345: Talk on the Wild Side (featuring Lane Greene)

Language is creative! Language is anarchic.

And language refuses to be tamed. But its indomitability may be the key to its power.

A new book by Lane Greene will give language sticklers something to think about. Lane joins us on …

344: Coincidences and Surprising Connections (featuring Bethwyn Evans)

Language is full of strange coincidences.

When two words sound alike, does that mean they have a secret past? Or could it be just a chance meeting? The answer could change language history.

We’re stepping into the linguistic time machine …

343: Moon Moons and Reduplication Reduplication

There are some things so nice we say them twice. And when we do, we’re using reduplication.

But this handy device can handle a surprising range of functions in the world’s languages, and it can pop up in the …

342: Mailbag of Vague

We are once again diving into our voluminous mailbag.

Was the QWERTY layout designed to slow you down? Is English a creole language? Why does a word keep popping up over and over after you first hear it? And what …

341: What the F (featuring Benjamin Bergen)

What’s behind swearing?

If you’re looking at the brain, an awful lot. But how do we use swearing to navigate social relationships? And do all language have swears?

We’re talking to cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen on this episode of Talk

340: Ethics in Big Data (featuring Hannah Rashkin and Maarten Sap)

Do you know where your data is?

Language researchers can learn a lot from publicly available internet data. But what are the ethical issues surrounding the collection and use of this information? What about data that comes from home assistants? …

339: How English Could Be Way Cooler

Other languages have good ideas too, you know.

Have you noticed something cool about another language, and wished English did that? Is there any feature of another language that you wish English had?

Daniel and Hedvig are engaging in a …

338: Signed Language (featuring Ulrike Zeshan and Christy Filipich)

The International Day of Signed Languages is upon us.

If we could look at all the signed languages in the world, what would they have in common? What misconceptions do hearing people have? And what is International Sign?

It’s all …

337: Getting the Bias out of Data (featuring Rob Speer and Kai-Wei Chang)

People are biased. And computers learn from people.

That means our data is biased, and in a big data world, that can cause big problems.

But researchers are finding ways to turn down the bias in a dataset. We’re talking …

336: Kinship Terms

What do you call your family members? No, I don’t mean like that.

We’re talking about kinship terms.
How does your language handle family relations?
Do you call your grandmothers on your mom and dad’s side the same thing?
What’s …

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