Netflix-inspired baby names rising in popularity

A new report by UK pregnancy & parenting website Bounty has uncovered that baby names inspired by Netflix characters are on the up. The report, which reviewed the 340,000 names Bounty’s members gave to their babies in recent months, found that as well as more common-place character names increasing in popularity, there’s been a sharp rise in unique names featured on shows this year. So which are the most popular – Piper, Walter, Jessica? Did your favorites make the list?

Call for Papers: Ars Grammatica 2017, Mannheim, Germany, June 8-9 2017

From the 8th to the 9th of June 2017 in Mannheim, Germany, a special conference devoted to grammatical terminology in German will be held at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache in Mannheim.  Entitled “Ars Grammatica 2017”, this scientific gathering welcomes researchers from the branches of computational linguistics, theoretical linguistics, syntax, and lexicography.  The deadline for abstract submissions is the 15th of April 2017. More on this German language event can be found at the conference website.

Under the title “Grammatical terminology – content and methods”, paper should deal with the characteristics and properties of grammatical technical terms in the field, and the tension between content and methodological application:

  • From a substantive point of view, it is important to conceive and use as exact definitions as possible of specialized terminology in order to be able to express linguistic phenomena and explanations precisely. This suggests, in particular, such scientific disciplines as challenges in which varying theories of theory, cognitive interests or subjective authors’ decisions lead to a non-uniform terminological inventory, which is even contradictory in individual cases.
  • From a methodological point of view, it is necessary to develop sufficiently powerful and sustainable structures for the coding of domain-specific terminological systems. The spectrum ranges from methodically oriented specialized vocabularies, thesauri to knowledge networks and ontologies with appropriately modeled concepts and attributes.

Creatures named after Sir David Attenborough

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Sir David Attenborough has brought wildlife to people’s televisions for more than 60 years. He’s inspired many people to take an interest in animals. This BBC Newsround article has beautiful photos of seven creatures named after Attenborough, plus one more item in the non-animal category. Do you know what it is?

Call for Articles: “Words: Description, Acquisition, and Pedagogy”, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Calling all scientists researching lexicology, language acquisition, and education. Original book chapters are currently being sought for an upcoming publication entitled Words: Description, Acquisition, and Pedagogy, to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Vocabulary, or the lexicon, is a strong predictor of academic success and language proficiency. Therefore, it is important for researchers and practitioners to better understand how vocabulary is acquired, represented in the mind, as well as learned in monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual environments. The manuscript will bring together recent research on the topic; the lexicon will be considered from multiple perspectives by theorizing the description of lexicon, lexical acquisition, and pedagogy.

The manuscript will cover the following main areas:

  • Mental lexicon
  • Theoretical linguistics and its implications for developing lexical competence
  • Lexical knowledge assessment and acquisition in L1 and L2
  • Instructional practices to develop lexical competence in L1 and L2

Interested authors are encouraged to contact Alexandra Tsedryk (alexandra.tsedryk AT or Christine Doe (christine.doe AT at Mount Saint Vincent University). The deadline for chapter proposals is the 15th of April 2017. All interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at Cambridge as well as the guidelines for copyright permissions prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Name some RCMP puppies!

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are calling all dog lovers and underage name enthusiasts to send in their favorite name for the 13 pups that will soon be joining this year’s RCMP Police Dog Service Training Center. The deadline for name suggestions is the 11th of April 2017. All name suggestions must begin with the letter “K”, and have no more than two syllables. Contestants in the contest must be Canadian residents and 14 years or older. For those of you who still qualify (or have someone in your family who does), a video of the puppy police cadets can be found here (and embedded below). WARNING: These cuties just might steal your heart!

Call for Papers: 2nd International Conference on Language and Culture: Dirty, Repulsive, Unwanted, Poznan, Poland, September 18-19 2017

An international comparative studies conference entitled “Language and Culture: Dirty, Repulsive, Unwanted” will be held from the 18th to the 19th of September in Poznan, Poland.  The conference is being conjointly sponsored by the Department of Comparative Culture Studies and the Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University.  The purpose of the conference is to provide researchers an opportunity to present and discuss recent insights into the nexus between language, literature, and culture studies with regards to forbidden language and the language of the forbidden, the unwanted in lexicography and other spheres of communication, as well as taboo language in general.  The deadline for submission of an abstract proposal (max. 400 words) is May 31, 2017. The call for papers (in English) is here. More on this event can be found at this website.

CSSN: Canadian Society for the Study of Names, Toronto, Canada, May 27-28 2017

3061957824_c2b77fac23_mThe Canadian Society for the Study of Names (CSSN) / Société canadienne d’onomastique (SCO) will hold its annual meeting as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, May 27 and 28, 2017. The theme of the 2017 congress is: “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands”.

Have you ever thought about the names of the places where you live? Or the first names of your neighbours? Or the names of things that you eat? The conference takes place over two days. About 15 papers are normally presented, 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion. Topics concern any aspects of names and naming. Presenters are normally from the fields of Linguistics, Geography, History, Anthropology, and other areas.

The preliminary program can be found here.