Monday, March 9, 2015

The invention of a new sign language

"Have you heard about the deaf children in Nicaragua who developed an entirely new language? Sunday, [my wife] sat on the plane with a man who was on his way to Nicaragua where he is making a documentary about the children who invented this language. Apparently, it’s a very rare case of a language being invented before our eyes; I thought it might be interesting for linguistics class."

Check out this 7-minute clip to learn more.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chickasaw Language Resources Language promotional videos:

Chickasaw nation Language activities landing page:

Resources for Chickasaw language teachers:

Chickasaw video vocabulary:

Chickasaw language workbook:

Tracey's YouTube channel (launched in October, 2010):


Josh's Chickasaw name is "Lokosh," which means "gourd"
In February 2012, I visited with Joshua D. Hinson, Director of Cultural Education and Outreach for Chickasaw Language Revitalization Program at his office here in Ada in anticipation of his visit to my linguistics class here at ECU. While I was there, I asked him if wouldn't mind pronouncing a few Chickasaw phrases for us so that we could practice them before his visit. Fortunately for us, he was happy to help.

The specific phrases I asked for were: "chukma," which means "hello;" "[Name] se-holhchifo-ut" (My name is); and "Chipitsaliket Chukma" (or "Chukma chipitsaliket", either of which translates as "It's good to see you").

After I spoke with Joshua, he introduced me to JoAnn Ellis, a native speaker of Chickasaw, who teaches Chickasaw language classes here at ECU (enroll, guys!). She also generously agreed to help us out.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maxim Violations

Paul Grice
Have you violated one of Grice's maxims lately?  Tell us how it went.
Send us a link to a YouTube video clip that shows someone else doing it.

The Maxims:
Say no less than the conversation requires (Click here for a negative example).
Say no more than the conversation requires

Don't say what you believe to be false
Don't say things for which you lack evidence

Don't be obscure
Don't be ambiguous
Be brief
Be orderly

Stick to the topic.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Why do Wisconsinites Talk That Way?

Recommended by Tyler Soden