This issue of our Center for Language Science/Bilingualism Matters at Penn State newsletter is centered around the question: Is there a correct way to speak? The topic of language “correctness” is relevant to many aspects of civic life, from education and schooling, to the workplace, the judicial system, and beyond. And while a popular societal view is that there is only one correct way to speak, decades of linguistic research have revealed complex patterns of linguistic diversity that suggest otherwise. In this issue we aim to provide just a taste of the rich and varied patterns that exist in natural language, and to illustrate some of the ways in which language scientists have approached studying them. As you read through the pieces in this issue, you will probably recognize many of the patterns we describe, and you may even consider some of them “incorrect”. What we hope to show is that, when examined a bit more closely, these diverse patterns reveal just how remarkable and interesting human language is, and that language diversity is truly something to be celebrated. As always, we welcome your feedback, and we hope you’ll enjoy this issue.
Frances Blanchette, Olivia Barnum, Trevor Bero, Cole Callen, Carlos Echeverría, Katherine Kerschen, Javier López Seoane, and Catherine Pham