Wherein we finally post this collection of tangents in a trenchcoat.

Jump right to:

  • 15:09 Sneaky Question 0: As my high school-aged daughter starts to look towards college, she wants to learn more about the study of linguistics, both in terms of the fundamentals and in terms of cutting edge research. Are there resources beyond your podcast that you can recommend to us?
  • 32:18 Linguistics Thing Of The Day: Phoneme databases and inventories
  • 46:59 Question 1: Where did the phrase “close but no cigar” come from? Where does the phrase “nursing a drink” come from?
  • 57:30 Question 2: During the [2021] live show, you talked about how vowels are fake; with that in mind, would you say that phonemes (as opposed to phones or segments) are or are not fake? Along those lines, what would you say makes one linguistic theory as to how a particular part (say, syntax) of language works better than another, if anything?
  • 01:17:40 The puzzler: The American rapper Watsky put out albums in 2019, 2020, and 2023, named Complaint, Placement, and Intention. The album cover art features the album name in all caps, as large as possible. Why did he choose those album names?

Covered in this episode:

  • Linguistics at the University of Campinas and the Brazilian Linguistics education system
  • Generative Linguistics and syntax
  • Should theories of language be good or just look pretty in LaTeX?
  • Resources for linguistics students
  • Phonetic databases and inventories and why they’re useful
  • #LingComm and linguistics memes for online teens (like @lingshits
  • Vowels are, as we have said before and will say again, fake, and also all the same
  • Consonants are real though, like ɬ (aka Voiceless Alvie)
  • The sounds coming out of your mouth are probably not the ones you think
  • Whether you should give cigars to students

Links and other post-show thoughts:

Our guest host:

Find Severo on Instagram at @severolinguista and @latinisteria, and check out his merch there as well at @glotalica!

Ask us questions:

Send your questions (text or voice memo) to questions@linguisticsafterdark.com, or find us as @lxadpodcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Jenny transcribes, and Sarah does show notes. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod, and the drumroll sound is by ddohler.

And until next time… if you weren’t consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth, now you are :)