October 19th, 2003


language learning meets body image nightmare

A fellow linguistics grad student forwarded this to me:

Quoth he:
"A short cut to better spoken English: South Koreans trimming their
tongues to improve speech"

(My favorite line from the story is: "Learning a foreign language too
early, in some cases, may not only cause a speech impediment but, in the
worst case, make an child autistic.")

DRIVEN BY A desire to give their kids an edge in an increasingly
competitive society, a surprising number of South Koreans have turned to
the knife in a seemingly drastic bid to help their offspring perfect their
“Those who have a short frenulum (a strap of tissue linking the
tongue to the floor of the mouth) can face problems pronouncing some
characters due to a disturbance in lateral movements of the tongue,” said
Bae Jung-ho, an oral surgeon at Seoul’s Yonsei Severance Hospital, who
operated on the six-year-old last month.

Read the full story here at MSNBC.
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Corpus linguistics & Knoppix

(cross posted to alphabet_soup)

An old colleague of mine is putting together a Knoppix distribution for corpus linguistics.

Quoth he:
I am in the process of creating a modified version of the knoppix live
cd for computational/corpus-based linguistics students.

As the knoppix page (www.knoppix.net) says, ''KNOPPIX is a bootable CD
with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection,
and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices
and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational
CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial
software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a
hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB
of executable software installed on it.''

The modified version I am preparing will have a set of tools and data
that are specifically geared towards computational/corpus-based
linguists who want to try linux. I will make the iso image available on
my site.

If you're a corpus linguist or a Debian Linux fan -- or, like me, both -- please read the rest of his request and send him suggestions. CC me, so I know I'm doing some good!

[Update: http://www.knoppix.org/ is available but in a panic over software patenting in Europe. http://www.knoppix.net is still up, though, supporting the project out of other countries.]
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