Tag Archives: linguistics

Language – nature or nurture?

Why can children learn any language – is it nature or nurture? Using the world’s first magnetoencephalography (MEG) system designed to study cognitive processing in children, Macquarie University Federation Fellow Professor Stephen Crain will investigate whether or not children have innate language ability.

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Thirty new languages discovered in China

Credit: Jamin Pelkey
Credit: Jamin Pelkey

Thirty new languages in China have recently been described by Assoc. Prof. David Bradley and Dr Jamin Pelkey of La Trobe University and reported by the journal Science.

Jamin described 18 new Phula languages based on work carried out from 2005 to 2006 in 41 mountain villages in Yunnan Province, Southwest China for his PhD. They are now recognised by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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Imaginary friends, real benefits

Credit: Marina Adinolfi
Credit: Marina Adinolfi

Children with imaginary friends are better at learning to communicate than those who do not have one, according to psychologist Dr Evan Kidd at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

In a study of 44 children, Evan and his colleague Anna Roby showed that the 22 children who had imaginary friends were able to get their points across more effectively when talking.

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