Category: cognition (page 1 of 4)

Episode 290: Language Does Not Determine Your Thoughts (Whorfianism 1)

Does language influence the way we think?

Many people have thought so. And this thought has worked its way into an enormously popular idea called the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Yet linguists often dismiss this idea as unfounded. So what’s the story?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie begin an exploration of language, perception, and mind on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Fathers’ brains respond differently to daughters than sons
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170525100325.htm

Child gender influences paternal behavior, language, and brain function.
http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/bne0000199

No one could see the colour blue until modern times
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-is-blue-and-how-do-we-see-color-2015-2

How Speaking Another Language Can Change Your Personality
https://curiosity.com/topics/how-speaking-another-language-can-change-your-personality-curiosity/

How the language you speak changes your view of the world
https://theconversation.com/how-the-language-you-speak-changes-your-view-of-the-world-40721

Bylund and Athanasopoulos: The Whorfian Time Warp: Representing Duration Through the Language Hourglass.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28447839

The Language You Speak Affects How Your Brain Experiences The Passage Of Time
http://www.ibtimes.com/language-you-speak-affects-how-your-brain-experiences-passage-time-2533953

The language you speak changes your perception of time
http://www.popsci.com.au/science/the-language-you-speak-changes-your-perception-of-time,461144

Australian National Dictionary Centre: Word Box
http://andc.anu.edu.au/webform/word-box

Fidget Spinners: What They Are, How They Work and Why the Controversy
http://www.livescience.com/58916-fidget-spinner-faq.html

Patent for “Spinning toy : US 5591062 A”
https://www.google.com/patents/US5591062

How the fidget spinner origin story spun out of control
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-fidget-spinner-origin-story-20170515-story.html

Millions sold: Was the original fidget spinner made in Suquamish?
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/our-high-end-fidget-spinner-will-beat-the-competition-local-makers-say/

Yes, guy rompers are a real thing. Here are 12 styles to consider
http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-rompers-for-men-20170525-htmlstory.html

Why everyone is suddenly talking about male rompers
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/17/health/male-romper-romphim-trend-trnd/

The Hottest Bro-Rompers for Men to Rock!
http://www.ebony.com/style/bro-rompers

WALS Online: Feature 78A: Coding of Evidentiality
http://wals.info/feature/78A#2/16.6/149.6


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Episode 287: What Is a Sandwich?

What exactly is a sandwich?

The question is tearing the internet apart. Is a hot dog a sandwich? What about a burrito? But how do we even know what a sandwich is? Or anything else?

We have an answer, but it’s going to take us through some weird semantic territory on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Carly Laden


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Show notes

Stephen Fry on God | The Meaning Of Life | RTÉ One

Stephen Fry faces blasphemy probe after God comments
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39830447

Police launch blasphemy probe against Stephen Fry for calling ‘God’ monstrous
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/05/06/police-launch-blasphemy-probe-against-stephen-fry-for-calling-god-monstrous/

BHA defends its patron Stephen Fry in face of Irish blasphemy probe
https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/06/bha-defends-its-patron-stephen-fry-in-face-of-irish-blasphemy-probe/

Swearing Makes You Stronger And Increases Stamina, Study Finds
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/swearing-stronger-more-stamina-strength-study-swear-words-university-keele-a7718981.html

Strong language: swearing makes you stronger, psychologists confirm
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/05/strong-language-swearing-makes-you-stronger-psychologists-confirm

Seebs, is a hotdog a sandwich?
http://glossylalia.tumblr.com/post/151262613501/seebs-is-a-hotdog-a-sandwich-i-mean-its-got-the

The sandwich alignment chart that’s tearing the internet apart
http://mashable.com/2017/05/03/sandwich-chart-hot-dog/

Kylie’s approach
Sorry, Merriam-Webster, but Hot Dogs Are Not Sandwiches
http://www.arrantpedantry.com/2016/06/15/sorry-merriam-webster-but-hot-dogs-are-not-sandwiches/

Cups and glasses: learning that boundaries are vague
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-child-language/article/cups-and-glasses-learning-that-boundaries-are-vague/4DE33B9F26DB68DB3FACBEB69DBB304B

Labov’s cups, mugs, glasses, and jugs
Google Books link

Family Resemblance in Wittgenstein
http://www.philosophy-index.com/wittgenstein/family-resemblance/

Wittgenstein: Language-games and Family Resemblance
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/#LangGameFamiRese

From Statistics to Meaning: Infants’ Acquisition of Lexical Categories
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865606/

Twelve-Month-Old Infants Benefit From Prior Experience in Statistical Learning
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967014/

Agate Rooms (Agate Chamber or Cold Baths)
http://saint-petersburg.guide/pushkin/agate-rooms-(agate-chamber-or-cold-baths)

A linguistic prejudice called native-speakerism (annoying ads)
https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/politics-of-grammar/a-linguistic-prejudice-called-native-speakerism/180756.html

Relevant Reddit thread
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/69j8ya/a_linguistic_prejudice_called_nativespeakerism/

Native and Nonnative Teachers of L2 Pronunciation: Effects on Learner Performance (paywall)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesq.272/full

TEFL Equity Advocates
https://teflequityadvocates.com

Stephen Fry blasphemy probe dropped after gardaí fail to find ‘substantial number of outraged people’
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/stephen-fry-blasphemy-probe-dropped-after-garda-fail-to-find-substantial-number-of-outraged-people-35692915.html


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Episode 284: Feral Children

What can we learn about language from children who grew up without it?

People are fascinated by stories of “feral children”, raised apart from human contact. Can these children ever learn language, once they’re found? And what does this tell us about the human language faculty?

Daniel and Ben take a critical look at the stories on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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Show notes

AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/13/ai-programs-exhibit-racist-and-sexist-biases-research-reveals

Scientists Taught A Robot Language. It Immediately Turned Racist.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhisubbaraman/robot-racism-through-language

An AI stereotype catcher
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6334/133

Google searches expose racial bias, says study of names
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-21322183

The ‘three black teenagers’ search shows it is society, not Google, that is racist
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/10/three-black-teenagers-google-racist-tweet

Meet the 8-year-old girl raised by monkeys
http://nypost.com/2017/04/06/meet-the-8-year-old-girl-raised-by-monkeys/

Girl found living with monkeys in Indian forest
https://apnews.com/9bb6522fe5c642a38a62bd7f99b23708

Indian girl found in jungle was not living with monkeys, officials say
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/indian-girl-found-in-jungle-was-not-living-with-monkeys-officials-say

Elissa Newport: Contrasting Conceptions of the Critical Period for Language
Google Books link

The History of Herodotus
http://classics.mit.edu/Herodotus/history.2.ii.html

Erik The Flutemaker: Egyptian Flute (used with permission)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnyW3R-v19Y

Erik’s YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/theflutemaker

The King of Scotland’s Peculiar Language Experiment
http://mentalfloss.com/article/75378/king-scotlands-peculiar-language-experiment

A creepy 15th century language experiment took place on this island
http://io9.gizmodo.com/a-creepy-15th-century-language-experiment-took-place-on-1484724484?IR=T

Peter Mundy’s account of Emperor Akbar
Google Books link

The Critical Period for Language Acquisition and Feral Children
https://sites.psu.edu/psych256sp16/2016/04/21/the-critical-period-for-language-acquisition-and-feral-children/

Wikipedia: Amala and Kamala
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amala_and_Kamala

Starved, tortured, forgotten: Genie, the feral child who left a mark on researchers
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/14/genie-feral-child-los-angeles-researchers

The Heartbreaking Story Of Genie, A Feral Child Who Will Never Learn To Communicate
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/critical-period-for-language-acquisition-2013-10#xFbIh50RV7uI6TRo.99

Feral Children in Fact and Fiction
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/feral_children_in_fact_and_fiction/

Urban Dictionary: re-accommodate
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=re-accommodate

Flight or fight? United’s ‘re-accommodation’ of passenger a colossal mistake
http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/flight-or-fight-uniteds-reaccommodation-of-passenger-a-colossal-mistake-20170410-gvi842.html

United C.E.O. offers the worst possible response to the airline’s P.R. disaster
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/united-airlines-oscar-munoz

New United logo
http://imgur.com/gallery/SQLY2

Wiktionary: voluntell
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/voluntell

The Rice University Neologisms Database: voluntold
http://neologisms.rice.edu/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=7413

Slate: Why Do We Hate Certain Words? The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2013/04/word_aversion_hate_moist_slacks_crevice_why_do_people_hate_words.html

Urban Dictionary: jawn
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jawn

The Enduring Mystery Of ‘Jawn’, Philadelphia’s All-Purpose Noun
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-enduring-mystery-of-jawn-philadelphias-allpurpose-noun

Read This: The history of “jawn,” Philadelphia’s favorite all-purpose word
http://www.avclub.com/article/read-history-jawn-philadelphias-favorite-all-purpo-234368

Funky 4+1 Thats The Joint (Vinyl High Quality)
https://youtu.be/FzuskHUux6U

Language Hat: JAWN.
http://languagehat.com/jawn/


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Episode 282: Why Subject First? (featuring Hedvig Skirgård)

This episode going to love you are!

Here’s a linguistic puzzle: Why does “I like you” sound okay, but “Like you I” sounds weird and Yoda-ish? Well, that’s just how English rolls: subjects come first. But surprisingly, most other human languages put their subjects first, too. But why?

Ben, Daniel, and Hedvig get structural on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Show notes

Hedvig’s blog: Humans Who Read Grammars
http://humans-who-read-grammars.blogspot.com

Sarcasm looks the same in the brain whether it’s words or emoji
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sarcasm-looks-same-brain-whether-its-words-or-emoji

Smiley Lore 🙂
https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sef/sefSmiley.htm

Gender-neutral emoji approved for 2017
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/03/28/gender-neutral-emoji-approved-2017/

10 Important Conversations We Can Finally Have With the 69 New Emojis Just Announced
http://www.eonline.com/news/839141/10-important-conversations-we-can-finally-have-with-the-69-new-emojis-just-announced

This Year’s New Emoji Include a Hedgehog, Barf, and Brain, and, Yes, Finally, a Merman
http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/03/these-69-new-emoji-might-be-coming-to-your-phone-soon.html

Final 2017 Emoji List
http://blog.emojipedia.org/final-2017-emoji-list/

Reply All: #69 Disappeared (about YAAAS)
https://gimletmedia.com/episode/69-disappeared/

Feature 81A: Order of Subject, Object and Verb
http://wals.info/feature/81A#1/18/153

How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-understand-the-deep-structures-of-language/

Charades reveals a universal sentence structure
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14228-charades-reveals-a-universal-sentence-structure/

At the origin of language structure
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150827083532.htm

Charades does not reveal a universal sentence structure II
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=326

Why are some word orders more common than others? A uniform information density account
http://papers.nips.cc/paper/4085-why-are-some-word-orders-more-common-than-others-a-uniform-information-density-account.pdf

Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/30/political-correctness-how-the-right-invented-phantom-enemy-donald-trump


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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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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 256: Numbers

One, two, three… Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

And yet different languages express numbers in very different ways. How are they handled in our brains? And how did –illion get to be the suffix for truly astronomical sums?

Linguist Daniel Midgley runs the numbers on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Cole Healy


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Show notes

First major database of non-native English
http://phys.org/news/2016-07-major-database-non-native-english.html

Treebank of Learner English
http://esltreebank.org

Is “one, two, many” a myth?
https://numberwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/is-one-two-many-a-myth/

What Happens When a Language Has No Numbers?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/10/16/piraha_cognitive_anumeracy_in_a_language_without_numbers.html

The Munduruku people: Can You Count Your Chickens?
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/can-you-count-your-chickens

Big and small numbers are processed in different sides of the brain
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160304092755.htm

Both hemispheres of the brain process numbers
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160127083844.htm

Brain processes which lead to the concept of ‘zero’ on the number line
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160421133944.htm

Time and numbers mix together in the brain
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/afps-tan071911.php

Australian Aboriginal enumeration
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_enumeration

Joan Rivers: her best one-liners
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/comedy/11064386/Joan-Rivers-her-best-one-liners.html

Why Is It ‘Eleven, Twelve’ Instead of ‘Oneteen, Twoteen’?
http://mentalfloss.com/article/76007/why-it-eleven-twelve-instead-oneteen-twoteen

French Numbers 1-100
http://blogs.transparent.com/french/french-numbers-1-100/

kasnas-blueberry-muffinpoptarts-source-quasi-normalcy-kellhorreur-sadjadewithcake-french-sixty-seven-sixty-eight-2474484

Number Systems of the World
http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/language/number.html

The Number System of Huli
http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/language/number/huli.html

The Number System of Yoruba
http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/language/number/yoruba.html

The Number System of Ndom
http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/ts/language/number/ndom.html

12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages
http://mentalfloss.com/article/31879/12-mind-blowing-number-systems-other-languages

Vocabulary.com: You Be “-Illion”!
https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/dictionary/you-be-illion/

MILLIONS and BILLIONS…..
http://www.dozenalsociety.org.uk/numbers/millions.htm

-Illion Numbers
http://www.polytope.net/hedrondude/illion.htm

Names for Large Numbers
https://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/large.html

American / Japanese Higher Numbers
http://www.trussel.com/jnumbers.htm

Public urged to track ‘nurdles’ on Scotland’s beaches
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-36211895

Proud to Love Nerds!
http://www.candyfavorites.com/a-nerd-tastic-history

Gaelic: Counting Objects
http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/articles/grammar/counting-objects/

How to Count to 10 in Irish
http://www.wikihow.com/Count-to-10-in-Irish

Berliner, Krapfen und Pfannkuchen
http://www.zeit.de/zeit-magazin/2014/53/pfannkuchen-berliner-sprache-deutschlandkarte

US Dialect maps:
caramelpecan


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Episode 243: Synaesthesia

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.


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Show notes

Higgledy-piggledy
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=higgledy-piggledy

The Kiki-Bouba effect
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-bouba-kiki-effect/

Google Books just won a decade-long copyright fight
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/04/18/google-books-just-won-a-decade-long-copyright-fight/

Google wins book-scanning copyright case against Authors Guild
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-19/google-wins-long-running-book-scanning-copyright-case/7336622

Google’s Court Victory Is Good for Scholarly Authors. Here’s Why.
http://chronicle.com/article/Google-s-Court-Victory-Is/233940

Synesthesia: Why some people hear color, taste sounds
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150413214343.htm

Some Rules of Language are Wired in the Brain
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-rules-of-language-are-wired-in-the-brain/

Study links synaesthesia with coloured fridge magnets
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/24/synaesthesia

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/03/04/synesthesia-based-alphabet-magnets/

Synaesthesia could help us understand how the brain processes language
https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2016/feb/26/synaesthesia-could-help-us-understand-how-the-brain-processes-language

Paper: Processing compound words: Evidence from synaesthesia (paywall)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027716300075

V.S. Ramachandran and E.M. Hubbard: Synaesthesia — A Window Into Perception, Thought and Language (long read, but worth it)
http://www.imprint.co.uk/rama/synaesthesia.pdf

Weak Synesthesia in Perception and Language (paywall)
http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199603329.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199603329-e-038

Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/why-cool-is-still-cool.html?_r=1

The Birth of Cool
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/cool_story/2013/10/cool_the_etymology_and_history_of_the_concept_of_coolness.html

froobs blog: bork megapost
http://froobs.tumblr.com/post/134822731279/bork-megapost

Stop It Son, You Are Doing Me A Frighten
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/stop-it-son-you-are-doing-me-a-frighten

@ProBirdRights on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ProBirdRights

What Do Swedes Think of the Swedish Chef?
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/08/swedish_chef_what_do_swedes_think_of_him_they_think_he_sounds_norwegian_.html

Understanding the Swedish Pitch Accent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXp7_Sjgm34

Brr: It’s in the Duden, the official German dictionary
http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/brr

Cold Comfort: Is Brr Meant to be Spoken, or Only Written?http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/01/26/cold-comfort/


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

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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


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Episode 235: Worst Words (featuring Don Watson)

Are our vocabularies shrinking? Is bureaucratic double-talk a sinister form of code designed to short-circuit original thought?

Author Don Watson thinks so, and explains why in his latest book Worst Words. But how does his view stack up to language science?

Don Watson goes head to head with linguist Daniel Midgley on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

UNESCO: International Mother Language Day
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-mother-language-day-2016/

Language in school: If you don’t understand, how can you learn
https://efareport.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/language-in-school-if-you-dont-understand-how-can-you-learn/

‘40% have no access to education in own language’
http://en.prothom-alo.com/international/news/95665/‘40%25-have-no-access-to-education-in-own-language’

Aboriginal minister Bess Price denied request to speak Indigenous language in NT Parliament
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-18/nt-warlpiri-minister-denied-request-to-speak-indigenous-language/7178298

Minister Chastised For Speaking Indigenous Language On Indigenous Land.
http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/02/19/minister-chastised-speaking-indigenous-language-indigenous-land

Worst Words: A compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon
http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/don-watson/watsons-word-wisdom-9780857983442.aspx

Don Watson on the warpath against Worst Words
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/don-watson-on-the-warpath-against-worst-words/news-story/3d997f3c60acfd8fd69aa8e65236a08d

Worst Words review: Don Watson fires up on howlers, expressions and bad language
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/worst-words-review-don-watson-fires-up-on-howlers-expressions-and-bad-language-20151207-glh17i.html

Late Night Live: Don Watson’s worst words
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/don/6948354

Etymonline: attrit
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=attrit

Does the average American student have less vocabulary today than in days gone by?
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2724/does-the-average-american-student-have-less-vocabulary-today-than-in-days-gone-by

Vocabulary Test Results Show Top U.S. Students Losing Ground, Others Stagnate
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/vocabulary-test-results-us_n_2249647.html

Fast-growing tumbleweed called hairy panic blows into Australian city
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/18/fast-growing-tumbleweed-called-hairy-panic-blows-into-australian-city

Comment: Are ‘frolleagues’ replacing our friends?
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/02/18/comment-are-frolleagues-replacing-our-friends

Urban Dictionary: frolleague
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=frolleague

Groucho Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/grouchomar146422.html

From Monica: Copywriting Fundamentals: How to Write in Plain English
http://thecopycollective.com/copywriting-fundamentals-how-to-write-in-plain-english/


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

Episode 220: Not So Arbitrary

Why do words appear the way they do?

Why aren’t words the same in every language?

Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make any sense. But new research shows that maybe language is not as arbitrary as it seems.

Linguist Daniel Midgley makes sense of the chaos on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

James Chapman’s Tumblr blog
http://chapmangamo.tumblr.com

20 Actually Useful Chengyu (成语)
http://carlgene.com/blog/2010/07/20-actually-useful-chengyu-成语/

How to say “third wheel” in French?
https://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101120103032AAU5Jcf

LiveJournal: third wheel
http://linguaphiles.livejournal.com/3313785.html

Third wheel? Fifth wheel? (Try control-clicking on the lines to make them collapse.)

“Play gooseberry”
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/play+gooseberry

Buzzfeed: What Noises Do Animals Make In Other Languages? Here Is An Important Guide
http://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/what-noises-do-animals-make-in-other-languages-here-is-an-im#.ic7P18xW4

Epic of Gilgamesh Summary
http://www.shmoop.com/gilgamesh/summary.html

Lost ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ Verse Depicts Cacophonous Abode of Gods
http://www.livescience.com/52372-new-tablet-gilgamesh-epic.html

The Newly Discovered Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh
http://etc.ancient.eu/2015/09/24/giglamesh-enkidu-humbaba-cedar-forest-newest-discovered-tablet-v-epic/

Back to the Cedar Forest: The beginning and end of Tablet V of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgameš
http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/18512/

Points of similarity between the Babylonian and Noachian flood stories
http://www.religioustolerance.org/noah_com.htm

On the Arbitrary Nature of Linguistic Sign
http://www.academypublication.com/issues/past/tpls/vol02/01/07.pdf

Hockett’s features of human language
http://people.exeter.ac.uk/bosthaus/Lecture/hockett1.htm

Hockett on arbitrariness and iconicity
http://ideophone.org/hockett-on-arbitrariness-and-iconicity/

Saussure knew about iconicity, despite his focus on arbitrariness
http://hiphilangsci.net/2014/08/06/saussures-sound-symbolism/

Wikipedia: Koro language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koro_language_(India)

Koro–the psychological disappearance of the penis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17727356

Koro Syndrome: The Irrational Fear of Lethal Genital Shrinkage
http://io9.com/5944722/koro-syndrome-the-irrational-fear-of-lethal-genital-shrinkage

Wiktionary: koro
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/koro

Languages less arbitrary than long assumed
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001130050.htm

Finding iconicity in spoken languages
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/uom-fii090915.php

Arbitrariness, Iconicity, and Systematicity in Language
http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/abstract/S1364-6613(15)00177-1?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1364661315001771%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Road to language learning is iconic
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143705.htm

Language Hat: Gluckschmerz
http://languagehat.com/gluckschmerz/

Schadenfreude Is in the Zeitgeist, but Is There an Opposite Term?
http://www.wsj.com/articles/schadenfreude-is-in-the-zeitgeist-but-is-there-an-opposite-term-1434129186


Show tunes

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

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