[ExI] Forbes Special Report: Language

PJ Manney pjmanney at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 18:24:14 UTC 2008

Per our discussions on language, Forbes is exploring the issues
regarding Lingua Francas, talking to aliens and chimps and how to use
language as propaganda and tool.  They've got Chomsky, Pinker,
Goodall, Drake, Morris -- It's a virtual EP/linguistic mash-up.  What

Use the main link below for the individual links.



Special Report
Edited by Elisabeth Eaves and Michael Noer 02.21.08, 6:00 PM ET

If America is the new Rome, English is the new Latin. It's the global
lingua franca, our shared language of science, politics and commerce.
But like the people who speak them, living languages are constantly
changing, evolving, being born and dying away. Will English some day
be replaced as the world's common tongue? What will replace it?
Chinese? Hindi? Or will our most important conversations of the future
be with machines, animals or even aliens?

English's Bleak Future
By Nicholas Ostler
Lingua francas never last.

Four Days Fluent
By Elisabeth Eaves
Our intrepid reporter pulls out all the stops in a quixotic quest to
learn Mandarin Chinese in just 96 hours.

No Tears For Dead Tongues
By John McWhorter
Sure, languages are dying out wholesale, but that's not a bad thing.

By John McWhorter
New Languages are being born all the time.

Confessions Of A Propagandist
By Chris O'Brien
When it comes to official language, China remains hopelessly devoted
to cryptic Marxist code.

Most Popular Foreign Languages
By Rebecca Ruiz
These 10 languages are the most widely studied at American universities.

By The Numbers: Most Popular Foreign Languages

How To Talk To Aliens
By David M. Ewalt

What's the best way to craft a message to an extraterrestrial intelligence?
Body Talk
By Lauren Streib

Nab a lover or a job without saying a word.

In Pictures: Body Language For Lovers

In Pictures: Body Language For The Office

Can Chimps Talk?
By Carl Zimmer
An experiment sheds some light on the origins of spoken language.

By Andy Greenberg
Search engines that understand English take aim at Google.

Noam Chomsky
On The Spontaneous Invention Of Language
Language abhors a vacuum.
Also: Why Kids Learn Languages Easily

Jane Goodall
On Why Words Hurt
The world's foremost chimpanzee expert says language can make it
harder to communicate.

Desmond Morris
On Symbolic Gestures
There's a lot of meaning in a raised finger.

Steven Pinker
On Why We Have Language
Renowned psychologist and author says language provides an
evolutionary advantage.

Frank Drake
On Ambiguity
An astronomer explains how to talk to extraterrestrials.

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