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How is language like a game of charades? According to a new book, quite a lot. Charades players and language users improvise and work together to create meaning in a situation, and they get better at it as they reuse elements and build up patterns. Drs Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater explain their vision of language to Daniel and Hedvig on this…
 
Linguistics is what we all love, but how do we make it pay? Turns out there are more ways than you might have thought of, and a new book is here to help. Dr Anna Marie Trester joins Daniel for an uplifting and hopeful chat. And how do we make the online experience better for Blind people? Friend of the pod Ellen is here with some do’s and some do-n…
 
Anacostia is a rapidly gentrifying suburb in Washington DC, and as Anacostia changes, so does the language. How do the original Black residents use language to establish their cred? What about the language of the new Black gentrifiers? Dr Jessi Grieser has been listening. She’s the author of The Black Side of the River, and she joins Daniel for a c…
 
Our listeners have voted, and here are all the words! Which were our top Words of the Week? Which were the worst? And what did all the dictionary people pick? We’re joined by our very special guest (and lingopod pal) Dr Lauren Gawne for this very cheugy episode of Because Language.By Daniel Midgley and Hedvig Skirgård
 
Our friends and listeners bring us lots of great stories, questions, and words. So for this episode, we've invited them to present them themselves! All patrons have been invited to join us for this live episode, and many have brought pets. Also, Dr Hadas Kotek has examined the sentences used in linguistic textbooks and examples. How are people repr…
 
The sciences are facing a replicability crisis. Some landmark studies were once considered settled, but then failed when they were retested. So have any linguistic experiments been toppled? And how do we fix this problem? Dr Martine Grice and Dr Bodo Winter have contributed to a special issue of Linguistics, and they join us for this fun episode.…
 
Here to help us answer our voluminous Mailbag is the tireless Dr Caitlin Green, Vice Cancellor of Caitlin University. Among our questions: NON-BINARY or NONBINARY? What’s behind coffee names? Why is there an L in WOULD? Could swearing get in the way of persuasion? When is it time to stop supporting a minority language? What’s with the D in TIDDIES?…
 
Dialect is a role-playing game about language and how it dies. Over the course of a game, players form an isolated community, create a private language, and watch it fade away as the community’s isolation is breached. We’re very pleased and honoured to play a game of Dialect, with game creator Hakan Seyalıoğlu of Thorny Games leading us through it.…
 
You probably communicate with your friends using media references all the time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But why do we include media references, when we could just talk? Turns out it has a lot to do with identity, building social relationships, and communication — all the stuff that language normally does. We’re having a media-hea…
 
This is the second of a two-parter on generativism, the linguistic school of thought originated by Noam Chomsky. This time, it's from the perspective of early-career researchers. How is generativism relevant to them, and how do they regard its claims? We ask: What importance does linguistic theory have on day-to-day research? How does generativism …
 
We’re doing a deep dive into generativism, the linguistic school of thought championed by Noam Chomsky. It’s had an enormous impact on the direction of linguistics, and even those who disagree with the generative programme will be at least somewhat conversant with its claims and the debate around it. Here, we’ll try to answer questions such as: Wha…
 
The Because Language team are talking through some of the most interesting research around, and you get to listen! Valuable medical information gets lost when Indigenous languages are wiped out When it comes to learning languages, multilinguals have the edge over bilinguals A generativist argues that languages don't adapt to their environment. What…
 
Linguistics as a discipline throws up challenges to Indigenous linguists. At the same time, they're the ones called upon to fix it. It can't stay like this. How do we make linguistics a safe place to work? Daniel, Hedvig, and very special co-host Ayesha Marshall are having a yarn with Lesley Woods and Dr Alice Gaby about their work in changing ling…
 
OzCLO is the Australian Computational and Linguistic Olympiad. It gets students together to compete and solve linguistic problems. It’s also a gateway to further linguistic study. We’ve brought some of the winning students to compete in a linguistic quiz with Ben and Hedvig. Will it go well for them?…
 
All it took was a tweet. Last week, linguists refocused their attention on a paper about humidity and tone. Was it bad linguistics? Environmental determinism? The reaction said a lot about linguistics and the nature of linguistic communication in the digital age.By Daniel Midgley, Ben Ainslie, and Hedvig Skirgård
 
What we call sometimes Chinese is really a gigantic family of languages. They’re somewhat divided in mutual intelligibility, and somewhat united in their writing system. How are they different, and how are they maintaining themselves? Two Chinese researchers, Wu Mei-Shin and Ye Jingting, join us. And what’s going on in the Cantonese lingopod world?…
 
Our Mailbag is once again full of questions, and podcasting luminary Helen Zaltzman is here to help us answer them! Why is the raspberry sound (PBTPBBBBT) not a speech sound in any language? Or is it? How can sounds in a language change so much over time? Am I BURNED OUT? Or BURNT OUT? Why are they called metaphysicians and not metaphysicists? What…
 
Blog post with show notes: http://becauselanguage.com/29-cultish/ Support the show on Patreon: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ Language helps us build and maintain social relationships. Cults — however we define them — exploit this function and subvert it for their own ends. Amanda Montell is the author of the new book Cultish, and she join…
 
Show notes: http://becauselanguage.com/28-the-cutting-edge/ Become a patron and support the show: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ We're taking over Pint of Science (or are they taking over us?) for this episode! Three researchers are presenting their work in language, and they'll also tell us what they're learning about public science commu…
 
Blog post with show notes and video episode: http://becauselanguage.com/27-its-all-semantics/ Become a patron yourself: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ Are fish wet? What is bi-weekly? And which Monday is next Monday? We’re solving some of the thorniest problems in semantics by voting, because that’s how language works! 👍 Our great Patreon …
 
It joins, it divides. It’s disappearing in some places, but it’s stronger than ever in others. For this episode, we’re talking to Professor Pardis Mahdavi, author of Hyphen, an exploration of identity and self as it concerns this confounding little mark.By Daniel Midgley, Ben Ainslie, and Hedvig Skirgård
 
Who listens to the show more closely than anyone (except possibly Daniel)? It's Maya Klein, who transcribes every word we say in excruciating detail. What goes into the process of transcription, and is a word-for-word approach really the best? And what quirks and habits do we have on the show? Maya roasts us on this episode of Because Language.…
 
For many students, university opens up new frontiers of learning — and new ways to be marginalised for their language use. A new book explores the problem of linguistic discrimination in higher education, and how to work toward fixing it. Also: Danish presents an unusual challenge for those who try to learn it — even babies. Why is Danish like this…
 
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