Monday, June 16, 2014

Schwa Fire

Trying to do actual work seems to be a higher priority than blogging these days for the many members of Team Verb, so we're taking a kind of Last Week Tonight approach, I suppose. The news of the launch of Schwa Fire is now old enough that it fits our bill, in fact.

First, the bad news, which you know if you follow language journalism: it's a paid subscription. But it's pretty modest and individual articles are downright cheap.

But the first issue was clearly worth the price, for me at least. Arika Okrent is one of my favorite popular writers in linguistics (up there with Ben Zimmer and Jan Freeman) and her piece on a huge trove of Yiddish sound recordings is great. The treat of the whole issue was actually hearing Uriel Weinreich's voice. I didn't know what linguistics was when he was alive, but have read and learned from his stuff for, well, ever.  There's also an essay by Russell Cobb on the changing dialect landscape in the US, dealing with the opposing trends of convergence versus divergence of American regional speech.

Schwa Fire's a great addition to linguistics in the public realm and I'm looking forward to the coming issues ...

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