Books, Articles, and Essays on Language and Linguistics


The Language of the Future

A fascinating look at how English is mutating as it becomes the world's lingua franca.

The Interpreter

Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language?

Vowel Movement

How Americans near the Great Lakes are radically changing the sound of English.

Who decides what words mean

Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge.

How I learned a language in 22 hours by Joshua Foer

How a new App could help you learn a language in a day.

The Crayola-fication of the World by Aatish Bhatia

Naming things can change the way we perceive them.

Say No More

Linguists now estimate that half of the more than 6,000 languages currently spoken in the world will become extinct by the end of this century.

Politics and the English Language

George Orwell's analysis of the political and economic causes of "the decline of language."

Utopian for Beginners

An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

English, loanword champion of the world!

It's the number-one lender of words to other languages—but not everyone wants to borrow them.

Internet Linguistics

A Defense of Internet Linguistics by Tia Baheri

Once I noticed the effects of the Internet on language use around me once, I noticed it all the time.

The Grammar of Doge. Wow.

What is it? How do you even pronounce it?

Summoning Benedict Cumberbatch

The subconscious patterns that emerge from the way people use language.

English Has a New Preposition, Because

Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word "because."


Tense Present by David Foster Wallace

In one of his finest essays, DFW reviews a dictionary of English usage, tackling everything from democracy and free will to racism in academia along the way.

False Fronts in the Language Wars by Steven Pinker

On bogus linguistic controversies.

Cyber-Neologoliferation by James Gleick

A guided tour through the strange world of the lexicographer.

Deaf Language

A Linguistic Big Bang by Lawrence Osborne

For the first time in history, scholars are witnessing the birth of a language, a complex sign system being created by deaf children in Nicaragua.

Seeing at the Speed of Sound by Rachel Kolb

Surrounded by hearing people all the time, my only option has been to adapt, and lipreading is the skill that I have practiced most.

Deafness as culture by Edward Dolnick

Why some deaf activists resist being integrated into the hearing world, preferring to use sign language

Books on Language

The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

A lucid primer on the fascinating science of linguistics which accessibly explains the complex origins and psychology of language

The Story Of English by Robert McCrum

A comprehensive history of the world's lingua franca, in all its forms.

Websites on Language

The Electric Typewriter

Essays about Words and Writing

Links on Language and Linguistics

The online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages.





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