Can you hear colours? Or smell sounds?

We’re starting to understand synaesthesia — the blending of senses that some people experience. Now language researchers are using synaesthesia to understand how we process language, and even how language got started in the first place.

Linguist Daniel Midgley finds the synaesthete in all of us 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 Justine Dandy

Patreon supporters

We’re very grateful for the support from our patrons Whitney Fielding and Matt. You’re helping us to keep the talk happening!

Become a Patreon supporter yourself and get access to bonus audio, extra blog posts, Talk the Talk merch, and more!

Show notes


The Kiki-Bouba effect

Google Books just won a decade-long copyright fight

Google wins book-scanning copyright case against Authors Guild

Google’s Court Victory Is Good for Scholarly Authors. Here’s Why.

Synesthesia: Why some people hear color, taste sounds

Some Rules of Language are Wired in the Brain

Study links synaesthesia with coloured fridge magnets

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets

Synaesthesia could help us understand how the brain processes language

Paper: Processing compound words: Evidence from synaesthesia (paywall)

V.S. Ramachandran and E.M. Hubbard: Synaesthesia — A Window Into Perception, Thought and Language (long read, but worth it)

Weak Synesthesia in Perception and Language (paywall)

Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool

The Birth of Cool

froobs blog: bork megapost

Stop It Son, You Are Doing Me A Frighten

@ProBirdRights on Twitter

What Do Swedes Think of the Swedish Chef?

Understanding the Swedish Pitch Accent

Brr: It’s in the Duden, the official German dictionary

Cold Comfort: Is Brr Meant to be Spoken, or Only Written?

Show tunes

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

Image credit:υπογράφηκαν-οι-πρώτες-85-απολύσεις-εκπαιδευτικών-μετά-από-100-χρόνια