8 episodes

Linguistics After Dark is a podcast where three linguists (and sometimes other people) answer your burning questions about language, linguistics, and whatever else you need advice about. We have three rules: any question is fair game, there's no research allowed, and if we can't answer, we have to drink.

It's a little like CarTalk for language: call us if your language is making a funny noise, and we'll get to the bottom of it, with a lot of rowdy discussion and nerdy jokes along the way. At the beginning of the show, we introduce a new linguistics term, and there's even a puzzler at the end!

Linguistics After Dark Linguistics After Dark

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 23 Ratings

Linguistics After Dark is a podcast where three linguists (and sometimes other people) answer your burning questions about language, linguistics, and whatever else you need advice about. We have three rules: any question is fair game, there's no research allowed, and if we can't answer, we have to drink.

It's a little like CarTalk for language: call us if your language is making a funny noise, and we'll get to the bottom of it, with a lot of rowdy discussion and nerdy jokes along the way. At the beginning of the show, we introduce a new linguistics term, and there's even a puzzler at the end!

    LxAD @ CrossingsCon Announcement

    LxAD @ CrossingsCon Announcement

    Hello, and welcome to Linguistics After Dark! I'm Sarah, and this not really an episode—it's another teaser for next week's live show at CrossingsCon: Slipping Sideways. At 7pm New York time, Tuesday August 3rd, we'll be doing a live episode with real questions from real audience members! That's you!

    The convention is free to attend, and throughout the rest of the week, your beloved podcast team (that's us!) will be participating in several other cool events as well!

    On Wednesday August 4th, at 8pm New York time, Eli will be running a pub-quiz-style general knowledge trivia game for anyone who wants to attend.

    On Friday August 6th, at 6pm New York time, Eli will also be joining writers CB Lee, Ursula Vernon, and Cat Valente to play Baron Munchausen, a wild and ridiculous semi-cooperative story-telling game.

    Then I'll be hosting and Jenny will be appearing on a panel about the creation and use of conlangs, currently scheduled for 8pm New York time on Friday August 6th. That one might change, so keep an eye on the website.

    And finally, as promised in our last live show, Eli and I will join our friend Dash to talk about the linguistics and archaelogy of the game Heaven's Vault. We'll be doing that on Saturday August 7th, at 7pm New York time.

    We hope to see you at as many of these events as possible, and we welcome you to check out crossingscon.org/events to get a full run-down of the whole convention. Thanks!

    And if you weren't consciously aware of your tongue in your mouth… now y'are :)

    • 1 min
    Bonus Episode: LxAD LIVE @ #LingFest

    Bonus Episode: LxAD LIVE @ #LingFest

    Check out the events from #LingFest 2021 at https://lingcomm.org/lingfest/, and get hype for CrossingsCon 21: Slipping Sideways, running from August 1-8 on Gather, with more information at https://crossingscon.org/. Our show has not been assigned a time slot yet, but we'll make sure to announce it as soon as we have one!

    ⁌⁍ ⁌⁍ ⁌⁍

    Wherein we are LIVE.

    Jump right to:

    coming soon!

    Covered in this episode:

    coming soon!

    Links and other post-show thoughts:

    coming soon!

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

    Credits:
    Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli  edits, Sarah and Jenny transcribe and do show notes. Live captioning for  this episode was done by Kelli Murphy from eCaptions. Our music is "Covert Affair" by Kevin MacLeod.

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

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Announcement: Linguistics After Dark LIVE!

    Announcement: Linguistics After Dark LIVE!

    Hi everyone! We have two big Linguistics After Dark announcements for you.

    The first announcement is: we're still here! We have two episodes that are in fact recorded and waiting to be edited, so look for those in the next little bit.

    The second announcement is that we'll be doing a live show! We'll be taking questions from all of you while streaming on April 24th at 3pm Eastern. All of this is a part of LingFest, an online festival with some really cool linguistics events happening. Go to https://linguisticsafterdark.com/lingfest for more info and to get the link to the stream.

    Thanks for sticking with us and we hope to see you in the stream on April 24!

    • 1 min
    Episode 5: Schwa de Vivre

    Episode 5: Schwa de Vivre

    Wherein we talk a LOT.

    Jump right to:

    1:50 The International Phonetic Alphabet
    30:59 Corrections
    36:08 Question 1: Computer languages: Are they languages (in a linguistic sense)? They have rules, syntax, even dialects. They can express certain complex ideas better than English, but they cannot (easily) express arbitrary ideas.
    44:50 Question 2: What causes a compound word like ‘bluebird’ (a bird that is blue) to become bahuvrihi like ‘Blackbeard’ (not a beard that is black, but someone who has a black beard)?
    58:31 Question 3: If you could snap your fingers and know a new language, what would it be? (Like taking a point in D&D linguistics, you know the language as if you were a native speaker.) No rules, no restrictions (unless you want to pick one per category: real, commonly used; real, uncommonly used; real, dead; fake movie language; conlang).
    1:10:55 Last week’s puzzler’s answer
    1:12:50 The new puzzler: Three incandescent lightbulbs in a room, three lightswitches outside the room. You can look inside the room once and only once, after which you must decide which lightswitch controls which lightbulb.

    Covered in this episode:

    The IPA (developed by the IPA) ≠ an IPA, although Eli occasionally enjoys the latter too
    ɹ, ə, æ, ʃ, Ʒ, ŋ, œ
    Apple’s consistent failing of linguists
    Cursive IPA, which apparently exists
    How to learn IPA
    “Bendy banana vowels”
    Diphthong? Dip-thong? Dip-tong? It’s up to you, really
    Computer languages have semantics but not pragmatics
    A return of Gricean maxims having relevance (so to speak)
    Compound words in Dutch versus in English
    The gradual squishing-together of English compound words
    “Website” is a single word, congrats to the AP style guide on finally joining the 21st century
    Grilled cheese is not made on a barbeque
    Agglutinative vs polysynthetic mostly means “where do you put the spaces”
    Producer Jenny with the LOTR linguistic hot take
    Producer Jenny with the (basic) elvish linguistic history
    Zulu is neat and has interesting noun classes/gender-that-isn’t-gender
    Sign languages are awesome and should have more research done on them!!
    Also ASL is just a very useful second language in the US
    This podcast exists because of Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series on multiple levels and y’all should read it (or listen! The audiobooks are so good!)

    Links and other post-show thoughts:

    IPA chart
    the Summer Institute of Linguistics
    cursive IPA totally was a thing
    typeit.org, and the Patreon
    Agglutinative vs polysynthetic languages and more!
    The Elvish languages mentioned: Quenya, Sindarin, and their shared ancestor, Common Eldarin (i.e., basically, “language of the elves”)
    Native Listening
    The Car Talk puzzle source

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

    Credits:
    Linguistics After Dark is produced by Emfozzing Enterprises. Eli edits, Sarah and Jenny transcribe and do show notes. Our music is “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod.

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

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 4: The HOA of Francophones

    Episode 4: The HOA of Francophones

    Wherein we frequently get off topic and get angry at Les Immortels.

    Jump right to:

    1:08 Things Sarah Is Mad About Once She Did the Show Notes
    3:39 Linguistic Thing of the Day: Borrowing!
    8:00 L’Académie Française is annoying
    22:27 Are there languages other than Irish that have the concept of helping vowels?
    33:51 How do linguistic rules emerge?
    51:36 Canadian raising! What actually is it?
    1:09:00 The puzzler: Why are these birds flying in from different directions?

    Covered in this episode:

    A very hardcore church named All Souls Parish
    Calques vs loanwords
    Sarah mispronouncing the Spanish word for “avocado”
    Epenthetic schwa and syllabic consonants
    Should linguists get swords?
    L’Académie Française does not know how language works
    Anglish
    Languages are not mathematical constructs
    How phonetic inventories and stress patterns differ between languages
    Lenition isn’t lazy, it’s economical!
    Pidgins are not pigeons (though neither has syntax)
    Linguistic redundancy
    Adopting children and/or giving them piggyback rides
    Vowels are like a shopping cart, or maybe a trombone
    Whitney Houston
    Emordnilaps

    Links and other post-show thoughts:

    Louisiana sort of has the Mary/marry/merry merger
    ⟨scooch⟩ predates ⟨skosh⟩ and is not related! Nor is either related to ⟨skoosh⟩.
    All about Anglish! And all about physics in Anglish: Uncleftish Beholding
    Epenthesis, and more about its presence in Ireland and the UK.
    The “Castilian lisp” is indeed not out of deference to a king, nor is it actually a lisp, but that folk-explanation apparently dates back to the late 1300s.
    ⟨hƿæt⟩/⟨hwæt⟩ gives us ⟨what⟩ and also some Discourse
    Native Listening (the book where Sarah read about that Spanish/English/Dutch word-stress study)
    Some online things related to that
    Lenition of consonants follows reliable patterns.
    Eli said a quote wrong! It should have been "Eventually, you sell enough fish together, you decide to have a kid." -Tom Purnell, Eli’s sociolinguistics professor
    Gretchen McC on the basic English vowel cart
    Canadian raising diagrams and audio examples
    We’re grateful that you could bear with us

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

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

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Episode 3: The Gospel of the Wug

    Episode 3: The Gospel of the Wug

    ​Wherein we make wugability happen and invoke rule three.

    Jump right to:

    3:40 The Part Where We Say The Title
    20:22 Are clicks consonants?
    30:22 Why do people like some words and hate others?
    43:53 An uncharacteristically serious discussion about conversational styles and their relation or lack thereof to gender
    65:18 The puzzler: What do the words ASSESS/BANANA/DRESSER/GRAMMAR/POTATO/REVIVE/UNEVEN/VOODOO have in common?

    Covered in this episode:

    The parts of linguistics we secretly don’t like
    The ablaut of yeet
    An inadvertent All The Stations shoutout
    Jenny just says Walrus
    Send us law questions!
    The official LxAD Linguistics Hot Takes
    Clicks, Ingressives, Ejectives, and... the other ones
    Aaron/Erin is the new Mary/marry/merry
    Phonesthemes
    Bubu and Kiki
    Our show notes have research!
    Words are fake, but there’s a spectrum of reality
    It’s like chai, but coffee
    Meta language is important even for laypeople!
    High school teachers know the dank memes of today—sometimes
    If you say the food "herb" with an "h" you're wrong but valid
    Optimality theory easter egg?

    Links and other post-show thoughts:

    The original Wug Test by Jean Berko Gleason
    So far Sarah has not found the German study that she referenced, but has learned a lot about The Discourse around what constitutes irregularity in German. If you have information about this, let us know!
    ⟨snuck⟩ is indeed newer than ⟨sneaked⟩
    Ohio 2
    Choose your favorite wug plural
    JBG’s Wug Store
    Vowels are still a hot mess
    The Other Consonants are called pulmonic consonants, which means that technically ejectives and ingressives are also not made using air from your lungs. We learned a thing.
    Phonesthemes are super cool!
    Bubu and kiki are also super cool!
    Another optimality theory joke
    There are new episode-specific highlights on our Instagram, with fancy highlight art!

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

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

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

duzk mu ,

Next episode please

💯

SpaceyDaisy ,

Wish there were more episodes but I love watching it evolve

Love this podcast! It’s got something for newbies and people familiar with linguistics

I was super surprised to hear my field mentioned (forensic ling) and will have to check out that podcast!

Seilide ,

“Schwa de Vivre”

... is the worst pun I’ve ever heard, and I love it. This podcast has that perfect balance between informative and fun. Subscribed and looking forward to the next episode!

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