links: pacific prehistory

At Savage Minds, a great anthropology blog, Rex praises Untangling Oceanic Settlement: The Edge Of The Knowable as a review of the interdisciplinary state of knowledge in Pacific prehistory. It is a great paper, because it is very “four field” in its scope. However, it makes me pout a little to be relegated to The … Read more

Language: hip-hop

Hip-hop and linguistics: you ain’t heard no research like it. Calgary linguist Daryn Howe investigates Black vernacular in hip-hop lyrics. Jeff Long, the GWUM[1], was the hip-hop fan here. The message: Black speech has lots of ain’t. I was sitting on the bus this week idly eavesdropping on conversations and just could not understand the … Read more

Darwin Correspondence

The Writings of Charles Darwin on the Web is an amazing resource which allows you to search the texts–including, at an offshoot site, some of his correspondence! When I was writing my honours dissertation I had to stop myself reading the letters obsessively, seeing if I could glean some overlooked insight about language buried in amongst the natural history anecdotes and Darwin’s bleating about his poor health.

This letter (reference only) to his sister Caroline was a great find. In it, Charles used the hypothetical age of the Indo-European languages, and their differences from Chinese to agree with Herschel that yes, the earth must indeed be older than 6000 years as argued by the Bible.
I also love this one (below) that CD wrote to Thomas Henry Huxley. I confess to being a bit of a Huxley fan myself, but their mutual admiration society makes me smile…

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Found today while adding sites to the Link List at the side: PhyloTaxis, a nifty visualisation thing, that gathers science news headlines and turns them into this geometric flash array. Surname Profiler. A UCL GIS project which produces a spatial map of the frequency of your surname in the UK. The wonders of GIS! My … Read more