Lately we've seen a number of hair-tearing Language Log posts (including a couple of mine) about bad linguistic pseudo-hemi-demi-quasi-science getting into major science journals and the popular press. But sometimes the news media get it right, and here's one example: thanks to effective publicizing by the Linguistic Society of America, a new article by Carmel O'Shannessy, who has been observing the emergence of a new mixed language in Australia for many years, is being widely reported nationally and internationally, for instance here and here.
Back in 2004 I gave a talk on `The birth of bilingual mixed languages' at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A prominent linguist in the audience protested during the comment period that I had no actual evidence that such languages actually existed and were learnable, since my evidence came from historical situations. (I still think my evidence was solid, but I'm pretty sure I didn't convince the doubter. ) Carmel's research (which wasn't yet published in 2004) would have been an effective response to that objection: she shows that young children have been participating in the creation of Light Warlpiri, and she shows conclusively that the language is being learned by younger children.