Science & Technology

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Infants Capable of Complex Language Processing

A new study published in Cognition suggests that infants may have more advanced linguistic understanding than previously believed. Conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the study looks at how children aged 11-12 months old processed multi-word sequences—phrases like “clap your hands,” for instance. The…

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Navajo Goes Extraterrestrial

The first scientific focus of NASA’s Perseverance rover is a rock named “Máaz” – the Navajo word for “Mars.” The rover’s team, in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, has been naming features of scientific interest with words in the Navajo language. Surface missions assign nicknames to landmarks to…

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Duolingo Releases Global Language Report

Duolingo’s first-ever Global Language Report was released at the end of 2020, showcasing language learning patterns, trends and analyses around the world. The data reflects a 12-month time period between October 2019 and September 2020. The platform has over 500 million users in 194 countries and offers 98 language courses featuring 39 different languages. Cindy…

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Our Brains Interpret Coding Differently from Language

A new study out of MIT reports that brains interpret computer code differently from non-digital languages. According to the study, neuroscientists have found that while our brains activate the general-purpose brain network while interpreting code, they do not activate the language-processing centers. While the language-processing centers of our brains are not activated, a different distributed…

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Language Affects How We Perceive Motion

The way our native language employs verbs of motion—words like “go,” “run” or “descend”—may have an effect on how we perceive those motions, according to a study published in Neuropsychologia. According to the study, different languages can encode different semantic information in their verbs of motion—in this sense, languages fall into two camps: manner-verbs and…