Sep 2, 2013 — Even infants too young to discern the meaning of words seem better able to learn while listening to the sound of human speech than while listening to nonsense — speech run backward. Little surprise there, perhaps, but a study shows that recordings of lemur calls spark learning, too.
Jul 22, 2013 — What makes a language different enough from its predecessors to count as something more than a new dialect? Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers how the human mind's drive for clean categories shapes our understanding of linguistics and biology.
Jul 16, 2013 — Stories of dying languages are all too common. A University of Michigan linguistics professor has a completely different tale about the new language she discovered in an aboriginal community of Australia.
May 2, 2013 — Linguists used to think the human brain had a specific region devoted to understanding language. But brain scans now indicate that regions controlling vision, movement, taste, smell and touch are all called into action when we think of a word, too.
Jun 23, 2012 — With DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.
May 20, 2012 — You don't need to deliberate to be thoughtful, says commentator Alva NoŽ. In fact, it's better if you don't. We are at our most intelligent when we let the world guide us. And we can do this because we are expert at many things we take for granted.
Mar 12, 2012 — The assistant dean of students at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and blog readers share their reactions to the term "politically correct."
Mar 8, 2012 — In last week's column, I asked whether it was taking political correctness too far to question the word "nutcase" in an NPR report. Most readers agreed it wasn't, but some - including NPR's own Vice President of Diversity — disliked framing the conversation in terms of "political correctness."
Jul 13, 2011 — The modern misuse of words often prompts complaints from purists. The same was true in 19th-century Britain, when the Americanisms lengthy and reliable were seen as signs of the coming apocalypse.
Mar 1, 2011 — The New York Times Magazine published the final "On Language" column last Sunday. It marks the end of weekly lectures on common mistakes and misuse in language and grammar. For those who are relieved, research the history of off the hook yourself.