"The fight for justice can wear on the body. That is something that Clint Barton, the member of Marvel’s Avengers known as the archer Hawkeye, is going to have to learn to cope with. In issue No. 19 of “Hawkeye,” which arrives in stores on July 30, the writer Matt Fraction and the artist David Aja show the aftereffects of a battle that has left their hero with profound ear damage.
The story strives to connect readers with what he is experiencing: when he can’t hear, the word balloons on the page are blank. The comic also makes extensive use of sign language, but provides no key to interpreting them. “If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for hearing people to get a taste of what it might be like to be deaf,” Mr. Fraction said.”

From George Gene Gustines, “One of Marvel’s Avengers Turns to Sign Language,” New York Times.

"The fight for justice can wear on the body. That is something that Clint Barton, the member of Marvel’s Avengers known as the archer Hawkeye, is going to have to learn to cope with. In issue No. 19 of “Hawkeye,” which arrives in stores on July 30, the writer Matt Fraction and the artist David Aja show the aftereffects of a battle that has left their hero with profound ear damage.

The story strives to connect readers with what he is experiencing: when he can’t hear, the word balloons on the page are blank. The comic also makes extensive use of sign language, but provides no key to interpreting them. “If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for hearing people to get a taste of what it might be like to be deaf,” Mr. Fraction said.”

From George Gene Gustines, “One of Marvel’s Avengers Turns to Sign Language,” New York Times.

superlinguo:

Fun times are on the up.
I’m not a corpus linguist, but I love playing with different corpora when they’re presented in accessibly and fun ways - so I was thrilled when Claire Hardaker tweeted about the NYT Chronicle, a way to visualise the language used across the newspaper’s history. 
Like Google’s n-gram corpus, it presents a nice clear chart. It has some advantages over n-gram, for example the NYT corpus is completely up to date while Google’s gets sketchy for contemporary references; compare NYT drone to n-gram drone and you see the NYT data kicks up swiftly just where the Google data ends. 
There are obviously biases in this data too. For one, there’s a bias towards American spelling that isn’t as pronounced in the Google Books corpus. The genre represented is also fairly narrow.
I found a nice use for it the other day while listening to a This American Life podcast that talked about “the meat question”; a period in the late 19th and early 20th century when the USA was unsure it would have enough viable agriculture to feed its population and looked at alternative sources of meat (including, most famously, hippopotamus). The NYT Chronicle has a nice couple of spikes in usages of this phrase when the issue was most pressing (and therefore made it into the news), while the Google Books usage is more diffuse, as people wrote books in the aftermath, being a corpus that is less immediate than newspapers.
This may not become my default go-to tool, but it’s nice and simple and makes a great point of comparison to n-gram. Thanks Claire for sharing!

superlinguo:

Fun times are on the up.

I’m not a corpus linguist, but I love playing with different corpora when they’re presented in accessibly and fun ways - so I was thrilled when Claire Hardaker tweeted about the NYT Chronicle, a way to visualise the language used across the newspaper’s history. 

Like Google’s n-gram corpus, it presents a nice clear chart. It has some advantages over n-gram, for example the NYT corpus is completely up to date while Google’s gets sketchy for contemporary references; compare NYT drone to n-gram drone and you see the NYT data kicks up swiftly just where the Google data ends. 

There are obviously biases in this data too. For one, there’s a bias towards American spelling that isn’t as pronounced in the Google Books corpus. The genre represented is also fairly narrow.

I found a nice use for it the other day while listening to a This American Life podcast that talked about “the meat question”; a period in the late 19th and early 20th century when the USA was unsure it would have enough viable agriculture to feed its population and looked at alternative sources of meat (including, most famously, hippopotamus). The NYT Chronicle has a nice couple of spikes in usages of this phrase when the issue was most pressing (and therefore made it into the news), while the Google Books usage is more diffuse, as people wrote books in the aftermath, being a corpus that is less immediate than newspapers.

This may not become my default go-to tool, but it’s nice and simple and makes a great point of comparison to n-gram. Thanks Claire for sharing!

"Brilliant idea alert: later this month, a new restaurant will be opening up in Toronto called “Signs” on 558 Yonge Street, which promises to be Canada’s first “deaf” restaurant where customers are asked to order their dinners using only American Sign Language.

Staffed primarily by deaf servers, the restaurant hopes to provide “a kind of community service for a deaf population that often struggles to find employment in a speech-oriented workforce,” reports The Star.”

Ukraine’s “The Tribe” Is a Hit at Cannes

This year’s Cannes Film Festival included a unique piece not only to the festival, but to all of cinema — “The Tribe,” a movie performed entirely in Ukrainian Sign Language, with no subtitles and no spoken language. The audacious film has so far received glowing reviews from those who attended the festival, as well as winning three prestigious International Critics’ Week awards.

Like most, we haven’t seen the movie, so we can’t make any judgement. It sounds like the abrasive subject matter and graphic scenes will put many off the movie, but the use of sign language alone makes it intriguing for us. If anyone has seen it, we’d love to hear your own review.

Here’s a round-up of some of the critical reaction to the film (keep in mind these critics are outside of the Deaf community):

Justin Chang, Variety:

"It will be especially interesting to see what deaf viewers make of Slaboshpytskiy’s highly accomplished first feature; engrossingly expanded from the writer-director’s 2010 short, “Deafness,” it’s an unflinchingly pessimistic portrait of a youthful underground subculture that has dealt with its social disadvantages by turning to thuggery and prostitution. Given the emotional/inspirational thrust of so many movies and TV shows (from “Children of a Lesser God” to TV’s “Switched at Birth”) featuring deaf characters, who are often presented in relation to their hearing friends and family, there’s something coldly bracing about “The Tribe’s” total immersion strategy, as well as its utter refusal to sentimentalize its characters and the harsh, isolated world they inhabit."

Read More

At a deep level, changes in a language are threatening because they signal widespread changes in social mores. At a level closer to the surface they are exasperating. We learn certain rules of grammar and usage in school, and when they are challenged it is as though we are also being challenged. Our native language is like a second skin, so much a part of us we resist the idea that it is constantly changing, constantly being renewed. Though we know intellectually that the English we speak today and the English of Shakespeare’s time are very different, we tend to think of them as the same—static rather than dynamic.
Casey Miller and Kate Swift, “The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing: For Writers, Editors and Speakers.” (Link)
The 2014 World Cup kicks off today in Brazil, which will bring together people from many cultures, regions and languages. Here are the official languages of the 32 competing nations, though of course each country is made up of a multitude of different unofficial languages as well. Countries will be listed more than once if they have more than one official language.
Arabic: Algeria
Bosnian: Bosnia and Herzegovina  
Croatian: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia  
Dutch: Belgium, Netherlands
English: Australia, Cameroon, England, Ghana, Nigeria, United States
French: Belgium, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Switzerland 
German: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland
Greek: Greece
Italian: Italy, Switzerland
Japanese: Japan
Korean: Korea Republic
Persian: Iran
Portuguese: Brazil, Portugal
Romansh: Switzerland 
Russian: Russia
Serbian: Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Spanish: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay

The 2014 World Cup kicks off today in Brazil, which will bring together people from many cultures, regions and languages. Here are the official languages of the 32 competing nations, though of course each country is made up of a multitude of different unofficial languages as well. Countries will be listed more than once if they have more than one official language.

  • Arabic: Algeria
  • Bosnian: Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  • Croatian: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia 
  • Dutch: Belgium, Netherlands
  • English: Australia, Cameroon, England, Ghana, Nigeria, United States
  • French: Belgium, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Switzerland
  • German: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland
  • Greek: Greece
  • Italian: Italy, Switzerland
  • Japanese: Japan
  • Korean: Korea Republic
  • Persian: Iran
  • Portuguese: Brazil, Portugal
  • Romansh: Switzerland
  • Russian: Russia
  • Serbian: Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  • Spanish: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay

allthingslinguistic:

I’m a sucker for video scans of the vocal tract, and this is a particularly nice one, from the University of Glasgow’s quite extensive youtube inventory. I probably watched it about a dozen times, just looking at how the air builds up behind this person’s lips and tongue at various points and contrasting the vowel-only and vowel+bilabial stop versions. Cool.

Previous images of the vocal tract: this x-ray gif, this animated gif, and of course, the beatboxer video (plus IPA).