May 24, 2015 1
Now that Vienna’s dangling balls have ceased oscillating, Lauren Gawne recaps this year's Eurovision Song Contest, considering the spectacle from a linguistic perspective.
April 9, 2015 2
Last month, a parent got hot under the collar over a school's teaching of Australia's National Anthem in an Indigenous language. Linguist Lauren Gawne responds.
May 20, 2013 6
Denmark may have won the coveted Eurovision Song Contest for 2013, but as Lauren Gawne explains, Eurovision is also a great chance for language nuts to observe some of the lesser-known European languages in their (un)natural environment.
May 9, 2013
A team of scientists claim they have demonstrated a super-family of languages the spans most of Europe, northern Asia and some of the Arctic. But are other linguists convinced by their evidence? Lauren Gawne and the Fully (sic) team look at their findings.
March 25, 2013 6
The passing of the NDIS and the apology for forced adoptions both happened last week (believe it or not), and both highlighted the importance of choosing one's words carefully when talking to or about marginalised groups such as disabled people or those affected by forced adoption. Lauren Gawne explains why we should give marginalised people the right to choose the best way to talk about these issues.
February 22, 2013
I still remember those moments from my childhood when I realised that language was something with its own patterns and rules. Sitting in a local Italian restaurant and realising I could figure out what the Italian words were by comparing them to the English translations in different dishes. Or the time my mind was blown […]
February 3, 2013 1
Lauren Gawne writes: Given that the average PhD thesis would take a full day to read aloud, it’s no mean feat for a research student to distill the importance of their work into just a couple of minutes. That is what University of Melbourne research student Sara Ciesielski has done in this two minute animated […]
August 29, 2012 17
Lauren Gawne writes: As part of the ongoing campaign Yarra Trams to remind Melbournians that trams are heavy things these posters have been popping up all over town: Can you name all 25 of the languages? The Fully (sic) team have worked it out but now it’s your turn! The first person in the comments section below to name […]
July 27, 2012 3
Lauren Gawne Writes: With the 2012 London Summer Olympics now only hours away, the world is set for a fortnight of fun and games. While the organisers may want us to remember them as a the greenest games ever, it is an event that is more likely to be remembered for missile launchers on public […]
June 21, 2012 13
Lauren Gawne writes: Every three months the Oxford English Dictionary announces a brace [Thanks to pedants Terry Reilly and Cyberfish – Ed.] a bevy of words that have found a new and legitimising home in its venerable list. This quarter there were such excellent additions as bling, dance-off and Super PAC, as well as those […]
May 30, 2012 5
The NZ Herald reported on a research paper on migrant intergration and specifically multilingual signs, but as Lauren Gawne writes, their article didn't faithfully represent the research.
May 29, 2012 2
Lauren Gawne writes: There were the obligatory white pants, smoke machines and flame throwers, as well as a rise in the popularity of female drummers, beards and women showing their knickers to the world. Eurovision 2012 had a very solid final and apart from Sweden’s breakout hit Euphoria (above, a genuinely good dance song with crab-walk […]
May 21, 2012 2
Lauren Gawne writes: We reported a week ago that the Monolingual Mindset cropped up again in Victoria, with the Department of Human Services declining to have a residents’ survey translated for the roughly 60% of intended surveyees for whom English is not a first language. It seems that there are similar attitudes towards languages other […]
May 10, 2012
Temporary London correspondent Lauren Gawne writes… I had the good fortune of having my visit to London coincide with the Globe to Globe festival, which Aidan mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It was part of the Shakespeare Festival, itself a part of the bigger London 2012 Festival, which is all tied in with the […]
May 4, 2012 7
Lauren Gawne writes: There was an interesting piece that popped up on The Age on the weekend about the state of the Toto language in India. Speakers of Toto, living in India’s isolated Himalayan foothills, have to face a future where the fate of their language is precarious. It’s a context that’s familiar to me […]
November 22, 2011 2
Lauren Gawne writes: Last week the local media were kept suitably busy by the brief visit of the U.S. President Barak Obama. We were kept up to date with his every move, and the bemusing hashtag blend #aubama spent a bit of time loitering in the list of trending Twitter topics. The trip was mostly […]