its general premise and how it was applied in a well-known sci-fi movie. Today, I’d like to revisit the idea, exploring how credible its different versions really are through examinations of a few case studies. To briefly summarize the concept,Continue reading “Is Linguistic Relativity Real?”
What Are the McGurk and Bouba/Kiki Effects?
This week, trying to enjoy the strange 70-degree weather in the middle of November, I spent some time outside reading about two fun linguistic phenomena: the McGurk and Bouba/Kiki effects. The prior is an illusion that occurs when the sound of a phoneme and the lip movement of a different phoneme are overlapped, tricking theContinue reading “What Are the McGurk and Bouba/Kiki Effects?”
Evaluating Computational Models of Language Acquisition
How do children learn language? This question is one of the most important and mysterious challenges facing the modern linguistics community. If answered, language acquisition curriculums could be optimized, neural networks could be designed to more effectively learn human language, language corpora could be modeled after human language comprehension, and our understanding of the complexContinue reading “Evaluating Computational Models of Language Acquisition”
What is the Language of Time?
The third course I had the opportunity to attend at the 33rd European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information was titled Temporal Logic: Priorian Perspectives. The lectures were delivered by Professor Patrick Blackburn, one of the best public-speakers I have ever met. The class represented my first formal lessons in complex logic, and IContinue reading “What is the Language of Time?”
Cross-Linguistic Semantics: Methodological Advances
As I mentioned in my previous post, this summer, I had the pleasure of attending the 33rd European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information, a fascinating series of multidisciplinary courses focusing on the intersection of computational linguistics, semantics, and logic. Today, I’d like to discuss another class that I attended at the school thatContinue reading “Cross-Linguistic Semantics: Methodological Advances”
Language Resources: Optimal Neural Network Training
This summer, I had the pleasure of attending the 33rd European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information, a fascinating series of multidisciplinary courses focusing on the intersection of computational linguistics, semantics, and logic. Today I’d like to discuss one of the classes I participated in called Creating and Maintaining High-quality Language Resources, which didContinue reading “Language Resources: Optimal Neural Network Training”