Our Stories

Language as a Tool of Revolution, Restoration

On June 1, 2017, Liberal MP Marc Miller delivered a statement in the Canadian House of Commons entirely in Kanyen’kéha, the language of the Mohawk people. The statement marked the first time a Canadian MP had delivered a statement in Kanyen’kéha, one of the languages of Canada’s First Nations. Miller is non-indigenous; he decided to […]

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What is a Language?

Toki Pona is a language created in 2001. It favours simplicity and under-specification – the language has 14 letters, and only 123 words!1  A general consensus among Toki Pona speakers is that it takes only about 30 hours to master.2  Speaking Toki Pona, even fluently, is a continual exercise in the use of metaphor, creativity […]

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A Good Linguist Should be a Good Ethnographer

By Sandra Topelko Ethnography is the study of people; more specifically, it is the study of cultures and societies. And a serious program of study in linguistics is incomplete without a course in Anthropological Linguistics. The ‘Anthropological Linguistics: Ethnography’ class offered at CanIL draws upon a ‘participant observer’ methodology; students interact with the people who […]

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King James Bible: How it changed the English language

  The impact of the King James Bible, which was published 400 years ago, is still being felt in the way we speak and write, explained Stephen Tomkins, in his still relevant BBC article from six years ago.  

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Linguistic Quizzes Part 4! Working with Scripts from Around the World

It’s time for the final quiz in our four week series! – If you missed out on the first three quizzes, they’re still available. Try them all and discover a world of language! Then, share them with your friends! In this week’s quiz, you’ll do an activity that demonstrates how the association of symbols with […]

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Linguistic Quizzes Part 3! Cultural Arts!

Congratulations to those of you who completed the first two quizzes! Here’s the third of four linguistic quizzes – we’re posting a new one each week. If you missed out on the first two, ‘Understanding the Sounds of Language’ and ‘Solving Language Puzzles,’ they’re also available. Try them all and discover a world of language! […]

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Linguistic Quizzes Part 2! Solving Language Puzzles!

Nearly 250 people tested out their linguistic skill with our first quiz ‘Understanding the Sounds of Language.’ Here’s the second of four linguistic quizzes – we’re posting a new quiz each week! Try them all and discover a world of language! For this week’s quiz, ‘Language Puzzles,’ you’ll need to put your analytic and decoding […]

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New! Linguistic Quizzes!

Do you like solving puzzles? We’re eager to announce that we’ll be posting a new linguistic quiz each week over the next four weeks. Try them all and discover a world of language! This week’s quiz ‘Understanding the Sounds of Language’ will help you understand what is happening in your mouth when you speak. Have […]

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CanIL

The Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) integrates scholarship in linguistics with service to language communities worldwide.

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