Wherein we #GiveLinguistsSwords.
Two notes about this episode:
- This recording cut out a lot of background noise and claps/cheers, so if there is a weird volume jump up or down, it’s us doing our best to keep the audio listenable.
- We also have a rich text transcript, since there are a lot of non-English words and word mentions in this episode, and our normal plaintext transcript can’t do italics.
Jump right to:
- 00:04:42 Is syntax fake?
- 00:10:14 Favorite and least favorite words
- 00:23:48 How has profanity evolved with language?
- 00:34:40 What are the rules for onomatopoeia and how do they differ across languages?
- 00:41:13 What is lenition?
- 00:47:56 How do puns work in other languages?
- 01:02:15 What are fricatives?
- 01:02:33 The LxAD backstory
- 01:06:19 The first time we bring up L’Académie
- 01:08:12 Dead languages work poorly on the internet
- 01:12:44 Best stories of word mix-ups
- 01:18:12 How do colors work in different languages?
- 01:29:01 “It’s all Greek to me”
- 01:29:55 Where did the word orange come from?
- 01:31:36 Dialect-dependent homophones
- 01:34:56 What’s the most useless part of language?
- 01:40:29 Why is English spelling wonderful?
- 01:59:42 Sarah has to pronounce the hardest IPA sounds
- 02:07:30 The Thing At The End
Covered in this episode:
- Kewpie mayo
- That feeling you get when someone else is suffering and you’re just glad it’s not you
- How to be rude and insulting but still G-rated
- Translator love
- On a scale of dead to Amish…
- How to accidentally come on to someone in Spanish and ASL
- Dessus vs. dessous
Links and other post-show thoughts:
- Optimality theory
- NativLang on hieroglyphs/rebuses (video 4)
- 01:14:04 “estoy calor” was probably meant to be “estoy caliente”
- The color orange is not actually etymologically related to the House of Orange
- Terry Pratchett story Sarah recounted (use first capture), plus other articles about translating his work and also the thing about Moist von Lipwig and another excellent French bit
- Emily Wilson’s Odyssey
- Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf
- Turkish spelling reform info (These links are just a start, and it turns out that replacing “foreign” words was part of the reform, so retaining their spelling was indeed antithetical)
- Chinese character simplification info
- William Caxton and the printing press
- History of English podcast
- The development of of the word “moose” is even weirder than we knew
- Geoffrey Pullum actually borrowed the phrase “zombie rules” from Arnold Zwicky
- It’s all Greek to me
Ask us questions:
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Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Luca edits, Sarah does show notes, transcription is a team effort. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod. Join us at linguisticsafterdark.com/volunteer! And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)