Human language isn’t all about speech — some communication happens by whistling.
Whistle languages are found around the world, and they give us a chance to learn about language and the brain. How do they work? And why are they dying out?
Linguist Daniel Midgley puts his lips together and blows on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Listen to this episode
Promo with Kylie Sturgess
From the promo: “Tea’s ready; your sister will be here soon.”
Why do we call an actor a ‘ham’?
More on Hamish McCullogh
Google Books link
Macleans: Sah-ry, eh? We’re in the midst of the Canadian Vowel Shift
CBC News: ‘Milk’ versus ‘melk’: Have you noticed that the way we talk is changing? Linguists have
Wikipedia: List of whistled languages
Silbo: Welcome to La Gomera!
This page shows one way of representing Silbo.
You can learn Silbo on Busuu.
busuu.com to the rescue of….the Silbo Gomero
Unesco: Whistled language of the island of La Gomera (Canary Islands), the Silbo Gomero
Words of seduction: Akha, in which they whistle with leaves
New Yorker: The Whistled Language of Northern Turkey
NPR: Up In Northeastern Turkey, The Whistles Of A Secret Language
ScienceNews: Whistled language uses both sides of the brain
Ars Technica: The curious case of whistled languages and their lack of left-brain dominance
PRI: A language based on whistling uses a different part of the brain than spoken communication (+ video)
The Big Apple: Cuckservative
Salon: The GOP crack-up continues: The raging civil war over the disgusting “cuckservative” slur
Salon: The secret history of “cuckservative”: The fetish that became a right-wing rallying cry
WaPo: ‘Cuckservative’ — the conservative insult of the month, explained
Wikipedia: Alleged coded references to Bacon’s authorship
— Caitlyn Weber (@CaitlynWeber1) August 13, 2015
More on collective nouns
Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.