Science


A letter arrived at the Sydney University Linguistics department just the other day from Japan, and the way the addressee was worded impressed me immensely, as It’s the first time I’ve experienced real-life honorifics.

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To continue the saga of the stolen wordlists (see my own posts on this here and here, or Peter Austin’s posts here and here for background) I’ve decided that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

It is with that in mind that I give you (over the fold) the Murrinh-Patha crossword puzzle, my own creative work, using Philip M. Parker’s online dictionary of the Murrinh-Patha language.

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or, On the Grammar Wars

Over the weekend, and extending into the week thus far, a debate has been steadily growing in the blogosphere, both here and in the US, about a controversial set of guidelines for teaching English published last year by the English Teacher’s Association of Queensland (ETAQ).

Before I go on, I might say that the breadth of this debate is such that I barely know where to begin, so logically, I might try beginning at the start.

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Over the weekend, David Nash drew my attention to a book that he found on Amazon, that purported to contain bilingual crosswords puzzles in English and Wageman.

I was a bit perlexed by this, since, well, Wagiman doesn’t have much in the way of practical applications such as second-language learning, that is, of course, beyond the community of Wagiman people. It should be noted at this point though, that this book is not being marketed towards the small community of non-Wagiman speaking Wagiman people, but to a North American audience.

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I received this piece of concise, witty and rather insightful spam in the inbox of my work address this morning, and as it amused me I thought I’d share it.

From: Monte Cunningham
Subject: best

your life is crap

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…but here is an equally improbable sentence that my housemate uttered this morning.

Not long ago, I received a call from a friend in Kybrook Farm. She informed me that an old lady, one of the last remaining Wagiman speakers, had died a little while earlier.

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