Bruno Gonçalves and David Sánchez’s Crowdsourcing dialect characterization through Twitter subjected 50 million geotagged tweets to lexical analysis (beginning with stuff like auto/carro/coche/concho/movi) to come to this conclusion. Neither author belongs to the academic linguistic establishment, and they challenge the traditional view, which in Spain at least has defined linguistic variation to a considerable extent on a neo-feudal, territorial basis – in X we speak Xish, because that’s what the regional government pays for in order to maximise central government grants and minimise audits. There are obviously grave problems with sampling (who uses Twitter? can tweets really be regarded as representative utterances? can such bold claims be based solely on word use?), but the mere fact that the dataset is pretty large and un-self-conscious gives it a huge edge over traditionalist surveys like Al meu poble en diem, and it’s the most interesting (albeit incredibly short) study of modern Spanish I’ve seen for a while.
- Spaniard found not guilty of theft because of poor language skills
The proceedings of the Old Bailey are now searchable to 1913. Apart from anything else they are an interesting source of
- Quantitative analysis by language of Barcelona publications in British Library Integrated Catalogue
The Catalan government continues to claim that public use of Catalan was prohibited during the dictatorship, but everyone sensible now agrees
- Are the Spanish media really obsessed with Israel?
John Chappell links to an old piece from the Stephen Roth Institute in Tel Aviv which claims among other things that
- Kurlansky / Basques / Wikipedia
The Guardian got a “panel of experts” to take a look at the Wikipedia. Here’s what Mark Kurlansky, author of The
- Traitors to the language
Everyone always knew that the previous, “moderate”, nationalist government was engaged in a campaign to remove, step-by-step, Spanish and its users