Skip to content

Chi Luu

Chi Luu is JSTOR Daily’s resident linguist. She is a computational linguist and NLP researcher who tinkers with tiny models and machines to uncover curious mysteries in human language. She has degrees in Theoretical Linguistics and Literature, with a morbid focus on dead and dying languages. She has worked on dictionaries, multi-language search engines, and question answering applications.

Dear Pedants: Your Fave Grammar Rule is Probably Fake

What constitutes ‘correct’ grammar in English seems to have a cyclical life, aided and abetted by new generations of enthusiastic grammarians.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Speaker: Linguistic Isolation in the Modern World

Ayapaneco, an endangered Mexican language, sparked linguistic interest when the last two speakers of the language were not speaking to each other

Ex Machinations in the Turing Test

Artificial Intelligence and the Turing Test.

Gone (Cat)Fishing: How Language Detectives Tackle Online Anonymity

Linguistic clues might be the solution to identifying anonymous online users.

All About That Taboo: When Good Words Go Bad

The phenomenon of sacres, or taboo words that start from fairly innocuous beginnings.

How to Disappear Completely: Linguistic Anonymity on the Internet

Is anonymity on the Internet linguistically possible?

The Super Secret World of Ludlings – You Know, For Kids!

secret language games or ludlings, have been serious business for young people across the ages.

Fanf–kingtastic and Edumacational: The Case of English Infixation

From shiznit to wel-diddly-elcome, the evolution of infixation in English language.
A group of friends laughing happily as they spend time outdoors in the sun

All the Young Dudes: Generic Gender Terms Among Young Women

The linguistics behind gender neutral terms among young women.

More on Internet Neologisms: Rage Quitting is a Thing

More on internet neologisms: pairing together a (negative) mood word with a verb to produce a semi-productive compound.
Table Flip

All the Feels: the Morphology of Reaction Gifs

From visual emojis depicting simple emotional states, it's a short step to emotion or reaction gifs, used to respond in playful ways to online discussions.

Word to your Mother (Tongue): Can Hip Hop Save Endangered Languages?

Hip hop is not only linguistically innovative, it helps preserve indigenous languages via oral tradition.
brand names

What’s in a Brand Name: the Sounds of Persuasion

The mere letters and sounds used in a brand name can have a curious impact on its reception by the public.
Lingua Obscura

Lingua Obscura: Young Women’s Language Patterns at the Forefront of Linguistic Change

Linguists observe that young women's language patterns invite negative reactions, comments, and suggestions to change.
picture of a woman's mouth

Lingua Obscura: A New Linguistics Column

A linguistics column that will uncover curious stories of language use from all around the world--written by a linguist.