We love red big balloons — or are they big red balloons?

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, you know. But how do we know what the right way is? And what else does your brain know that you don’t know it knows?

Linguist Daniel Midgley blows your mind on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Daniel’s interview with Chris Mason on RTRFM’s The Mag

https://rtrfm.com.au/story/sound-and-meaning/


Complete interview with Damián Blasi

https://www.patreon.com/posts/talk-talk-with-6817302

For Patreon patrons. (Let us know if you’d like to access the interview for research purposes.)


Show notes

Telegraph: Humans may speak a universal language, say scientists
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/12/humans-may-speak-a-universal-language-say-scientists/

LA Times: In world’s languages, scientists discover shared links between sound and meaning
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-languages-sound-meaning-20160912-snap-story.html

ABC: Linguistic study proves more than 6,000 languages use similar sounds for common words (formerly Linguists discover humans have ‘universal language’)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-13/linguists-discover-humans-have-%27universal-language%27/7841134

Cornell Chronicle: A nose by any other name would sound the same, study finds
http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2016/09/nose-any-other-name-would-sound-same-study-finds

Max Planck Institute: Sound of words is no coincidence
https://www.mpg.de/10731041/language-sound-meaning-coincidence

“R” Is for Red: Common Words Share Similar Sounds in Many Languages
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/r-is-for-red-common-words-share-similar-sounds-in-many-languages/

Actual paper: Sound–meaning association biases evidenced across thousands of languages (paywall)
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/09/06/1605782113

The Secret Rules of Adjective Order
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_good_word/2014/08/the_study_of_adjective_order_and_gsssacpm.single.html

The language rules we know – but don’t know we know
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160908-the-language-rules-we-know-but-dont-know-we-know

Big bad modifier order
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=27890

The language rule you never think about but always get right
http://www.dailydot.com/parsec/adjective-order-english-language/

Two things native English speakers know, but don’t know you know
http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2016/09/04/bish-bash-bosh/

Adjective attributes following noun in English?
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/4v874s/adjective_attributes_following_noun_in_english/

4 Things Most Native English Speakers Don’t Know About English
http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/4-things-most-native-english-speakers-dont-know-about-english/

4 More Unofficial Rules Native English Speakers Don’t Realize They Know
http://mentalfloss.com/article/85935/4-more-unofficial-rules-native-english-speakers-dont-realize-they-know

Separable Phrasal Verbs
https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/mechanics/phrasal-verb-and-idioms/3/separable-phrasal-verbs/

Clinton expresses regret for saying ‘half’ of Trump supporters are ‘deplorables’
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-basket-of-deplorables/

Where Did Hillary Get a Phrase Like “Basket of Deplorables”?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2016/09/12/hillary_s_basket_of_deplorables_has_some_fascinating_legal_antecedents.html

Top constitutional experts say no problem with “self executing” plebiscite
http://hrlc.org.au/media-release-top-constitutional-barrister-says-there-is-no-problem-with-self-executing-plebiscite/

Labor could support ‘self-executing’ same-sex marriage plebiscite
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-could-support-selfexecuting-samesex-marriage-plebiscite-20160905-gr9fum

An Unusual Way of Speaking, Yoda Has
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/12/hmmmmm/420798/

Unclear Of Yoda’s Syntax The Principles Are, If Any
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002182.html

Incidental music thanks to Bensound
http://www.bensound.com


Show tunes

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