Our Stories

TWU student says Language & Culture Discovery grant “added incentive” to try a Linguistics course- here’s her story

By Sandra Topelko Becky is like many young people who are faced with this conundrum – she’s intrigued by a subject area, but how can she know if she enjoys study in that field until she tries it out? For now, Becky has declared her Major as Biblical Studies, and she’s considering pairing it with […]


Remembering Nüshu, the 19th-Century Chinese Script Only Women Could Write

Nüshu, a script written only by women in a small region of Jiangyong County in China, has mysterious origins that continue to stump historians. Stemming from the southwestern Hunan Province county of Jiangyong, a small group of women in the 19th and 20th centuries practiced this special script that no man could read or write. […]


A legacy of love in the heart language – founder of CanIL dies at age of 100

By Larry Hayashi Dr. George Cowan went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 at the age of 100. He has served with Wycliffe Bible Translators since its early inception in 1942. He served as a linguist and Bible translator, SIL area director, training school founder and Board director for numerous organizations […]

By Larry Hayashi | Blog . Uncategorised

Can Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously?

By Sandra Topelko If you’ve ever studied Syntax and Semantics then you’re probably familiar with the sentence, “Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.” The sentence was famously presented by Chomsky as a great example of a series of words randomly strung together. It is typically presented by Linguistics professors as a catalyst for debate about whether […]


Crawling the Web for New Words

By Sandra Topelko To track the history of language change, linguists need a way to determine when new words first made their inception into a language. The only source of language documentation from the era before computers are written (or carved, or chiseled) texts. Gone are the days when diligent guardians of language and culture […]


Do I have an accent?

By Sandra Topelko “I don’t have an accent, you have an accent!”  Have you ever had a dialogue that went like this? I have, many times. This kind of reasoning assumes something about language standardization and raises the question, ‘What is an accent?’ Any time the topic of language standardization is broached, body temperatures and […]


Biblical Languages Scholarship – learn Greek or Hebrew in Israel!

By Sandra Topelko In Spring 2016, CanIL started offering a scholarship to give select graduate students the opportunity to fulfill the Intro Greek or Intro Hebrew language requirement of their program by attending the four-week summer session offered at the Biblical Language Center in Jerusalem. CanIL first became aware of the opportunity to study Biblical […]


NEW this Spring: LING 471 First Language Acquisition!

By Michael Witten, M.Sc.-SLP, Instructor for LING 471 In the previous post, I explained how an understanding of linguistics and language processing can be applied as a speech therapist (officially Speech-Language Pathologist or SLP) with children. During my first two years working as an SLP in a local school district, witnessing the linguistic, social, and […]



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