Why do languages have the grammar they do?

For some Australian languages, grammar is shaped by the stuff you’re not supposed to say. Linguist Joe Blythe is finding out about the evolution of language, and challenging one of the biggest ideas in linguistics.

Dr Blythe talks to Daniel Midgley on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Promo with James Hall

Show notes

James Bednall worked on the Badimaya dictionary.

Joe Blythe explains how grammar is sometimes shaped by restrictions on language use.

This is actually a kind of convergent evolution, as many languages are doing the same thing.

Yage: Yet another grand exit.

Show tunes

‘Change in Speak’ by De La Soul
from the album 3 Feet High and Rising

‘(Quakes)’ by Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
from the album Failed by Man and Machine

Shoe selfie: