home

Linguistics

My interests in linguistics are primarily used for natural language processing work. On this page I just want to touch some references about general linguistic topics I find cool.

General thoughts on linguistics

There are many good general books on linguistics for both lay people and linguists out there. The Unfolding of Language is a very compelling book about language evolution in general.

The Horse, The Wheel And Language by David Anthony is a wonderful book to understand how Indo-European languages might have originated.

Terrence Deacon's The Symbolic Species is an old but still intellectually stimulating book on the very origins of human language within the realms of humans' evolution.

Stanislas Dehaene's book The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics is more on mathematics and the brain but it touches language for number processing.

If you really want to get a glimpse into language and brain processing, you can go to Eric Kandel's Principles of Neural Science and read the chapters on language and learning - but that book is a general introduction and probably contains more than what most non-neurologists would like to know about the brain.

Language learning

Linguistics and learning languages are different although definitely related kettles of fish. Learning and keeping afresh more than one language is time-consuming, so one definitely needs to develop good strategies to optimize one's resources. Below you can see some of the ideas and language resources I have found useful.

Genre Title Description
General suggestions Lomb's How I learn languages This is one of Kathó Lomb's book about how to master several languages
Chinese Growing up with Chinese This is for beginners
Chinese Le Chinois de tous les jours Also for beginners, it is just a good phrasebook with real phrases. It has the Chinese sentence, pinyin and French translation. You can download the audio
German Radio Wissen Public online radio about cultural and scientific things
Norwegian Norwegian-English Dictionary: A Pronouncing and Translating Dictionary of Modern Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk) (ISBN 978-0299038748) Probably the best Norwegian-English dictionary, somewhat outdated
Norwegian Norwegian Practical Dictionary (ISBN 978-0781811064) There are few decent English-Norwegian dictionaries out there. This one is from and into English. It is fairly decent and has quite some information on collocations.
Norwegian Norwegisch ohne Mühe Assimil (ISBN 978-3896250100) I think Assimil has better and worse books. I liked this one because it contains a large amount of expressions and as its target is a public already speaking another Germanic language so it already assumes some general familiarity with many terms and grammar principles. Its humour is not my cup of tea but that is the same with the rest of Assimil books.
Norwegian NRK The public Norwegian TV and radio
Polish Słownik tempatyczny Hispański (ISBN 978-83-7429-527-7) A Spanish thematic dictionary for Polish speakers, it is also good for me as a native Spanish speaker who wants to learn some Polish. You won't find here morpho-syntactic information for Polish but there is a lot of vocabulary nicely organized
Polish Trójka This is a culture radio station
Russian Dictionary of Advanced Russian Usage: A Guide to Idiom, Colloquialisms, Slang and More (ISBN 978-0884003502) Lots and lots of concrete translation examples for expressions you do not find even in the Oxford Russian dictionary
Russian Oxford Russian Dictionary (ISBN 978-0198614203) There are very few decent Russian dictionaries out there and this is the best I have been able to come up with for the English-Russian pair
Russian Russian for all Occasions (ISBN 978-1138960725) A Russian English collocation dictionary! Finally we get one for Russian. This is an outstanding work. If you study Russian at an advanced level, I recommend you this book
Russian Communiquez en russe (ISBN 978-2266037051) This remarkable little book for French speakers has a lot of useful Russian expressions. Unfortunately, the book is out of print.
Russian Novaja Gazeta This is a fairly known Russian newspaper, good when comprehension levels are already high
Russian Snob You can find interesting stuff about culture, science in general

Some language games

Calculating your English vocabulary
Om jouw woordenschat Nederlands in te schatten
Cliquez ici si vous voulez savoir combien de langues vous pouvez reconnaître


Andrés Domínguez Burgos, 2019 ©