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Best Lingthusiasm podcasts we could find (updated March 2020)
Best Lingthusiasm podcasts we could find
Updated March 2020
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A podcast that's enthusiastic about linguistics by Gretchen McCulloch (All Things Linguistic) and Lauren Gawne (Superlinguo). A weird and deep conversation about language delivered right to your ears the third Thursday of every month. Bonus episodes: www.patreon.com/lingthusiasm Shownotes: www.lingthusiasm.com
 
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show series
 
Asking which language is the hardest to learn is like asking where the furthest place is – it all depends on where you start. And for babies, who start out not knowing any of them, all natural languages are eminently learnable – because otherwise they wouldn’t exist at all! In this episode of Lingthusiasm, your hosts Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren G…
 
How do languages talk about the time when something happens? Of course, we can use words like “yesterday”, “on Tuesday”, “once upon a time”, “now”, or “in a few minutes”. But some languages also require their speakers to use an additional small piece of language to convey time-related information, and this is called tense. In this episode of Lingth…
 
If you feed a computer enough ice cream flavours or pictures annotated with whether they contain giraffes, the hope is that the computer may eventually learn how to do these things for itself: to generate new potential ice cream flavours or identify the giraffehood status of new photographs. But it’s not necessarily that easy, and the mistakes that…
 
Why do some conversations seems to flow really easily, while other times, it feels like you can’t get a word in edgewise, or that the other person isn’t holding up their end of the conversation? In this episode of Lingthusiasm, your hosts Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne have a conversation about the structure of conversations! Conversation anal…
 
In English you have one book, and three books. In Arabic you have one kitaab, and three kutub. In Nepali it’s one kitab, and three kitabharu, but sometimes it’s three kitab.In this episode of Lingthusiasm, Gretchen and Lauren look at the many ways that languages talk about how many of something there are, ranging from common distinctions like singu…
 
What’s your favourite smell? You might say something like the smell of fresh ripe strawberries, or the smell of freshly-cut grass. But if we asked what your favourite colour is, you might say red or green, but you wouldn’t say the colour of strawberries or grass. Why is it that we have so much more vocabulary for colours than for scents? In this ep…
 
Larger, national signed languages, like American Sign Language and British Sign Language, often have relatively well-established laboratory-based research traditions, whereas smaller signed languages, such as those found in villages with a high proportion of deaf residents, aren’t studied as much. When we look at signed languages in the context of …
 
Sometimes a syllable is jam-packed with sounds, like the single-syllable word “strengths”. Other times, a syllable is as simple as a single vowel or consonant+vowel, like the two syllables in “a-ha!” It’s kind of like a burger: you might pack your burger with tons of toppings, or go as simple as a patty by itself on a plate, but certain combination…
 
Emoji make a lot of headlines, but what happens when you actually drill down into the data for how people integrate emoji into our everyday messages? It turns out that how we use emoji has a surprising number of similarities with how we use gesture. In this episode of Lingthusiasm, your hosts Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch get enthusiastic abo…
 
Why does “gh” make different sounds in “though” “through” “laugh” “light” and “ghost”? Why is there a silent “k” at the beginning of words like “know” and “knight”? And which other languages also have interesting historical artefacts in their spelling systems? Spelling systems are kind of like homes – the longer you’ve lived in them, the more rando…
 
Sometimes, you know something for sure. You were there. You witnessed it. And you want to make sure that anyone who hears about it from you knows that you’re a direct source. Other times, you weren’t there, but you still have news. Maybe you found it out from someone else, or you pieced together a couple pieces of indirect evidence. In that case, y…
 
When a language is shifting from being spoken by a whole community to being spoken only by older people, it’s crucial to get the kids engaged with the language again. But kids don’t always appreciate the interests of their elders, especially when global popular culture seems more immediately exciting. One idea? Make stories from pop culture, featur…
 
This episode is also available as a special video episode so you can see the gestures! Go to youtube.com/lingthusiasm or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8dHtr7uLHs to watch it! When you describe to someone a ball bouncing down a hill, one of the easiest ways to make it really clear just how much the ball bounced would be to gesture the way that it…
 
Some sentences have a lot of words all relating to each other, while other sentences only have a few. The verb is the thing that makes the biggest difference: it’s what makes “I gave you the book” sound fine but “I rained you the book” sound weird. Or on the flip side, “it’s raining” is a perfectly reasonable description of a general raining event,…
 
The Rift Valley area of central and northern Tanzania is the only area where languages from all four African language families are found (Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, and Khoisan). Languages in this area have been in contact with each other for a long time, especially in the minds of bi- and multilingual speakers, so it’s a really interesting place to…
 
There are certain things that human societies, and therefore languages, have in common. We have the same basic inventory of body parts, which affect both the kinds of movements we can make to produce words and the names we have for our meat-selves. We’re all living on a watery ball of rock and fire, orbiting a large ball of gas. And we all arrived …
 
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