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Because Language - a podcast about linguistics, the science of language.

A weekly Science, Social Sciences and Education podcast
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Episodes of Because Language

This is the second of a two-parter on generativism, the linguistic school of thought originated by Noam Chomsky. This time, it's from the perspective of early-career researchers. How is generativism relevant to them, and how do they regard its
We’re doing a deep dive into generativism, the linguistic school of thought championed by Noam Chomsky. It’s had an enormous impact on the direction of linguistics, and even those who disagree with the generative programme will be at least some
Linguistics as a discipline throws up challenges to Indigenous linguists. At the same time, they're the ones called upon to fix it. It can't stay like this. How do we make linguistics a safe place to work? Daniel, Hedvig, and very special co-ho
OzCLO is the Australian Computational and Linguistic Olympiad. It gets students together to compete and solve linguistic problems. It’s also a gateway to further linguistic study. We’ve brought some of the winning students to compete in a lingu
What we call sometimes Chinese is really a gigantic family of languages. They’re somewhat divided in mutual intelligibility, and somewhat united in their writing system. How are they different, and how are they maintaining themselves? Two Chine
Blog post with show notes: http://becauselanguage.com/29-cultish/ Support the show on Patreon: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ Language helps us build and maintain social relationships. Cults — however we define them — exploit this func
Show notes: http://becauselanguage.com/28-the-cutting-edge/ Become a patron and support the show: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ We're taking over Pint of Science (or are they taking over us?) for this episode! Three researchers are pr
Blog post with show notes and video episode:http://becauselanguage.com/27-its-all-semantics/ Become a patron yourself: http://patreon.com/join/becauselangpod/ Are fish wet? What is bi-weekly? And which Monday is next Monday? We’re solving some
It joins, it divides. It’s disappearing in some places, but it’s stronger than ever in others. For this episode, we’re talking to Professor Pardis Mahdavi, author of Hyphen, an exploration of identity and self as it concerns this confounding li
For many students, university opens up new frontiers of learning — and new ways to be marginalised for their language use. A new book explores the problem of linguistic discrimination in higher education, and how to work toward fixing it. Also:
We're tackling these Mailbag questions with the help of our special guest and star of TikTok, the Layman's Linguist! Where do they say CHUBE instead of TUBE? When did contractions come into English, and why don't characters in period dramas us
What’s a corpsicle? How old is the word hyperspace? Who was the first writer to use the term warp drive? These and many other terms can be found in the landmark work The Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction, and with us is the editor, lexic
There's so much news and research coming out, we can hardly address it all! But we're giving it a try on this episode of Little Words Newsblast Journal Club. Uzbek is romanising Honesty / certainty has a prosodic profile People with "gay-sound
Kamala Harris is the first woman — and woman of colour — to be Vice President of the United States. In the campaign, she had to pull off a tricky task: stay true to her voice and multiple aspects of her identity by employing features of African
More great questions from our Mailbag! How did we get from SUSS (suspect) to SUSS OUT (find out)? Is the J in JORTS part of a portmanteau, or a real live prefix? Why do PEEP, PEEK, and PEER resemble each other? Which acronym etymologies aren't
There's a new show on Netflix, and it's The History of Swearing, featuring Nicolas Cage. Backing him up is a team of researchers, comedians — and one of our favourite lexicographers, Kory Stamper. Kory tells us all about the show on this episod
On this momentous episode, we look back on all the words that made our year. Like, all of them. Including some from other languages. Many words were discussed in the context of the annual vote of the American Dialect Society, but the greatest w
Our Mailbag is at capacity! Time to get to these questions. We have pronouns and proverbs. So why don’t we have proadjectives and proadverbs? Is it on accident, or by accident? What’s the past tense of speedrun? When has a loanword become just
If you love language, and you also love role-playing games with a sci-fi flair, then you're going to want to check out the new game Xenolanguage. It allows players to make first contact and decipher alien messages while working through their ta
Schools are banning words and policing language. It may be a well-meaning attempt to encourage good language habits, but it also perpetuates troubling language ideologies that may be harming the very students that schools are committed to educa
The definition of white supremacy: is it expanding, or are we just getting better at recognising it and its reach? How does white supremacy show itself in language and in linguistics? Kelly Wright talks about her work in sociolinguistics, and h
The questions keep coming! Let’s answer them. Why is “Live Laugh Love” in that order? Why do we talk about “getting out the vote”? Why is the L sound creeping into some words? What can computer languages tell us about human languages? Is there
Aboriginal English has been around a long while, but linguists have not taken the opportunity to really listen to the voices of Aboriginal people. Two researchers are changing that. They're gathering stories to find out what Aboriginal English
These cute critters, once part of a pioneering study in child language acquisition, have become an unofficial mascot of linguistics. But now they’re part of a tussle over intellectual property. We do our best to talk through the Wug test and th
OzCLO is the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad, where Australian high school students compete with others around the world by solving language puzzles. This week, we've invited some of Australia's best students to test their lin
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