352: Wait (with Sali Tagliamonte)

Wait, what?

People might think that a little word like wait doesn’t have much meaning, but without little cues like these, our conversation doesn’t sound right. And this one is coming up fast.

Dr Sali Tagliamonte tells us about her …

351: A Perfect Alphabet (or, The Royal Tweet)

Some deep thoughts are going on at the Palace.

The Royal Family is tweeting about what a perfect alphabet would look like, and how far the English alphabet varies from this ideal. And are there any redundant letters?

Hedvig, …

350: Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (with Zalmen Mlotek and Motl Didner)

Fiddler on the Roof is heading to Broadway — in Yiddish for the first time.

What went into the production? How did translation work? What does this production mean to the cast and to audience members?

Daniel speaks with Zalmen Mlotek

349: Word of the Year 2018

What were the words that marked our year?

Daniel was there for the serious, the social, and the silly at the American Dialect Society’s annual Word of the Year vote.

Hedvig and Daniel discuss all the words on this episode …

End-of-2018 Wrap-Up

It’s time for a look back at the stories, interviews, and words that made 2018.

Along the way, Daniel plays his top tracks of the year.

Part 1: Stories and interviews

Listen here The Mag, 18 December | RTRFM

Part

348: Microcosm (featuring Rachel Hendery)

What happens when you take a language and put it on an island?

That’s what’s happened on Palmerston Island, one of the most isolated places on earth. And one linguist, Dr Rachel Hendery, has learned some fascinating things about …

347: Not Rocket Surgery (featuring Kari Sullivan and William Black)

Metaphors are powerful. But what happens when you mix them?

Will you come out looking like a rose? Or will you be opening Pandora’s box of worms?

We’re talking to Dr Kari Sullivan, author of a new book about …

346: What Works (featuring Dan Dediu)

Why does language have the form it does, and why does it change the way it does?

Is it just… because? Or are there environmental motivators? Linguists are getting interested in just what factors are forming language into what it …

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 this …

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 …

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