Author Archives: Itziar Laka

Itziar Laka
Itziar Laka graduated in basque philology (UPV/EHU) and received a PhD in linguistics and philosophy from MIT. After five years as assistant professor at the University of Rochester, she is now full professor at the Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies and director of The Bilingual Mind research group at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Her current research combines theoretical linguistics and experimental methods from psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics to inquire into the neural representation and processing of language, with a strong focus on syntax and bilingualism.

…and the vision that was planted in my brain still remains, . within the sound of silence. . (Simon and Garfunkel, The sound of silence 1964). . . Sound is made of waves. One fundamental trick of speech is that it surfs those […]

Nelson Mandela was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary talent for negotiation. He was also an outstanding public speaker. Among the many words of wisdom he left behind, there is this piece of advice for negotiations: . . “If you talk […]

Jabberwocky is the title of a famous poem by Lewis Carroll[1], a poem very much liked by linguists because it beautifully illustrates the crucial role that function words play in language. Function words are the little words no one […]

Talking seems easy to us, so much so that we take it for granted, but the cognitive machinery responsible for this capacity is extremely complex. Among the many cognitive processes involved in speaking, people who know more than one language […]

A dear biologist friend once complained to me that the Basque verb hausnartu is used to mean both “to ruminate”, and “to ponder over”. He saw this as an example of very bad language behavior that should not be encouraged. […]

Michelangelo famously claimed he merely carved out sculptures he saw trapped inside the stone. His genius involved a powerful internal vision that he masterly imposed on external matter. We can think of Michelangelo’s conception of sculpture when we look at […]