Category: apes

Episode 273: Voice of the Apes

Why don’t monkeys talk to us?

New research tells us that if our primate cousins don’t do language, it’s not because of their vocal tracts. Those appear to be speech-ready. So if the voice is good to go, what’s the holdup?

Daniel is talking apes with Ben and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Coel Healy


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Episode 273: Voice of the Apes [128 kbps]

Cutting Room Floor 273: Voice of the Apes


Show notes

Swearing meme

Frankly, we do give a damn: The relationship between profanity and honesty
https://www.academia.edu/29725191/Frankly_we_do_give_a_damn_The_relationship_between_profanity_and_honesty

People who swear tend to be more honest
http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/21/14341850/profanity-swearing-honesty-linguistics-language

People who curse a lot have better vocabularies than those who don’t, study finds
http://www.sciencealert.com/people-who-curse-a-lot-have-better-vocabularies-than-those-who-don-t-study-finds

Swearing More Is Actually A Sign Of Having A Better Vocabulary, Study Finds
http://www.iflscience.com/brain/knowing-more-swear-words-linked-wider-vocabulary-study-finds/

People Who Can Swear A Lot Found To Have Larger Vocabularies, So Suck It
http://uproxx.com/life/swearing-correlates-with-bigger-vocabulary-f-ck-yeah-it-does/

Julia Roberts vs. Sally Field in Celebrity Curse Off
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0swXMgM284o

Orangutan Found To Mimic Human Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpoydpDHT8A

Voice control in orangutan gives clues to early human speech
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/du-vci072616.php

Monkeys Could Talk, but They Don’t Have the Brains for It
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/science/monkeys-speech.html

Monkey vocal tracts are speech-ready
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/12/e1600723

Fitch (and von Humboldt) on monkey talk
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/

New Thoughts on the Origins of Human Speech
http://www.archaeology.org/news/5197-170112-baboons-vowels-speech

Baboons use vowel sounds strikingly similar to humans
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/01/baboons-show-they-ve-got-another-building-block-language-vowellike-sounds

Why a lowered larynx is good for human speech production
http://www.ling.cam.ac.uk/mark/Lowered_larynx_MJJ_York_Jan_2010.pdf

The descended larynx is not uniquely human.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1088793/

From Grunting To Gabbing: Why Humans Can Talk
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129083762

Why monkeys can’t talk—and what they would sound like if they could
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/12/why-monkeys-can-t-talk-and-what-they-would-sound-if-they-could

Lemurs groom-at-a-distance through vocal networks
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347215003474

‘Baby talk’ in marmoset monkeys
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170116091416.htm

Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump
https://www.wired.com/2017/01/rogue-scientists-race-save-climate-data-trump/

President Trump ordered the National Park Service to find photos that made his inauguration look huge
http://www.salon.com/2017/01/27/president-trump-ordered-the-national-park-service-to-find-photos-that-made-his-inauguration-look-huge/

Trump admin tells National Park Service to halt tweets
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/21/politics/trump-national-park-service-tweets/

Online Etymology Dictionary: rogue
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=rogue

Here’s a List of All the U.S. Govt’s Rogue Twitter Accounts Fighting Trump’s Crackdown on Science
http://www.core77.com/posts/60230/Heres-a-List-of-All-the-US-Govts-Rogue-Twitter-Accounts-Fighting-Trumps-Crackdown-on-Science

These 24 ‘rogue’ Twitter accounts claim to be from federal agencies
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-list-rogue-twitter-accounts-from-federal-agencies-20170125-htmlstory.html

Wikipedia: Samizdat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samizdat

DataRefuge
https://www.datarefuge.org/about

Stony Brook student held at JFK in Trump travel ban released
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/stony-brook-student-held-at-jfk-in-trump-travel-ban-released-1.13032310


Show tunes

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

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Episode 265: Universal Grammar 2 (featuring Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy)

The biggest idea in linguistics is back on the table.

Is there such a thing as the Universal Grammar? Do you have to have a human brain to learn language, or is learning a language just like learning anything else? And are one man’s insights into Amazonian languages sufficient to demolish this theoretical edifice?

Linguists Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy talk to Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Dylan Websdane


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Support for this episode comes from our patrons: Christy, Matt, and Whitney. Thanks, all! Your support gives life its meaning and texture.

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Patreon extras for this episode

Interview with Dan Everett 2016-10-07 (complete)

Cutting Room Floor 265: Universal Grammar 2

265: Universal Grammar 2 (featuring Dan Everett and Lynne Murphy) [128kbps] (for everyone)


Show notes

Warning: Bad linguistics alert

‘Th’ sound to vanish from English language by 2066 because of multiculturalism, say linguists
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/28/th-sound-to-vanish-from-english-language-by-2066-because-of-mult/

Here’s how the English language could sound incredibly different in 50 years
http://www.sciencealert.com/the-english-language-could-sound-incredibly-different-in-50-years-study-finds

Our accents are under threat: dialects may die as computers strip the beauty from language
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/dialect-english-regional-accents

It’s the end of the frog and toad for regional slang, says report
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/29/its-the-end-of-the-frog-and-toad-for-regional-slang-says-report

XKCD:

Better linguistics alert

Researchers are using an app to crowdsource how the English language has changed
http://qz.com/694906/researchers-are-using-an-app-to-crowdsource-how-the-english-language-has-changed/

How do you say ‘scone’? English regional accents decline as ‘southern’ accent becomes widespread
http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/how-do-you-say-scone-english-regional-accents-decline-as-southern-accent-becomes-widespread-11364064620130

How London has killed off elements of local dialects across England – in seven maps
https://www.indy100.com/article/how-london-has-killed-off-elements-of-local-dialects-across-englandin-seven-maps–ZJxofkDwH7Z

New Scientist: The Electric Kool-Aid language test
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2108618-the-electric-kool-aid-language-test/

Dan Everett: Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe? Apparently everyone.
https://daneverettbooks.com/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolfe-apparently-everyone/

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html

A banner day for profanity
https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/a-banner-day-for-profanity/

An Oxford linguist on the dangers of dismissing comments about sexual assault as “locker-room talk”
http://qz.com/807395/donald-trump-oxford-linguist-deborah-cameron-explains-the-dangers-of-dismissing-comments-about-sexual-assault-as-locker-room-talk/

“Locker room” language encourages rape culture, even if it stays private
http://qz.com/806386/donald-trumps-lewd-access-hollywood-video-locker-room-language-encourages-rape-culture/

Lynne Murphy on Twitter: @lynneguist
https://twitter.com/lynneguist

Lynne’s blog: Separated by a Common Language
https://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com.au

Linguistics explains why Trump sounds racist when he says “the” African Americans
http://qz.com/806174/second-presidential-debate-linguistics-explains-why-donald-trump-sounds-racist-when-he-says-the-african-americans/

Everything that was said at the second Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton debate, highlighted
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/09/everything-that-was-said-at-the-second-donald-trump-vs-hillary-clinton-debate-highlighted/

“open mic” and “on the mic”


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Episode 239: Animal Syntax

Other animals don’t have language like we do, but some of them might be getting awfully close.

A recent experiment claims that some birds use a form of syntax — that they combine their signals in a way that’s always been thought to be unique to humans. Are these bird brains on to something?

Linguist Daniel Midgley sets things in order on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Microsoft’s New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours
http://theantimedia.org/microsofts-new-twitter-bot-becomes-nazi-sympathizing-maniac-within-24-hours/

Microsoft: Tay
https://www.tay.ai

Microsoft killed its first sentient AI
https://imgur.com/gallery/VhlAW

Artificially Intelligent Robot Tells Creator It Will Keep Humans “In a People Zoo”
http://theantimedia.org/artificially-intelligent-robot-tells-creator-it-will-keep-humans-in-a-people-zoo/

A new study will figure out if cats pick up the dialects of their owners
http://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-study-will-figure-out-if-cats-pick-up-the-dialects-of-their-owners

WATCH: Do you understand what your cat is saying?
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/watch-do-you-understand-what-your-cat-is-saying

Syntax is not unique to human language
http://phys.org/news/2016-03-syntax-unique-human-language.html

Bird Uses Linguistics Thought to Be Exclusively Human
http://www.i4u.com/2016/03/106816/bird-uses-linguistics-thought-be-exclusively-human

Ape ‘language ace’ gets tripped up by simple grammar
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/ape-language-ace-gets-tripped-simple-grammar

Dendrophobia in Bonobo Comprehension of Spoken English (PDF)
http://evolang.org/neworleans/pdf/EVOLANG_11_paper_87.pdf

$380 million ship may be named Boaty McBoatface thanks to an online poll
http://www.smh.com.au/world/380-million-ship-may-be-named-boaty-mcboatface-thanks-to-an-online-poll-20160320-gnmtvx.html

Commuters salute guard after ‘Trainy McTrainface’ pulls into Waterloo
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/commuters-salute-guard-after-trainy-mctrainface-pulls-into-waterloo-a3209291.html

Mar 14th ’11: “I agree though. He’s definitely Sexy McSexFace. <3”
http://www.babygaga.com/t-1619410/you-watch-army-wives.html

Insulting nicknames involving “face”
http://ask.metafilter.com/166971/Gimme-some-nicknames-Dorks

Simpsons: Rome-old and Juli-eh — the origin of Esteban De La Sexface
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918867/

From Cool McCool to Boaty McBoatface: An Investigationy McInvestigation
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2016/03/25/boaty_mcboatface_mcdreamy_tits_mcgee_and_the_internet_s_favorite_naming.html


Show tunes

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

Image credit: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/birds-use-syntax-humbling-humanity

Episode 237: Hinglish (featuring Sana Bharadwaj)

Hinglish. It’s not Hindi. It’s not English. So what is it?

It’s a hybrid language spoken by about 350 million Indian people. And it’s getting bigger all the time. But what’s it like, and what function does it have for its users?

Linguist and Hinglish speaker Sana Bharadwaj talks to Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

What can wolf dialects say about human language?
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0209/What-can-wolf-dialects-say-about-human-language

The language of wolves: study finds howling ‘dialects’
http://www.slashgear.com/the-language-of-wolves-study-finds-howling-dialects-09426237/

Wolf species have distinctive howling repertoires functioning like dialects, Study finds
http://nhv.us/content/16024253-wolf-species-have-distinctive-howling-repertoires-functioning

Mysterious chimpanzee behaviour may be evidence of ‘sacred’ rituals
https://theconversation.com/mysterious-chimpanzee-behaviour-may-be-evidence-of-sacred-rituals-55512

Mysterious chimpanzee behaviour could be ‘sacred rituals’ and show that chimps believe in god
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mysterious-chimpanzee-behaviour-could-be-sacred-rituals-and-show-that-chimps-believe-in-god-a6911301.html

Gorillas observed ‘singing and humming’ during mealtime: study
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4415568.htm

Wild gorillas hum during dinner.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/seriouslyscience/2016/03/01/wild-gorillas-hum-when-theyre-eating-tasty-food/#.VtrkGMf9Dqo

8 Hinglish phrases made and used by Indians, only!
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/8-hinglish-phrases-made-and-used-by-indians-only/1/414761.html

The rise and rise of Hinglish in India
https://theconversation.com/the-rise-and-rise-of-hinglish-in-india-53476

Will we all be speaking Hinglish one day?
https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/will-we-all-be-speaking-hinglish-one-day

The Hinglish Project: Typeface
http://www.thehinglishproject.com

How Donald Drumpf & The “John Oliver Effect” Have Already Influenced The Presidential Election
http://www.bustle.com/articles/147171-how-donald-drumpf-the-john-oliver-effect-have-already-influenced-the-presidential-election

Someone replaced Donald Trump’s eyes with his mouth and he looks the same
http://mashable.com/2016/02/26/trump-lip-eyes/

We Asked Facial Symmetry Experts About the Science Behind Having a “Punchable Face”
http://mic.com/articles/135809/we-asked-facial-symmetry-experts-about-the-science-behind-having-a-punchable-face#.5GNd6Bhp7

Neurologist explains why it’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s creepy ‘unsettling’ face
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/neurologist-explains-why-its-hard-to-look-at-ted-cruzs-creepy-unsettling-face/

World Wide Words: Zemblanity
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-zem1.htm

15 Crazy Examples Of Insanely Ableist Language
http://thoughtcatalog.com/parker-marie-molloy/2013/10/15-crazy-examples-of-insanely-ableist-language/

Omniglot: Pitman Initial Teaching Alphabet (i.t.a.)
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ita.htm

A passage in the Initial Teaching Alphabet
couboi-smaull-text


Show tunes

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

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