Category Archives: Linguistic Links

Linguistic Link: Bilingual Children Have Better Memories

The British Psychology Society points us to yet another study about the positives of being bilingual. Read here  to find out more about research done at the Univeristy of Granada and the University of York in Canada, which presented on the benefits of raising children to be bilingual, specifically how it can boost one’s memory.

Linguistic Links: Bilingual Benefits for Seniors

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, bilinguals are able to perform tasks at a faster rate compared to monolinguals. The study showed that this was so because bilinguals are used to switching back and forth from one language to another. As a result, older adults at assisted living communities are encouraged to learn a second language to help decrease cognitive decline. You can read about it more at the Sunrise Senior Living Blog.

Linguistic Link: Chuh Kaw Go

It’s all in the vowels. So says linguist Corrine McCarthy from George Mason University. She recently spoke to WBEZ’s Curious City about the Chicago accent. But those vocalic peculiarities, as exhibited to comedic effect by an SNL sketch about Bears super fans, are only just the tip of the linguistic iceberg.

You can read (or listen to) the entire post to learn more about what other dialects are home to Chicago.

To answer the initial question, though, of where our unique accent comes from, UIC’s own Richard Cameron is quoted as saying that a likely possibility is that “the first dialect that gets [to a place] seems to win.” In our case then, it seems that that would be New Englanders in the mid-1800s.

Linguistic Links: The Ukraine, but not la Ucrania

Altering the names of places from their native language into a form that is more natural to speakers of another language is nothing new. However, Linguism, in a post reflecting on an article by the Independent, discusses different anglicizations of nations around the world. Of particular interest is when to use definite articles with particular countries, i.e. Ukraine vs. the Ukraine. Check out what they have to say on the issue or just take a glance at this map that details of the intricacies of the phenomenon in Spanish:

Linguistic Link: Heavy ‘Medal’ Verb Debate

The competitive spirit of the Olympics is spreading even to linguistic levels. Apparently some are perturbed by the growing trend to use ‘medal’ as a verb now, as in Danell Leyva medalled in the men’s all-around, instead of saying that athletes ‘win medals’. A silly debate for sure as not only is this a very productive phenomenon in the English language (see also ‘friend’ instead of ‘add as friend’, ‘text’ instead of ‘send text message’, etc.), but even the Oxford English Dictionary has accepted it as a verb for years. Read more about it The National.

Linguistic Link: Bilingual Education in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, where both Spanish and English are now co-official languages, the new school year has begun and with it comes the start of the commonwealth’s new bilingual education program. Starting yesterday, math and science in 32 different pilot schools will switch to being taught in English. Visit Hispanically Speaking News to find out why the switch is underway and why not everyone is in favor of the change.