Multilingual Thursday, 5th August

1. I hope this one doesn’t get swamped by adverts. It’s an interesting piece exploring just how multilingual the Mexican government and Mexican citizens would wish to be https://mexiconewsdaily.com/opinion/the-fight-to-save-mexicos-native-languages/ A good basis for a class discussion?

2. Yet another benefit of being non-monolingual: “research has shown that a music-related hobby boosts language skills and affects the processing of speech in the brain. According to a new study, the reverse also happens — learning foreign languages can affect the processing of music in the brain”. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210803105546.htm (Thanks, Melanie!)

3. Digby Jones, Baron Jones of Birmingham – to use his full title – got himself into a right mess this week after his criticism of (what he called) BBC presenter Alex Scott’s ‘elocution’. There’s a good piece here, including the original Jones tweet, by Claire Hardaker, a forensic linguist from Lancaster University http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/drclaireh/2021/08/02/digby-lord-jones-the-man-who-took-on-linguistics-and-lost/ (Thanks, Ann!) and here’s Scott’s own splendid ‘final-g-free’ riposte https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/alex-scott-accent-opener-video-b1894626.html

4. And, finally and also thanks to Ann, a treasure trove of accents and dialects from the British Library https://sounds.bl.uk/accents-and-dialects

Try this one from the Survey of English Dialects (the bottom left-hand corner tile on the main page): Mr Cloughton from Askrigg in Wensleydale, not far from where I was born, talking about building dry-stone walls https://sounds.bl.uk/Accents-and-dialects/Survey-of-English-dialects/021M-C0908X0006XX-0500V1 and chuckle at the difference between his accent and the interviewer’s.

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