When England became an empire, English began borrowing less and became the prolific word lender it is today, Haspelmath told me. If we start borrowing again—the way Arabic stopped exporting words to the rest of the world once its empire crumbled and started borrowing more from French and English—we’ll know we’ve seen the apex of our cultural influence. Until then, at least we’ll be able to find a hot yoga class just about anywhere in the world.
As a teenager in the 1980s, Wang would play several gigs a day with his grandfather’s band. Everywhere they performed, they were served tea and tobacco and treated as honored guests. But after the arrival of the new millennium, the popularity of suona music declined. The market for musicians shrank as newlyweds turned to new trends: Western rock bands, pop singers, folk operas. The suona became passé, even maudlin. “Once the suona sounded, people would think someone must have passed away,” Wang explains.
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Sometimes purism peaks after a war or in a post-colonial situation. South Korea tried to de-Japanify its language after World War II; the Indian and Pakistani governments tried to separate Hindi and Urdu after their partition. A purist approach can also be a smaller language’s way of resisting outside influence. In Iceland, the Icelandic Language Institute preserves the country’s Viking-era language by cobbling together new terms from indigenous roots. Some Native American groups do the same to resist English.

NixWO2.72 nanorods (NRs) are synthesized by a one-pot reaction of Ni(acac)2 and WCl4. In the rod structure, Ni(II) intercalates in the defective perovskite-type WO2.72 and is stabilized. The NixWO2.72 NRs show the x-dependent electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in 0.1M KOH with Ni0.78WO2.72 being the most efficient, even outper...

“It’s quite hard for us to find jobs,” Wang says. “We’re not young, and we don’t have other skills.” When he first started doing short-term construction work earlier this year, he didn’t even know how to mix concrete, but other workers were friendly and helped teach him the basics. He doesn’t mind the labor, though it leaves him sore. He feels his cheeks are stiff after days away from the suona — a reminder that he was once a master musician.


Chinese is an imperial language that has always loaned more than it borrowed. In the Max Planck Institute’s World Loanword Database, Mandarin Chinese has the lowest percentage of borrowings of all 41 languages studied, only 2 percent. (English, with one of the highest, has 42 percent.) In part because of the difficulty of translating alphabet-based languages into Chinese characters, it’s common to see what are called “calques”—nonphonetic literal translations like “re gou” for “hot dog” or “zhi zhu ren” for “Spiderman.” Despite (or because of) the vast appetite among the Chinese for learning English as a foreign language, Chinese ministers have recently cracked down on loanwords. And yet Chinese people still say “baibai” and “sorry”; “e-mail” is just a lot easier than “dianzi youjian,” the official substitute.
We report a facile synthesis of monodisperse ferrimagnetic CoxFe3-xO4 nanocubes (NCs) through thermal decomposition of Fe(acac)3 and Co(acac)2 (acac = acetylacetonate) in the presence of oleic acid and sodium oleate. The sizes of the NCs are tuned from 10-60 nm and their composition is optimized at x = 0.6 to show strong ferrimagnetism with the 20...
Lanthanum-transition-metal perovskites with robust meso-scale porous frameworks (meso-LaMO 3) are synthesized through use of ionic liquids. The resultant samples demonstrate a rather high activity for CO oxidation, by taking advantage of unique nanostructure-derived benefits. This synthesis strategy opens up a new opportunity for preparing functional mesoporous complex oxides of various compositions.
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