THUH alien, or THEE alien?

It all depends on whether the next word starts with a vowel sound or a consonant sound. At least that’s the story. But one researcher is finding a lot of speakers are doing something very different — especially if they’re speakers of Australian English. What’s going on?

We’re talking to THEE sociolinguist Nick Wilson on this episode of Talk thuh Talk.

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Show notes

Don’t Name Them

No Notoriety

New Zealand Is Loath to Use Suspect’s Name to Avoid Amplifying His Cause | New York Times


Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration | Science

How farming reshaped our smiles and our speech | Science

Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke

Did Dietary Changes Bring Us ‘F’ Words? Study Tackles Complexities of Language’s Origins

Mind Your ‘Fs’ and ‘Vs’: Agriculture May Have Shaped Both Human Jaws and Language – Scientific American

The Ability to Pronounce “F” and “V” Sounds Might Have Evolved Along With Diet | Science | Smithsonian

Cooking And Evolution: Did Softer Foods Give Us The F-Word? : The Salt : NPR

Holy fudge: soft foods helped humans form ‘f’ and ‘v’ sounds – study | Science | The Guardian

The curious reason humans could not say the word ‘farming’ before it even existed

Humans couldn’t pronounce ‘f’ and ‘v’ sounds before farming developed | New Scientist

F’s and V’s Might Have Appeared After Agriculture – The Atlantic

Language Log — F-word diets

Humans couldn’t pronounce ‘f’ and ‘v’ sounds before farming developed : linguistics

Urban Dictionary: BIG OOF

I learned my lesson about taking a razor to my eyebrows. Big oof. : blunderyears

Turning this franchise around : Tinder

The Future of Contraception

Full text of ‘On The Meaning Of Life’ — “contracept” appears p. 120

Strange Planet


Coming soon.