Linguistics After Dark

Linguistics After Dark

By Linguistics After Dark
Linguistics After Dark is a podcast where three linguists (and sometimes other people) answer your burning questions about language, linguistics, and whatever else you need advice about. We have three rules: any question is fair game, there's no research allowed, and if we can't answer, we have to drink.

It's a little like CarTalk for language: call us if your language is making a funny noise, and we'll get to the bottom of it, with a lot of rowdy discussion and nerdy jokes along the way. At the beginning of the show, we introduce a new linguistics term, and there's even a puzzler at the end!
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Episode 4: The HOA of Francophones
Wherein we frequently get off topic and get angry at Les Immortels. Jump right to: 1:08 Things Sarah Is Mad About Once She Did the Show Notes 3:39 Linguistic Thing of the Day: Borrowing! 8:00 L’Académie Française is annoying 22:27 Are there languages other than Irish that have the concept of helping vowels? 33:51 How do linguistic rules emerge? 51:36 Canadian raising! What actually is it? 1:09:00 The puzzler: Why are these birds flying in from different directions? Covered in this episode: A very hardcore church named All Souls Parish Calques vs loanwords Sarah mispronouncing the Spanish word for “avocado” Epenthetic schwa and syllabic consonants Should linguists get swords? L’Académie Française does not know how language works Anglish Languages are not mathematical constructs How phonetic inventories and stress patterns differ between languages Lenition isn’t lazy, it’s economical! Pidgins are not pigeons (though neither has syntax) Linguistic redundancy Adopting children and/or giving them piggyback rides Vowels are like a shopping cart, or maybe a trombone Whitney Houston Emordnilaps Links and other post-show thoughts: Louisiana sort of has the Mary/marry/merry merger ⟨scooch⟩ predates ⟨skosh⟩ and is not related! Nor is either related to ⟨skoosh⟩. All about Anglish! And all about physics in Anglish: Uncleftish Beholding Epenthesis, and more about its presence in Ireland and the UK. The “Castilian lisp” is indeed not out of deference to a king, nor is it actually a lisp, but that folk-explanation apparently dates back to the late 1300s. ⟨hƿæt⟩/⟨hwæt⟩ gives us ⟨what⟩ and also some Discourse Native Listening (the book where Sarah read about that Spanish/English/Dutch word-stress study) Some online things related to that Lenition of consonants follows reliable patterns. Eli said a quote wrong! It should have been "Eventually, you sell enough fish together, you decide to have a kid." -Tom Purnell, Eli’s sociolinguistics professor Gretchen McC on the basic English vowel cart Canadian raising diagrams and audio examples We’re grateful that you could bear with us Ask us questions: Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @LxADpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Credits: Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is "Covert Affair" by Kevin MacLeod. And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)
1:17:15
May 16, 2020
Episode 3: The Gospel of the Wug
​Wherein we make wugability happen and invoke rule three. Jump right to: 3:40 The Part Where We Say The Title 20:22 Are clicks consonants? 30:22 Why do people like some words and hate others? 43:53 An uncharacteristically serious discussion about conversational styles and their relation or lack thereof to gender 65:18 The puzzler: What do the words ASSESS/BANANA/DRESSER/GRAMMAR/POTATO/REVIVE/UNEVEN/VOODOO have in common? Covered in this episode: The parts of linguistics we secretly don’t like The ablaut of yeet An inadvertent All The Stations shoutout Jenny just says Walrus Send us law questions! The official LxAD Linguistics Hot Takes Clicks, Ingressives, Ejectives, and... the other ones Aaron/Erin is the new Mary/marry/merry Phonesthemes Bubu and Kiki Our show notes have research! Words are fake, but there’s a spectrum of reality It’s like chai, but coffee Meta language is important even for laypeople! High school teachers know the dank memes of today—sometimes If you say the food "herb" with an "h" you're wrong but valid Optimality theory easter egg? Links and other post-show thoughts: The original Wug Test by Jean Berko Gleason So far Sarah has not found the German study that she referenced, but has learned a lot about The Discourse around what constitutes irregularity in German. If you have information about this, let us know! ⟨snuck⟩ is indeed newer than ⟨sneaked⟩ Ohio 2 Choose your favorite wug plural JBG’s Wug Store Vowels are still a hot mess The Other Consonants are called pulmonic consonants, which means that technically ejectives and ingressives are also not made using air from your lungs. We learned a thing. Phonesthemes are super cool! Bubu and kiki are also super cool! Another optimality theory joke There are new episode-specific highlights on our Instagram, with fancy highlight art! Ask us questions: Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @lxadpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Credits: Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod. And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)
1:07:33
April 2, 2020
Episode 2: Juno's Geese
Wherein we discuss how linguistics is everywhere but linguists are nowhere, and introduce the concept of the unsolicited etymology swear jar. Jump right to: 01:33 “Universal” word lists, bad puns, and university “field work” stories 07:25 What composes an accent? What counts as a dialect? What about “little kid speak”? 24:16 What are the most valuable ways linguistics can improve society? 45:45 Favorite ridiculous etymologies 54:31 The puzzler: What do the words JOB, POLISH, and HERB have in common? Covered in this episode: We love Car Talk Dialects and accents often overlap but are not the same thing Dialects and registers also often overlap but are not the same thing Obligatory “A language is just a dialect with an army and a navy.” Linguistics After Dark has no official positions on contentious geopolitical issues Understanding the value of descriptivism and the reality of language evolution Hot takes on regional identity in the UK vs North America vs California Why don’t journalists know that linguists exist? A story that has nothing to do with financial advising, and everything to do with geese OK is the only acronym etymology that’s all correct Links and other post-show thoughts: Swadesh’s first name was Morris Mutual intelligibility on the Deutsch/Dutch border More mutual intelligibility, including Scandinavia, from an A++ YouTube channel Victor Mair, coiner of the word topolect All sorts of ways linguists and linguistics benefit society BBC and Received Pronunciation Here are some diagrams about the overlap between linguistics and other fields (this last one is the one Sarah had in mind) The Unsolicited Etymology Trivia Jar Etymologies of canary, easel, and lettuce The full story of what the fuck, geese (spoiler alert: 356≠390) And yes, ⟨mint⟩ (where money is printed) is also related to ⟨moneta⟩ Etymologies of island, isle, OK, and lox (which has a dialectical variation still spelled "lax"!) Ask us questions: Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @lxadpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Credits: Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks for listening!
57:19
February 13, 2020
Episode 1: Batman's Batsman
Our very first episode, answering real language questions from real listeners! And boy do we live up to our no-research policy. (What is the truth about bubblers? TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!) Jump right to: 00:43 Thing of the Day: Ambiguity (...or is it?) 04:28 In the English word ⟨scent⟩, is the ⟨s⟩ or the ⟨c⟩ silent? 11:50 Has our study of linguistics caused us to consciously change how we talk? 25:48 How should you pluralize superhero names? 34:37 Can "informal" mean "giving information to the reader" along with "not formal"? 39:30 The Puzzler: Can you find a word that has three double letters in a row? Covered in this episode: Fun with affixes! English “soft c” spelling rules Awkward teenage spelling reform phases A hot take not taken Obligatory (incorrect) citation of the Martha’s Vineyard accent study How to tell if you should study linguistics Obligatory mention of “bubbler” Why is “bubbler” localised SO SPECIFICALLY? Everyone needs to see Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Hot takes on Spider-Men, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Attorney General In-laws and Sinlaws Obligatory Latin-based explanations ⟨bassoon⟩ and ⟨balloon⟩ are basically the same word Links and other post-show thoughts: We have no link to back up Sarah’s assertion that ⟨sc⟩ makes an [ʃ] sound in Late Latin and modern Italian, despite a wide search. However, ⟨conscious⟩ is an English word where ⟨sc⟩ makes an [ʃ] sound, so that's almost as good. The Nantucket study, which was actually done in Martha’s Vineyard (no research, y'all) Confirmed: Kohler is a town named after the company named after the founding family Bubbler is related to a Kohler trademark  Bubbler is not related to a Kohler trademark  I don't know what to think about bubbler anymore (They exist in Portland, OR, too!) Fun fact: Sarah heard “Spider-Mans” in the wild the week after we recorded this podcast, explaining that "Into the Spider-Verse" has six total “Spider-Mans”. Native speaker intuition for the win! Etymologies of inform versus informal Turns out that ⟨informative⟩ ALSO used to be an inflammable-style contranym! (Well, sort of. It used to mean ⟨formative⟩. What even.) Ask us questions: Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @lxadpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Credits: Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is "Covert Affair" by Kevin McLeod. Thanks for listening!
44:04
December 24, 2019