Not the dirty kind. Wow, I can’t believe it’s already September with no posting. And they’re only guaranteed to get more scarce once the school year begins.
But onto language:
Animals can speak in different tones, according to one study. As in, they can say the same thing but in a pissed off way. Can they do sarcasm, I wonder?
More and more linguists are finding holes in Noam Chomsky’s idea that language is wired in to all human brains. One is Lise Menn who studies baby’s language development, the other is a guy studying a group in the Amazon, the Piraha, who speak without recursion.
Finally, anyone who’s interested in how humans express ideas should check out the book Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer. The book looks at cognitive scientist through several authors who were exploring these concepts through literature and doing a very good job. I’ve only skimmed it so far, but definitely on my to read list.