## Unusual pronunciations in pop songs

It’s been a long while since I last updated my blog, but here I am! I remember last time it was still in winter, but now it’s already halfway through summer....

It’s been a long while since I last updated my blog, but here I am! I remember last time it was still in winter, but now it’s already halfway through summer....

In Part 1 of this post I wrote about an interesting Weibo hashtag I had seen, which was about some animal doodles on a 9th-century Chinese manuscript. Then I...

Yesterday I saw a trending hashtag on Weibo (the Chinese Twitter): #一千年前小朋友写的字, which translates as “characters written by kids from 1000 years ago.” I click...

This is my first post of 2021, so first of all Happy New Year! And Happy “Niu” Year in advance to my Chinese-speaking friends too, since 2021 is a Year of th...

This post was originally published on CamLangSci in May 2016. I repost it here (with some reformatting and slight modification) because CamLangSci seems to b...

This post was originally published on CamLangSci in July 2016. I repost it here (with some reformatting and slight modification) because CamLangSci seems to ...

In Part 5 I finished reviewing the pronunciation and character parts of von der Gabelentz’s textbook. In this final part I’ll continue to review its syntax p...

In Part 4 I finished my review of Wade’s textbook and gave it the highest rating among all the 19th-century textbooks I’ve reviewed so far. In this part I’ll...

In Part 3 I finished reviewing Morrison’s textbook and also began reviewing Wade’s textbook. In this part I’ll continue to comment on the character and the s...

This is the third part of this long post. In this part I’ll present my remaining review for Morrison’s book and then turn to Wade’s seminal work.

In this part I continue to share my personal impressions of 19th-century Chinese language textbooks. I’ll finish off my review of Marshman’s book and then st...

Recently I was having this conversation with a (hyper)polyglot friend—who had already inspired a post on this blog by the way—where we exchanged ideas on var...

Link to my notes from Day 3

Link to my notes from Day 2

Link to my notes from Day 1

So I’m attending this year’s Cambridge Comparative Syntax conference (CamCoS 9), not as a speaker or student helper this time but only as an audience member....

Recently I rewatched the Harry Potter movies on a whim. Then, I also began relistening to the audiobooks to fill in the missing plots from the cinematographi...

In the previous post I laid out the disciplinary background of my application of category theory in linguistics in more detail (than I had done in my explain...

This is the second part of my “portfolio” prepared for the virtual poster session at ACT2020. It introduces my category-theoretic modeling of the human langu...

Some time ago I came across a short video on YouTube featuring the TV celebrity Jason Silva, who passionately talked about the underlying dynamicity of the u...

(link to part 5)

The original motivation for this article was an occasional idea about the similarity between I Ching divination and transformational-generative grammar. I en...

(link to part 3)

In the previous post I introduced the structural components of I Ching divination, including lines (or monograms), trigrams, and hexagrams. In this and the n...

In the previous post I introduced the historical and cultural background of the ancient Chinese divination book I Ching ‘the Classic of Changes’. In this pos...

Sometimes our brains make connections in unexpected ways. For instance, the other day I was thinking about I Ching (can’t remember why), the ancient Chinese ...

I began my previous post “Where is language from? (Part 1)” by commenting on a recent online article about the origin of language. Then I went on to compare ...

A while ago I came across a website for a Genetic Literacy Project. The slogan of the Project is “science not ideology,” and its goal is to promote science l...

In my previous post I wrote about the letter word phenomenon prevalent in contemporary Chinese. I discussed their classification and semantics with some comm...

The sentence in the title of this post may sound awkward to an English speaker’s ears—How can one copy a filename extension to another?—but it turns out to b...

In my previous post I wrote about the protective effect of bilingualism against dementia. I also mentioned that formal education was listed among the Alzheim...

Today I came across an article online (via Facebook) entitled “More evidence that bilingualism delays symptoms of Alzheimer’s.” It introduces a recent paper ...

Recently I came across a short article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences entitled “The language of programming: a cognitive perspective” (Fedorenko et al. 2019...

“So what is linguistics?” This is a question I have been asked many times, both by academics from other disciplines and by friends and relatives outside acad...

Lately I’ve been reading a book entitled The Spirit of the Chinese People (Chinese title: 春秋大義). It’s a collection of essays written by the famous Chinese sc...

Recently I randomly came across a passage about language in a historical Chinese document. It’s in a short essay written by the famous writer and poet SU Shi...

In my previous post “Category theory notes 19: Category theory for posets (Part 1)” I began writing about the “poset versions” of some category-theoretic res...

Throughout this blog series I’ve been writing about category-theoretic results in their fully general forms, which are applicable to all categories from all ...

In my previous post “Category theory notes 17: Reflective subcategory (Part 1)” I discussed the similarity and distinction between linguistic and mathematica...

So far in this series I’ve viewed a category as an individual and independent entity. Two categories may be related by functors or even better connected by a...

In the previous two posts, “Category theory notes 14: Yoneda lemma (Part 1)” and “Category theory notes 15: Yoneda lemma (Part 2),” I started a task of decip...

In the previous post “Category theory notes 14: Yoneda lemma (Part 1)” I began writing about IMHO the most challenging part in basic category theory, the Yon...

Awodey calls it “the single most used result” of category theory (Category Theory, p. 185), Crole regards it as “an indispensable tool which every category t...

In the previous post “Category theory notes 12: Adjunction (Part 1)” I wrote about my thoughts on adjunction, an extremely important component of category th...

So, after reading many textbooks, watching many video tutorials, and attending two guided courses, I finally understood adjunction. That was a real “Eureka!”...

In my previous post “Category theory notes 10: Composite naturality (Part 1)” I illustrated the vertical and horizontal compositions of natural transformatio...

The notion of natural transformation is surprisingly easy to follow. If you know what an arrow is and what a functor is, then you automatically know what a n...

Category theory textbooks often warn learners that categorical objects and arrows shouldn’t be tied to sets and functions. A poset category, for example, has...

Fong & Spivak refer to category, functor, and natural transformation as the “big three” of category theory in their newly published textbook An Invitatio...

Idioms and slangs are an important part of human language. They are short, expressive, and vividly reflect regional/historical mind-sets. And they are usuall...

Category theory is spectacularly big. But exactly how big is it? Consider a set $A$. It can hold a huge number of elements, say, all grains of sand on Earth....

Arrows are so vital to category theory that Awodey jokingly refers to the theory as “archery” (Category Theory, p. 2). Given two objects in a category, an ar...

Monoid is one of those concepts that are extremely simple, extremely useful, and can at the same time be extremely confusing. It was one of the first concept...

Category in category theory is a noun, but we often need to use the term in other parts of speech (notably adjective and verb). Try the following quiz for ex...

The term category is anything but unfamiliar to linguisticians. Human language is all about categories. For example, speech sounds are grouped into various n...

So I ended up using category theory in my linguistics dissertation. How this happened is a long story. Basically I stumbled into a promising-looking toolkit ...

In “The linguistic view in Three-Body (Part 2)” I wrote about my thoughts on some language-related settings and descriptions in my recent favorite sci-fi no...

In “The linguistic view in Three-Body (Part 1)” I briefly introduced the phenomenal sci-fi trilogy Remembrance of Earth’s Past, aka “Three-Body,” written by ...

I’m a sci-fi lover, and in the past few years I’ve been deeply impressed by the trilogy Remembrance of Earth’s Past written by the Chinese author Cixin Liu. ...

Language learning is a lifelong journey. In particular, if a person speaks multiple languages and hasn’t acquired them all as mother tongues, then he must ha...

In my previous post “Vowel harmony… and why linguistics matters in language learning (Part 1)” I wrote about my recent chat with a polyglot friend about vowe...

Yesterday a friend of mine mentioned in a Facebook chat that he had started learning Turkish seriously. He went on to tell me about the striking similarity i...