Virginia Tech: Historical costume descriptors bridge gap between past and present

Virginia Tech: Historical costume descriptors bridge gap between past and present. “The objective is to compare language from the past with new language that we use today to describe costume artifacts across different time periods. The Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textile Collection will be digitized and made available to the public, increasing accessibility and access.”

Boing Boing: New BB series! “Updating the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction”

New-to-me, from Boing Boing: New BB series! “Updating the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction”. “The HDSF — based on the OED Science Fiction Citations Project, a 2001 effort to crowdsource quotations for the Oxford English Dictionary — is a full-fledged dictionary of SF on historical principles, meaning that every entry is illustrated with contextual quotations showing exactly how a term has been used over time.”

Lancaster University: Gaelic ultrasound videos shed new light on mechanics of tongue movements during speech

Lancaster University: Gaelic ultrasound videos shed new light on mechanics of tongue movements during speech. “A research team, led by Lancaster University, made video recordings of people’s tongues while they spoke Gaelic and Western-Isles English to investigate what kinds of movements are used to produce different consonants…. A selection of the videos are now available in a new section of a website dedicated to videos of speech sounds, Seeing Speech, created by speech and language experts at the University of Glasgow and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.”

Big data on small languages: Release of the DoReCo online database (Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Informationsdienst Wissenschaft: Big data on small languages: Release of the DoReCo online database. “On July 29, linguists working all over the world will gather in Berlin at Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft to celebrate the online release of the DoReCo data base, which provides access to audio recordings from more than 50 languages, along with their transcriptions, translations, and detailed linguistic analyses. Admission to the hybrid event is free, but registration is required.”

Tech Xplore: Aboriginal language could help solve complex AI problems

Tech Xplore: Aboriginal language could help solve complex AI problems. “An Aboriginal language could hold the key to solving some of the most challenging communication problems between humans and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. A new paper, published by Frontiers in Physics and led by UNSW Canberra’s Professor Hussein Abbass, explains how Jingulu—a language spoken by the Jingili people in the Northern Territory—has characteristics that allow it to be easily translated into AI commands.”

Carnegie Mellon University: Modern Languages Launches Online Language Courses

Carnegie Mellon University: Modern Languages Launches Online Language Courses. “The Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University is proud to announce the launch of its new online language programs for Chinese, French and Spanish. … Learners seeking to improve their language skills on their own schedule can choose from two options depending on their preferred method of study — self-paced independent study ($10), or an instructor-led program with weekly meetings and a small group of peers ($50). Certificates will be awarded for successful course completion.” You do not have to have a CMU affiliation to take the classes..

NiemanLab: Lost for words? A new, free resource offers journalists guidance on thorny topics

NiemanLab: Lost for words? A new, free resource offers journalists guidance on thorny topics. “Using funding from Google News Initiative, the project brought together a long list of news leaders to write a style guide with more than 275 entries — including ones for ‘crisis pregnancy center,’ ‘opportunity gap,’ and ‘DREAMer’ — containing detailed definitions, notes on usage, and additional resources.”

Heriot Watt University: New project helps Amazon create dataset to advance multilingual language understanding research

Heriot Watt University: New project helps Amazon create dataset to advance multilingual language understanding research. “Researchers at the National Robotarium, hosted by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, have created a Spoken Language Understanding Resource Package (SLURP) aimed at making it easier for AI and machines to understand spoken questions and commands from humans. One of the items included in the package is an open dataset in English spanning 18 domains. Amazon recently localised and translated the English-only SLURP dataset into 50 typologically diverse languages, creating a new multilingual dataset called MASSIVE.”

Scientific Data: Lexibank, a public repository of standardized wordlists with computed phonological and lexical features

Scientific Data: Lexibank, a public repository of standardized wordlists with computed phonological and lexical features . “Inspired by the GenBank database, where scholars can deposit nucleotide sequences publicly, we have created Lexibank, a collection of cross-linguistic datasets in standardized formats, which offers access to word forms, sound inventories, and lexical features for more than 2000 language varieties derived from 100 individual high-quality datasets. The Lexibank wordlist collection is a first attempt to integrate the wealth of language data assembled during the past centuries.”

The Verge: The Linguistics Search Engine That Overturned The Federal Mask Mandate

The Verge: The Linguistics Search Engine That Overturned The Federal Mask Mandate. “Using corpora to answer legal questions, a strategy often referred to as legal corpus linguistics, has grown increasingly popular in some legal circles within the past decade. It’s been used by judges on the Michigan Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court, and, this past March, was referenced by the US Supreme Court during oral arguments for the first time.”

NBC News: Lakota elders helped a white man preserve their language. Then he tried to sell it back to them.

NBC News: Lakota elders helped a white man preserve their language. Then he tried to sell it back to them.. “The Lakota Language Consortium had promised to preserve the tribe’s native language and had spent years gathering recordings of elders, including Taken Alive’s grandmother, to create a new, standardized Lakota dictionary and textbooks. But when [Ray] Taken Alive, 35, asked for copies, he was shocked to learn that the consortium, run by a white man, had copyrighted the language materials, which were based on generations of Lakota tradition.”

New York Times: For Russian-Speaking Ukrainians, Language Clubs Offer Way to Defy Invaders

New York Times: For Russian-Speaking Ukrainians, Language Clubs Offer Way to Defy Invaders. “Since Russia’s invasion, a number of language clubs have opened in cities in western Ukraine. Teachers and volunteers are reaching out to millions of displaced people who have fled to the relative safety of western cities like Lviv from the Russian-speaking east — encouraging them to practice and embrace Ukrainian as the language of their daily lives. An estimated one in every three Ukrainians speaks Russian at home, according to researchers, and many of them — outraged by the violence of Russia’s invasion — are enthusiastically making the switch as a show of defiance.”

Ars Technica: Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?

Ars Technica: Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?. “While the word ‘unalive’ first became popular in 2013 (when it was used in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man), Google searches for the term have spiked dramatically in 2022. From TikTok, ‘unalive’ has spread to Twitter and Reddit; YouTubers also use it so their content isn’t demonetized. Depending on the context, the word can refer to suicide, murder, or death. Though ‘unalive’ is often used comedically on TikTok, people like Williams also use it to talk candidly, forge a community, and signpost resources on the app. The rapid rise of ‘unalive’ therefore raises a worrying question: What happens when we don’t openly say ‘suicide’?”

The Conversation: Language matters when Googling controversial people

The Conversation: Language matters when Googling controversial people. “Our recent research showed how Google’s search engine normalizes conspiracy theorists, hate figures and other controversial people by offering neutral and even sometimes positive subtitles. We used virtual private networks (VPNs) to conceal our locations and hide our browsing histories to ensure that search results were not based on our geographical location or search histories. We found, for example, that Alex Jones, ‘the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America,’ is defined as an ‘American radio host,’ while David Icke, who is also known for spreading conspiracies, is described as a ‘former footballer.’”