Part 1: Language and Imagery
By Professor David McNeill
Why do we gesture? Many would say that it brings emphasis, energy, and ornamentation to speech (which is assumed to be the core of what is taking place); in short, as Adam Kendon says, also arguing against the view, gesture is an “add-on.” However, the evidence is against this. The reasons we gesture are more profound. Language is inseparable from imagery. The natural form of imagery with language is gesture, with the hands especially. While gestures can enhance communication, the core is gesture and speech together. They are bound more tightly than saying the gesture is an “add-on” or “ornament” implies. Even if for some reason a gesture is not made . . . → Read More: The origin of language in gesture–speech unity
Neil Murray, Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of South Australia, writes about his latest book ‘Writing Essays in English Language and Linguistics’. . . . → Read More: Writing Essays in English Language and Linguistics
When we become highly proficient in a language, we tend to use it in chunks or patterns. For a native language especially, we learn and become adept at manipulating masses of word patterns such as absolutely not, as it were, in light of the fact that, curry favour, I think that, scattered showers, it’s worth –ing, just a sec, etc. Language patterns like these make communication efficient – we don’t need to spend time piecing together the smallest bits of language. Rather, we work with larger bits that are easily accessed in the memories of both the user and the receiver. However, the pervasiveness of patterning makes it quite a challenge to sound ‘natural’ in second languages. Grammatical rules themselves . . . → Read More: 2010 Language Teaching Christopher Brumfit Award winner Dr Susy Macqueen discusses her award winning dissertation
The September 2010 issue of English Today was a special edition, guest edited by Renee Blake. This issue focuses on English amongst recent migrants to the USA and Canada – and two articles have been made available until the 31st of December 2010 as a taster sample. . . . → Read More: Special sociolinguistic language shift edition of English Today – free article access
Ping Li, editor of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, has been researching comparisons between the brains of native English speakers and Chinese speakers who are bilingual in English in the hopes of shedding more light on what differentiates and distinguishes someone who can easily pick up a new language from someone who struggles.
The research being carried out at Pennsylvania State University’s Brain, Language, and Computation Lab has been designed specifically to understand the relationships among language, brain, and culture. In particular, focusing on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning.
This research was recently picked up by CNN and makes for . . . → Read More: From Brain To Language To Accent
A summary introduction to the fantastic special edition issue of English Today on prescriptivism – with links to 4 articles that can be accessed free of charge, for a limited time. . . . → Read More: Special Edition ‘Prescriptivism’ Issue of English Today – extended free access until 1st Dec 2010