If you follow me on Twitter (@rctatman) you probably already know that I defended my dissertation last week. That’s right: I’m now officially Dr. Tatman! [party horn emoji] I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on all the minutia of writing a dissertation lately, from formatting references to correcting a lot of typos (my committee … Continue reading What is computational sociolinguistics? (And who’s doing it?)
I’ll be the first to admit: for a long time, even after I’d begun my linguistics training, I didn’t really understand what sociolinguistics was. I had the idea that it mainly had to do with discourse analysis, which is certainly a fascinating area of study, but I wasn’t sure it was enough to serve as the basis … Continue reading Great ideas in linguistics: Sociolinguistics
One of the nice things about human language is that no matter what your question about it might be, someone, somewhere has almost certainly already asked the same thing… and probably found at least part of an answer! The downside of this wealth of knowledge is that, even if you restrict yourself to just looking at the Western academic tradition, 1) there’s a lot of it and 2) it’s scattered across a lot of disciplines which can make it very hard to find.
Earlier this summer, I gave a talk on the promise & pitfalls of social media data for the Joint Statistical Meetings. While I don’t think there’s a recording of the talk, enough people asked for one that I figured it would be worth putting together a blog post version of the talk. Enjoy! What you … Continue reading What you can, can’t and shouldn’t do with social media data
This week, I’m in Vancouver this week for the meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. (On the subject of conferences, don’t forget that my offer to help linguistics students from underrepresented minorities with the cost of conferences still stands!) The work I’m presenting is on a new research direction I’m pursuing and I wanted … Continue reading Can your use of capitalization reveal your political affiliation?
From the title, you might think this is a US-centric post. To a certain extent, it is. But I’m also going to be talking about topics that are more broadly of interest: what are some specific benefits of humanities research? And who should fund basic research? A lot has been written about these topics generally, … Continue reading What does the National Endowment for the Humanities even do?
So recently, the Associated Press Stylebook posted this on Twitter: AP Style tip: Use “icing” to describe sugar decorations applied to cookies; “frosting” for cupcakes and cakes. — AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) February 22, 2016 This struck me as 1) kind of a petty usage distinction and 2) completely at odds with my personal usage and what I … Continue reading Is there a difference between frosting and icing?
So tomorrow is my generals exam (the title’s a bit misleading: I’m actually going to be presenting research I’ve done so my committee can decide if I’m ready to start work on my dissertation–fingers crossed!). I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the research I’m going to be presenting in a less formal … Continue reading Does reading a story affect the way you talk afterwards? (Or: do linguistic tasks have carryover effects?)
I’ve already covered what Sociolinguistics is in a earlier GIiL post. But what I didn’t really talk about are sociolinguistic variables, the specific things in that language that co-vary with some sociological factor. So that’s the dictionary definition, but what makes something a sociolinguistic variable? Let’s start off with some examples. Sociolinguistic variables exist at all levels … Continue reading Great Ideas in Linguistics: Sociolinguistic Variables
Today’s Great Idea in Linguistics comes to use from syntax. One interesting difference between syntax and other fields of linguistics is what is considered compelling evidence for a theory in syntax. The aim of transformational syntax is to produce a set of rules (originally phrase structure rules) that will let you produce all the grammatical … Continue reading Great Ideas in Linguistics: Grammaticality Judgements