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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Join the dots: A musical interlude in the evolution of language?
Author: Maggie Tallerman
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Newcastle University
Linguistic Field: Genetic Classification
Abstract: This review article examines the major premises concerning the evolution of language offered in Tecumseh Fitch's The Evolution of Language (2010). Various aspects of Fitch's argumentation are disputed, specifically including the idea that language was preceded in evolution by a musical protolanguage stage in which there were no words, but which instead exhibited a prosodic, meaningless ‘bare phonology’. According to Fitch, this putative stage in language evolution also laid the foundations for syntax, providing musical phrases which were subsequently filled by meaningful words. Counterarguments to these ideas are presented, and an alternative, word-based model of protolanguage is defended.


This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 49, Issue 2.

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