linʛuischtick.

The language blog linʛuischtick has been around for almost five years, but I was unaware of it until a reader alerted me to it (thanks, Yoram!). The About page says:

I’m a linguist working in Canada. I use this blog to write about linguistics and language analysis, focusing on problems with traditional (prescriptive) grammar. I also have a series on the International Phonetic Alphabet. My preference is to write long-form posts that consider an issue in detail. Currently, my schedule allows me to update this blog about once per month. I still regularly update my Twitter @LinguaDiem, where I post about as many languages as I can (now past 600!).

The blogger also has a Twitter account called LinguaDiem, where the goal is to post about as many languages as possible; it is discussed at this post from last year:

One thing that has surprised me about LinguaDiem is how easy it has been. I always hear about how little documentation exists for languages, but finding at least one source for 500 languages was not hard. I’m really wondering when this is going to slow down. On the other hand, I’m only looking for one paper to read, and I don’t care about the topic. If you’re a linguist who wants to do research on a specific language, or investigate a particular phenomenon, then things would be much harder.

I have only once had a request for a language. And that was the only time that I couldn’t dig up any information, damn it. If there’s someone reading who knows about Kono, please leave a comment, or contact me on Twitter.

One of the things that I struggle with is how to write the name of a language. Languages have an enormous array of consonants and vowels, and the English alphabet is not well-suited to writing all of them. For this reason, there are often disagreements about how to transcribe names. For instance, there is a language spoken in China that can be spelled Akeu, Akheu, Akui, or Aki. The group that speaks this language is variously known as the Akha, the Aini, or the Kha Kaw.

I’ve just started investigating the archives; looks like a lot of interesting stuff there. Oh, and the “funny G” in the blog name represents a voiced uvular implosive.

Comments

  1. SFReader says:

    Akha people used to have writing and books, but unfortunately dog ate their books, so now they are illiterate.

  2. minus273 says:

    If the idea that the tense/lax distinction has nothing to do with length is taken too seriously, you will end up speaking with an Icelandic accent.

  3. Bathrobe says:

    It’s a pity he devotes part of his blog to countering prescriptivism. There are many more interesting ways to spend one’s life than ranting against pedants.

  4. David Marjanović says:

    There are many more interesting ways to spend one’s life than ranting against pedants.

    But it’s a public service. Not enough people are doing it as it is.

  5. What DM said. I hope someday we reach a point where ranting against prescriptivist pedants is no longer necessary, but it will not come in my lifetime.

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