Topic description and stories

The importance of language is hard to overestimate, yet few of us are aware of the sheer breadth and diversity of language research.


Ageing affects test-taking, not language, study shows

12 May 2016

The ability to understand language could be much better preserved into old age than previously thought, according to researchers from the University...

Read more
Conversations by Steve McClanahan via Flickr

Speakers of two dialects may share cognitive advantage with speakers of two languages

27 Apr 2016

The ability of children to speak any two dialects – two closely related varieties of the same language – may confer the same cognitive advantages as...

Read more
Atypical welcome

Cambridge to explore benefits of multilingualism with new AHRC research project

22 Mar 2016

The University of Cambridge is to launch a major new research project to study the benefits of multilingualism to individuals and society, and...

Read more


AI crossword-solving application could make machines better at understanding language

07 Mar 2016

A web-based machine language system solves crossword puzzles far better than commercially-available products, and may help machines better understand...

Read more
Winston Churchill’s famous Battle of Britain address, adapted here for a wartime poster, is one example of a remnant of the Verb Second constraint in English, which could hint at the existence of a universal grammar.

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few”: Could phrases like this hold clues about universal grammar?

16 Dec 2015

A new research project examining a linguistic construction called the Verb Second constraint could, academics believe, help to explain how people...

Read more

Computer tutor

17 Jun 2015

Millions of English language tests are taken each year by non-native English speakers. Researchers at Cambridge’s ALTA Institute are building ‘...

Read more

"Maccari-Cicero" by Cesare Maccari. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Understanding the ancient world through language

22 May 2015

James Clackson's new book looks at what language use can tell us about ancient societies.

Read more
Strolling, Uganda

"The Professor is World Cup": understanding ‘secret’ urban languages

22 Apr 2015

Research into a ‘playful’ and increasingly popular urban language that grew out of the necessity for criminals to hide their true intent could help...

Read more

Your languages, your future

07 Nov 2014

Research shows that children who speak more than one language have an advantage over their monolingual playmates when it comes to communication...

Read more

Neural Connections In the Human Brain

Presence or absence of early language delay alters anatomy of the brain in autism

23 Sep 2014

Individual differences in early language development, and in later language functioning, are associated with changes in the anatomy of the brain in...

Read more

It’s all (New Testament) Greek to Divinity students

05 Sep 2014

A project and website to help Divinity students (and any other keen language students) learn New Testament Greek will launch this month.

Read more
Himalayan Shaman

Economic success drives language extinction

03 Sep 2014

Thriving economies are the biggest factor in the disappearance of minority languages and conservation should focus on the most developed countries...

Read more