Informational session and pizza social for students interested in minoring in Linguistics

Thursday, February 6th
 Greene 317
 4:00 – 5:30PM

Grab a slice and get info on: Minor Requirements, Honors, Grants, Research Opportunities, Grad Schools, Jobs,
 Reference Letters . . .

What do I need to know?
How do I go about it?
Meet the faculty and current students
Learn about the opportunities available to you!


OPEN HOUSE FLYER linguistics


Why verbal tee-ups like 'to be honest' often signal insincerity

“Tee-ups have probably been around as long as language, experts say. They  seem to be used with equal frequency by men and women, although there  aren’t major studies of the issue. Their use may be increasing as a  result of social media, where people use phrases such as “I am thinking  that…” or “As far as I know…” both to avoid committing to a definitive  position and to manage the impression they make in print.”


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Colloquium update. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will be putting on a colloquium in March.

The keynote speaker will be Gregory Ward (Northwestern University).

The Call for Papers is open, check the UNC Linguistics Department for information on the deadline for abstracts.

2014 Spring Colloquium
Date: Saturday, March 22nd, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Location: TBA,  UNC-Chapel Hill
Keynote Speaker: Gregory Ward (Northwestern University)

via 2014 Spring Colloquium – Department of Linguistics.

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clementsClancy Clements, a linguist from Indiana University, will give a talk on Friday, October 18 at 4:00 in Greene 145.

The title is:

How the brain constructs grammar (without a tutor): evidence from some Portuguese- and Spanish-lexified contact varieties

One of the things the brain does very well is recognize patterns. It is also sensitive to input and input frequency in creating the patterns. In this presentation, I show how frequency of occurrence of nominal and verbal forms in discourse can be determined, and how this form frequency, along with the perceptual salience of such forms, can serve to predict form selection in the language acquisition/creation process, and account for the restructuring found in immigrant and creole languages. The data are taken from a representative sample of Portuguese- and Spanish-based language- contact varieties.

Clancy Clements LING talk (flyer)

You can find more information about Clancy on his webpage:

I hope to see all of you on the 18th!



If you’re interested in exploring your knowledge of world languages, try The Great Language Game. This is a fun online language classification game that plays samples of languages of the world and your task is to correctly identify them!

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An interesting piece from the Independent on language diversity.

200 languages: Manchester revealed as most linguistically diverse city in western Europe – Home News – UK – The Independent.

Are you interested in linguistics, in speaking with international students, or just being very helpful? We are looking for native English speaker volunteers to help with oral skills workshops for international students. You can help international students gain facility with the rapid pace of native speaker English, idiomatic expressions, American culture, and to help increase their confidence and ability to participate in their classes. It’s a lot of fun!
Volunteers are not required to attend every session, but should be available on a semi-regular basis.
Sessions are planned for Fridays from 3:30-4:30 (or until 5 some days), in Tribble A-104. Sessions will begin Sept. 13th. Thursday sessions may also occur depending on interest.

Please contact Andrew Smith at if you are interested.


A TED talk discussing the important difference between writing and speech in the context of the recent advent of texting. McWhorter points out:

Once you have [mobile devices] in your pocket that can receive that message, then you have the conditions that allow that we can write like we speak. And that’s where texting comes in. And so, texting is very loose in its structure. No one thinks about capital letters or punctuation when one texts, but then again, do you think about those things when you talk? No, and so therefore why would you when you were texting?

John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!! | Video on

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Recently a graduate student at NC State University published a set of interactive dialect maps based on data from a dialect survey by Bert Vaux (University of Cambridge).


Dialect maps by Joshua Katz based on data from the 122-question survey conducted by Bert Vaux, Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge. The web interface was coded with Shiny and deployed using the hosting service provided by RStudio. These maps are preliminary results only—more complete/correct versions are in development.

via Dialect Survey Maps.

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