In the Land of Invented Languages was published in 2009. Highly Irregular was released July 2021.
The history of the human impulse to build a better language. Book site with excerpts, language examples and sortable lists of languages at inthelandofinventedlanguages.com
- I wrote hundreds of articles you can see listed at Mental Floss, The Week, and Considerable.com.
- The grammar rules of 3 commonly disparaged dialects
- How to tell whether you’ve got angst ennui or weltschmerz
- What does “the” mean?
- Can “y’all” be used to refer to a single person?
- 17 overly optimistic book titles
- The grammar of “Top Chef”: What’s with “It eats salty”?
- Is it possible to think without language?
- How late in life can you start learning a language and still become fluent?
- Why “no problem” means different things to different generations
Articles at other places:
- The listicle as literary form (The University of Chicago Magazine)
- Everybody in Almost Every Language Says “Huh”? HUH?! (Smithsonian Magazine)
- How you say “coffee” or “tea” depends on ancient trade routes (Popular Science)
- Body Language (Lapham’s Quarterly)
- Is linguistics a science? (Aeon)
- Why is English spelling so weird and unpredictable? (Aeon)
- What happens when scientists use their own children as test subjects? (Slate)
- Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük (Public Domain Review)
I produced a bunch of of videos for Mental Floss with Sean O’Neill that you can see on my YouTube channel. These are some of my favorites.
What causes a foreign accent?
Why do animals make different sounds in different languages?
The story of the umlaut
How do we know how languages are related?
I collaborated with Julie Hochgesang, professor of Linguistics at Gallaudet University, on this video about how sign languages have accents
Do sign languages have accents?
- Okrent, A. (2020). Budding linguists and how to find them. In J. Punske, N. Sanders, and A. Fountain (Eds.), Language invention in linguistics pedagogy (pp.). Oxford University Press.
- Okrent, A. (2013). Artificial Languages. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics. OxfordBibliographies.com
- Okrent, A. (2006). Disorders of sign language. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Second Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.
- Shintel, H., Nusbaum, H. C., & Okrent, A. (2006). Analog acoustic expression in speech communication. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(2), 167–177.
- Okrent, A. (2002). A modality-free notion of gesture and how it can help us with the morpheme vs. gesture question in sign language linguistics. In R.P. Meier, K. Cormier, and D. Quinto-Pozos (Eds.), Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Language (pp.175-198). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.