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Linguistics

Linguistics

Studying bird speech patterns can explain universal grammar rules

In the 1960s, Noam Chomsky, a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, observed that different languages across the world have common patterns. Chomsky postulated the Theory of Universal Grammar (UG), which suggests that humans have created languages and grammar rules that conveniently fit with how our brain is organized. McGill PhD student Logan Smith… Keep Reading

Linguistics

‘Big Brother’ now a tool to study linguistics

After moving to a new place, some people’s accents change readily while others stay more or less the same for the rest of their lives. McGill University linguist and Assistant Professor Morgan Sonderegger recently spearheaded a study that explores the science behind accent dynamics. Some studies on accents have analyzed only one conversation with a… Keep Reading

Linguistics

Origins of the Canadian accent: Canadian English and factors that contribute to linguistic change

Despite many linguistic similarities with our southern neighbour, the Canadian accent—or accents—can be as distinctive as our love of hockey, maple syrup, and good manners. The origins of Canadian English can be traced back to the American Revolution in the late 18th century when roughly 45,000 Loyalists—American colonists still faithful to the British crown—resettled in… Keep Reading

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