For babies, learning language seems like child’s play.

But new research is showing us that there’s a lot going on in there, with contributions from brain, body, and memory. How does it all work?

Linguist Daniel Midgley bundles it all together on this episode of Talk the Talk.


Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe on Android
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk


Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Mama or Dada? Research looks at what words are easiest for kids to learn
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151012132455.htm

Why we should be excited by 100,000 year old human teeth from China
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/why-we-should-be-excited-by-100000-year-old-human-teeth-from-china/

Humans Exited Africa, and Trekked to China, Fossils Reveal
http://www.livescience.com/52481-modern-humans-reached-china-before-europe.html

Evidence Challenges the “Out of Africa” Timeline of Human Evolution
http://io9.com/more-evidence-undermines-the-out-of-africa-theory-of-1619420466

Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/books/earliest-known-draft-of-king-james-bible-is-found-scholar-says.html

Oldest Draft of King James Bible Discovered
http://news.discovery.com/history/religion/oldest-draft-of-king-james-bible-discovered-15101.htm

Oldest King James Bible Draft Found In England, Suggests 17th Century Translation Wasn’t Group Effort
http://www.ibtimes.com/oldest-king-james-bible-draft-found-england-suggests-17th-century-translation-wasnt-2142463

English phrases and sayings that derive from the Bible
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/bible-phrases-sayings.html

Babies need free tongue movement to decipher speech sounds
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/uobc-bnf100915.php

Bruderer et al: Sensorimotor influences on speech perception in infancy
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/06/1508631112.abstract

“Help! I’m losing phonemes as you speak!”
http://www.cafepress.com/mf/63235081/phonemes_bodysuit?aid=1568734

Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/words-mom-dad-similar-languages/409810/

Gaze shifting helps babies learn new languages
http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/spectrum/society/gaze-shifting-helps-babies-learn-new-languages/112859.html

NINE-HUNDED DOLLARYDOOS (Simpsons clip)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w3iPFl-cfI

Change the Australian currency name to Dollarydoos.
https://www.change.org/p/change-the-australian-currency-name-to-dollarydoos?source_location=trending_petitions_home_page&algorithm=curated_trending

Aussies get behind proposal to change currency to dollarydoos
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/10/16/15/39/aussies-get-behind-proposal-to-change-currency-to-dollarydoos

The Reserve Bank and Reform of the Currency: 1960–1988 — The Royal Controversy
http://www.rba.gov.au/Museum/Displays/1960_1988_rba_and_reform_of_the_currency/the_royal_controversy.html

Holt’s folly: one royal we rejected
‘”The Australian drawl, [Holt] warned, could easily reduce ”14 australs” to ”40 nostrils”.’
http://www.smh.com.au/money/on-the-money/holts-folly-one-royal-we-rejected-20130603-2nmoa.html

Simpsons neologisms
http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Made-up_words

Sifting the fact from fiction about baby sign language
https://theconversation.com/sifting-the-fact-from-fiction-about-baby-sign-language-36924

Science Blogs on Dustan Baby Language: A Cry Is Just A Cry
http://scienceblogs.com/deanscorner/2011/05/17/a-cry-is-just-a-cry/

‘Linguistics experts point out that Dunstan’s hypothesis has not been subjected to rigorous testing or academic scrutiny. The Dunstan company had, at one time, developed a clinical trial plan with Brown University researchers to test its claims, but abandoned it for consumer surveys and small-group observations in order “to hasten the development of a system that could be used by parents,” skipping rigorous testing to go straight to market.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunstan_Baby_Language


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://tdlc.ucsd.edu/images/deak_lab.jpg