It’s always annoyed me that there isn’t a Nobel Prize in linguistics – surely it’s just as much a science as economics!
But now at least there’s another prize linguists can strive for: The Ig Nobel Prize.
From this year’s list of winners:
LINGUISTICS: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.
REFERENCE: “Effects of Backward Speech and Speaker Variability in Language Discrimination by Rats,” Juan M. Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, vol. 31, no. 1, January 2005, pp 95-100.