Language and History Articles

Social Change: The Role of Women

March 15, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

For March, which is Women’s Month. The topic is social change. Sociolinguist William Labov has observed:  “While most language forms are stable and customary; a few rapidly changing variables may be closely compared to fashion. Change and diffusion of fashions – in clothing, cosmetics – appears to be closer to... read more

Mongolian Horses

October 1, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In the early thirteenth century Genghis Khan united a variety of Mongolia’s nomadic tribes. Because of the Mongolians’ exceptional skill as horsemen, Genghis Khan was able to conquer many of his neighbors. In 1204 he subdued the Uyghur people in what is now Xinjiang, a western province of China. There... read more

Look There

September 23, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In Languages in the World we have defined language as an orienting behavior that orients the orientee within his or her cognitive domain. When we think about deep time and the co-evolution of the human brain and language, we speculate that the first linguistic orientation was likely that of orientation:... read more

Eiffel Towers in Vietnam

September 17, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Visitors to Vietnam, if they go to the mountain town of Da Lat or the beach town on Con Dao Island, might be surprised to see what looks to be a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower sprouting from the top of a building in city center. Upon closer inspection,... read more

Austronesian Origin Stories

September 10, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Cover Photo Credit: fr:Utilisateur:FRED, Wikimedia User. Authorized for under this Creative Commons license:  The pre-colonial Polynesians revered a supreme deity who, according to the story, huddled in an egg-shaped shell for countless ages in endless space. After an infinite period of impenetrable darkness, the god hatched himself. Upon beholding a... read more

Story of the Qu'ran

The Story of the Qur’ān

August 13, 2015 9:45 am Published by Leave your thoughts

According to Islamic tradition, the Qur’ān is a book of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It did not come to him in the form of a complete book but rather in parts over a period of several decades. The first part was revealed in 610 at Jabal an-Nur ‘The... read more

Lines are Drawn in the Sand

August 6, 2015 9:39 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In 1915 and 1916, while World War I was ravaging Europe, English diplomat Sir Mark Sykes and his French counterpart François Georges-Picot met in a series of negotiations. The result of these meetings was the Sykes-Picot agreement that would determine the zones of influence in the Middle East for England... read more