A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- Researchers proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships."
Cylindrical space colony
Credit: NASA Ames Research Center<p>Such a journey could be subject to a variety of dangers and unforeseen circumstances like viruses, asteroids, computer malfunctions, you name it. New research, carried out by linguistics professors <span style="background-color: initial;">Andrew McKenzie from the University of Kansas and Jeffrey Punske of Southern Illinois University</span>, shows what might also happen is that the language of the travelers would mutate. The study highlights the fact that when communities become isolated from each other, conditions are ripe for language to transform. Over time, the spacefaring colonizers would not be able to understand their original language.</p><p>In the study, the linguists use examples of effects from long-distance voyages on Earth, like the changing languages of Polynesian island explorers, to show how much language can change, even within one's lifetime.</p><p>Professor McKenzie described a likely (and somewhat sad) scenario in a <a href="http://news.ku.edu/2020/06/30/without-care-lost-space-could-mean-lost-translation" target="_blank">press release</a>:</p>
MIT and Google researchers use deep learning to decipher ancient languages.
- Researchers from MIT and Google Brain discover how to use deep learning to decipher ancient languages.
- The technique can be used to read languages that died long ago.
- The method builds on the ability of machines to quickly complete monotonous tasks.
Noam Chomsky on Language’s Great Mysteries<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="vNckMPvp" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="c638b32c9b3acd20359340570c9acfd1"> <div id="botr_vNckMPvp_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/vNckMPvp-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/vNckMPvp-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/vNckMPvp-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> Noam Chomsky contemplates the basic, yet still unanswerable, questions of linguistics.
A study surveyed 821 people to find the funniest words in the English language.
Sure, the old Greek guys from 2,400 years ago get all the glory. But these living philosophers have a ton to say about life, the universe, and everything as it relates to right now.
A study analyzes the relationship between how fast people speak and how much information they actually relate.
Do you take your time when you speak, thinking out each word to make sure it’s the most appropriate in that situation? Or do you speak two hundred words a minute, blanketing listeners with your ideas? Either way, you would probably get across the same amount of information in the same amount of time. That’s the conclusion of a new study from Brown University.