Monday, December 26, 2016

Article Review: 5 Language Myths Busted

5 Language Myths busted, by Amanda Taylor, Continuum Utah Magazine, Fall 2016.
Language is interesting, and study of language is general can be very interesting.  I took a few linguistics classes at school; so I found this article interesting.  The author bases her article on the work of University of Utah linguist Abby Kaplan.
Myth 1: Being bilingual makes you smarter.  In fact, being bilingual does not make you more or less intelligent.  Although it can have advantages.  You can communicate with more people, enjoy exploring a second culture, and also perhaps have some business advantages.  Bilingualism does offer a broader perspective in knowing more than one name for an object.  One is better able to think and talk about language.  So even if there is no evidence that knowing a second language increases your IQ, the advantages are such that Kaplan says this myth is mostly true.
Myth 2: Adults cannot learn a second language. This is based on anecdotal proof as refugees are observed and the children pick up the new language more quickly.  However this does not mean adults cannot learn a second language.  Children are usually more immersed into the new culture and language, at school and the playground.  Adults have less opportunity.  It is true, that the longer a language is wired, how to move your tongue etc., it can make pronouncing a new language more difficult.  So it may e more  difficult for an adult to learn a new language; but there is not a cut off after which a new language cannot be learned.
Myth 3: French is the most beautiful language.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  It is true the people consider more guttural sounds to not be beautiful.  In this we have the examples of Klingon (from Star Trek) and German.  But the beauty of language is subject to personal opinion, and people usually consider their own language the most beautiful.
Myth 4: Text messaging makes you illiterate.  In this case there is no evidence to support this statement.  Use of abbreviations does not effect the ability to read and write.  Some are common even in formal language.
Myth 5: Women talk far more than men.  Kaplan says the best studies show men and women talk about the same.  There is no proof that women talk more.  They also speak roughly the same way.

No comments:

Post a Comment