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.

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Promo with Kylie Sturgess

Show notes

Mama or Dada? Research looks at what words are easiest for kids to learn

Why we should be excited by 100,000 year old human teeth from China

Humans Exited Africa, and Trekked to China, Fossils Reveal

Evidence Challenges the “Out of Africa” Timeline of Human Evolution

Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says

Oldest Draft of King James Bible Discovered

Oldest King James Bible Draft Found In England, Suggests 17th Century Translation Wasn’t Group Effort

English phrases and sayings that derive from the Bible

Babies need free tongue movement to decipher speech sounds

Bruderer et al: Sensorimotor influences on speech perception in infancy

“Help! I’m losing phonemes as you speak!”

Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ Sound So Similar in So Many Languages

Gaze shifting helps babies learn new languages


Change the Australian currency name to Dollarydoos.

Aussies get behind proposal to change currency to dollarydoos

The Reserve Bank and Reform of the Currency: 1960–1988 — The Royal Controversy

Holt’s folly: one royal we rejected
‘”The Australian drawl, [Holt] warned, could easily reduce ”14 australs” to ”40 nostrils”.’

Simpsons neologisms

Sifting the fact from fiction about baby sign language

Science Blogs on Dustan Baby Language: 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.’

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