DiscoverTalk the Talk - a podcast about linguistics, the science of language.
Talk the Talk - a podcast about linguistics, the science of language.

Talk the Talk - a podcast about linguistics, the science of language.

Author: Daniel Midgley, Ben Ainslie, and Hedvig Skirgård

Subscribed: 1,257Played: 13,472


A show about linguistics, the science of language, on RTRFM 92.1 community radio, Perth.
107 Episodes
The mail keeps coming, and we keep answering. Is English really a dialect of Chinese? Why do people say “uncomfortableness”, when we already have “discomfort”? Are "ankh” and “anchor” related? How does learning traditional languages help communities? Is there a better Noongar word for “white fella” if you’re not a fellow Is “mire” one syllable or two? Why do people say they're “finna” do something? Where does the word “Carlton" come from? And listeners report back on “yeah no” in other languages. All this and more on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Talking to mathematical biologist Xia Hua about why some places are more linguistically diverse, and how this relates to biological diversity. News: Variation in individual vocal tracts may influence vowels over generations. Indigenous Australian Word of the Week: wominjeka "welcome", from Boon Wurrung (Victoria) Words of the Week: prorogation, bedbug, literally.
Why are some languages more systematic than others? We often hear about the irregularities in English, and other languages have them as well. But new work shows that systematicity in a language is influenced by the number of speakers in the community. How does that work? Language researcher Limor Raviv joins Daniel, Ben, and Hedvig on this episode of Talk the Talk.
When homosexuality was illegal, a secret language brought people together. In 1960s England, Polari was a creative blend of Italian, Romani, rhyming slang, and backslang, used among the LGBT community. It could be used to communicate, or to identify someone as a member of the group. Now Polari has been lost, even as some of its words have crossed over into mainstream English. We're talking to Professor Paul Baker about this lost language on this episode of Talk the Talk.
373: Mailbag of Processes

373: Mailbag of Processes


We're opening up the Mailbag for another episode. Are sneezes written the same way everywhere? Do all languages have rhyming name games? Can all languages do all the things? Why does "this and that" sound normal, but "that and this" sounds weird? Why are people saying "process-eez"? And what's with "yeah nah"? All these and more on this episode of Talk the Talk.
The rules are changing. Here's the manual. Gretchen McCulloch's book Because Internet is a look at how people use language on the net to communicate and to show identity. How do people laugh online? How is emoji like gesture? It's a deep dive into internet language on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Take a tornado. Add some sharks. You've got a sharknado. But it's not just sharks that can leap out of their normal context. It looks like "-nado" is jumping free and becoming a combining form — a part of a word that is becoming its own productive morpheme, as in "firenado". What others are there? We'll find out on this episode of Talk the Talk.
370: Named Wrong (Live Q&A)

370: Named Wrong (Live Q&A)


Names are what they are, and as long as they work, they work. But sometimes in the history of naming, people name things in a manner inapt to their nature or origin. So what's the story behind words like atom, peanut, and strawberry? Daniel is unravelling these stories and more on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Talking to Ellen Jovin, author and proprietor of Grammar Table, where she dispenses face-to-face grammar advice to the citizens of New York City. News: Genius used a clever technique to catch Google copying its lyrics. A UK primary school is putting the word "like" in word jail. Indigenous Australian Word of the Week: winangala "to listen, know, love" in Gamilaraay (QLD). Words of the Week: concentration camp, fishwrapping, shibbolethnonym.
368: Poetry

368: Poetry


Poetry isn't (just) enjoyable, it can be useful. It can help us with language learning and memorisation, and help us in historical linguistics. And even computers are getting into poetry generation, probably because they want to learn the secret of human coolness. We're snapping our fingers on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Comments (2)


I would love to see the older episodes here too!

Sep 3rd

Jim123bcb HD

I love this show, thanks for making it every week

Jul 8th
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