Do you know from Yiddish?

A controversial new hypothesis has surfaced about its origins, but does it stand up to the data? And are you using Yiddish words without even knowing it?

Daniel Midgley speaks with lexicographer Ben Zimmer on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Scott Quigg


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Show notes

Google to Developers: Here’s How to Stop Making Dumb Chatbots
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601440/google-to-developers-heres-how-to-stop-making-dumb-chatbots/

Google is giving away the tool it uses to understand language, Parsey McParseface
http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11666414/google-parsey-mcparseface-tensorflow-open-source-language-tool

Announcing SyntaxNet: The World’s Most Accurate Parser Goes Open Source
http://googleresearch.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/announcing-syntaxnet-worlds-most.html

Professor reveals to students that his assistant was an AI all along
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/innovation/professor-reveals-to-students-that-his-assistant-was-an-ai-all-along-20160513-gou6us.html

History & Development of Yiddish
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/yiddish.html

Yiddish Language and Culture
http://www.jewfaq.org/yiddish.htm

The Secret Slang of the Diamond District
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/magazine/the-secret-slang-of-the-diamond-district.html?_r=0

Articles for Elhaik’s research — this is not well-accepted by linguists!

Uncovering ancient Ashkenaz – the birthplace of Yiddish speakers
https://theconversation.com/uncovering-ancient-ashkenaz-the-birthplace-of-yiddish-speakers-58355

Was Yiddish A Secret Language Invented On The Silk Road?
http://www.vocativ.com/310611/yiddish-silk-road/

Yiddish may have originated in Turkey, not Germany
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2016-04/20/yiddish-origin-turkey-dna-analysis

Articles against Elhaik’s research — closer to correct

Asya Pereltsvaig: Is Yiddish to Be Traced to Turkey?
http://www.languagesoftheworld.info/bad-linguistics/yiddish-traced-turkey.html

Jordan Kutzik: Don’t Buy the Junk Science That Says Yiddish Originated in Turkey
http://forward.com/opinion/339676/dont-buy-the-junk-science-that-says-yiddish-originated-in-turkey/

The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-yiddish-handbook-40-words-you-should-know/

Old Jews explaining Yiddish words will make your day
http://www.jewishjournal.com/cache/old_jews_explaining_yiddish_words_will_make_your_day.html?/videojew/item/old_jews_explaining_yiddish_words_will_make_your_day

Ben Zimmer: The Hidden History of “Glitch”
https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/the-hidden-history-of-glitch/

Ben Zimmer: A History of Meh, from Leo Rosten to Auden to The Simpsons
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/09/06/meh_etymology_tracing_the_yiddish_word_from_leo_rosten_to_auden_to_the_simpsons.html

Metalinguistic shmetalinguistic: The phonology of shm-reduplication
http://www.academia.edu/209796/Metalinguistic_shmetalinguistic_The_phonology_of_shm-reduplication

Rules Shmules: 5 Phonetic Pitfalls of Shm- Reduplication
http://mentalfloss.com/article/51600/rules-shmules-5-phonetic-pitfalls-shm-reduplication

Oy Vey: Yiddish Has a Problem
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/yiddish-has-a-problem/379658/

[Ads-l] HuffPost interview query: “Dumpster fire” (Reply from Barry Popik)
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2016-May/142337.html

New words added to OxfordDictionaries.com: dumpster fire
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/05/dumpster-fire/

Google Trends: dumpster fire
https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=dumpster%20fire

Our National Dumpster Fire
http://www.weeklystandard.com/our-national-dumpster-fire/article/2002272

Who What Why: Sheldon Adelson’s Newspaper Is a Dumpster Fire
http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/05/07/sheldon-adelsons-newspaper-dumpster-fire/


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://cdn1.tabletmag.com/wp-content/files_mf/1258494161language_111709_380pxD.gif