Brian D. Earp (Yale): The Extinction of Masculine Generics. Martin W. Lewis on the Altaic family controversy. Unknown language found stamped in ancient clay tablet: Women's names listed on a 2700-year-old clay tablet are in a language never seen before — perhaps a sign that they were forced from their homeland. Esperanto's advocates envisioned nothing less than a revolution of human language, but the universal language has a different strength: it flourishes in local contexts and committed communities. Why computers still can’t translate languages automatically: We need to teach machines to understand the meaning of words — that’s really hard. Linguistic and biological diversity overlap — but why? From TLS, Tom Shippey on the myth of English as a global language: A review essay. Nicholas Ostler on the progress of the spoken word from 3000 BC to today, how two languages disappear every month, and the 50,000-word novel written without using the letter “e”.

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