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Topics For Linguistics Essays

25 Great Articles and Essays about Language and Linguistics

The best articles about language and linguistics


The Language of the Future by Henry Hitchings

A fascinating look at how English is mutating as it becomes the world's lingua franca.

The Interpreter by John Colapinto

Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language?

English is Not Normal by John McWhorter

No, English isn't uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language

Vowel Movement by Rob Mifsud

How Americans near the Great Lakes are radically changing the sound of English.

Writing Right by Jared Diamond

"Some written languages are a precise reflection of a people's speech, while others, like english, are a complete mess. Is this alphabetical evolution? Or the unequal application of logic to literacy?"

The Crayola-fication of the World by Aatish Bhatia

How naming things can change the way we perceive them.

Say No More by Jack Hitt

"Linguists now estimate that half of the more than 6,000 languages currently spoken in the world will become extinct by the end of this century."

Linguists are like, 'Get used to it!' by Britt Peterson*

Why a new way to quote has taken English by storm

English, Loanword Champion of the World!
by Britt Peterson

It's the number-one lender of words to other languages--but not everyone wants to borrow them

Utopian for Beginners by Joshua Foer

An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

Internet Linguistics

A Defense of Internet Linguistics by Tia Baheri

Once I noticed the effects of the Internet on language use around me once, I noticed it all the time...

The Grammar of Doge. Wow. by Gretchen McCulloch

Such analyse. Many grammar. Amaze.

Summoning Benedict Cumberbatch by Gretchen McCulloch

Maybe coming up with examples off the top of my head based on my intuitions as Someone Who's Watched Sherlock And Has Tumblr isn't the best way to do science.

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet by Megan Garber

Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word "because"

That Way We're All Writing Now by Clive Thompson*

One joy of our age is watching wordplay evolve at the pace of E.coli

See also...

30 Great Essays about Words and Writing

A great articles and essays about words and writing


Tense Present by David Foster Wallace

In one of his finest essays, DFW reviews a dictionary of English usage, tackling everything from democracy and free will to racism in academia along the way.

False Fronts in the Language Wars by Steven Pinker

On bogus linguistic controversies.

Cyber-Neologoliferation by James Gleick

A guided tour through the strange world of the lexicographer.

Deaf Language

A Linguistic Big Bang by Lawrence Osborne

"For the first time in history, scholars are witnessing the birth of a language, a complex sign system being created by deaf children in Nicaragua."

Seeing at the Speed of Sound by Rachel Kolb

Surrounded by hearing people all the time, my only option has been to adapt, and lipreading is the skill that I have practiced most.

Deafness as culture by Edward Dolnick

Why some deaf activists resist being integrated into the hearing world, preferring to use sign language


What the F***?

Why we curse

A Linguist Explains the Syntax of "Fuck" by Gretchen McCulloch*

Linguistically, swear words are fucking fascinating

In Which We Get to the Bottom of Some Crazy-Ass Language by Chi Luu

Let’s face it, there is no depth to which linguists will not sink in their hunt for the oddities of language...


The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

A lucid primer on the fascinating science of linguistics which accessibly explains the complex origins and psychology of language

The Story Of English by Robert McCrum

A comprehensive history of the world's lingua franca, in all its forms.

What should I write about for my linguistics class?

I have a paper due on Friday for my Linguistics class, and I'm having a problem deciding on a paper topic. I think I have a general idea, but I need to make it more specific. It's a research paper, open to any topic in the field of linguistics. Generally, what I think I want to write about are the factors contributing to the evolution of a language (English in particular) --- society, diversity, usage, history, immigrants, presence or lack of a governmental language purity organization, dialects, etc. I'm shooting for 8 - 10 double-spaced pages, so I obviously need to narrow it down a little bit.
So, does anyone have any ideas on what I should focus on? Any other paper topics I should do instead? I have access to a lot of article/book/online resources, so there's pretty much no limit on what I can do for a topic.

If you need a course description to give me a better answer, it might help to know that we use:
"The Study of Language" by George Yule
"The Language Instinct" by Stephen Pinker
"Language, Society, and Power" by Linda Thomas and Shan Waering

posted by fvox13 to Education (15 answers total)


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