Why is language the way it is? Is it in our genes? Or does culture play a role?

Linguists have supposed that we have a language instinct that sets the boundaries on what a possible language is. But the language of the Pirahã has been changing perceptions on how language does what it does.

Linguist Daniel Midgley continues his discussion with Daniel Everett on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Doing the podcast is my dream job. Not only do I get to talk about language every week, but I also get to talk about language with some of my linguistic idols. Dr Daniel Everett is definitely on the list. I’ve talked about his work with the Pirahã people of the Amazon many times in my classes, but here I got to ask him about what it all means.

Now everyone on my interview list can move up one. What linguistic types should I go after next?


Show notes

Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Daniel Everett’s adventures among the Pirahã
http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1859528,00.html

A review of Language: The Cultural Tool
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/15/language-cultural-daniel-everett-review

“The Grammar of Happiness”: A documentary featuring Dr Everett
http://www.essential-media.com/node/119


Show tunes

‘Sunchemical’ by O Yuki Conjugate
from the album Equator

‘Crawling by Numbers’ by Lali Puna
from the album Faking the Books

‘Now It’s On’ by Grandaddy
from the album Sumday