4 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, 10 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!

    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
    Episode 2: Juno's Geese

    Episode 2: Juno's Geese

    Wherein we discuss how linguistics is everywhere but linguists are nowhere, and introduce the concept of the unsolicited etymology swear jar.

    Jump right to:


    01:33 “Universal” word lists, bad puns, and university “field work” stories
    07:25 What composes an accent? What counts as a dialect? What about “little kid speak”?
    24:16 What are the most valuable ways linguistics can improve society?
    45:45 Favorite ridiculous etymologies
    54:31 The puzzler: What do the words JOB, POLISH, and HERB have in common?

    Covered in this episode:


    We love Car Talk
    Dialects and accents often overlap but are not the same thing
    Dialects and registers also often overlap but are not the same thing
    Obligatory “A language is just a dialect with an army and a navy.”
    Linguistics After Dark has no official positions on contentious geopolitical issues
    Understanding the value of descriptivism and the reality of language evolution
    Hot takes on regional identity in the UK vs North America vs California
    Why don’t journalists know that linguists exist?
    A story that has nothing to do with financial advising, and everything to do with geese
    OK is the only acronym etymology that’s all correct

    Links and other post-show thoughts:


    Swadesh’s first name was Morris
    Mutual intelligibility on the Deutsch/Dutch border
    More mutual intelligibility, including Scandinavia, from an A++ YouTube channel
    Victor Mair, coiner of the word topolect
    All sorts of ways linguists and linguistics benefit society
    BBC and Received Pronunciation
    Here are some diagrams about the overlap between linguistics and other fields (this last one is the one Sarah had in mind)
    The Unsolicited Etymology Trivia Jar
    Etymologies of canary, easel, and lettuce
    The full story of what the f**k, geese (spoiler alert: 356≠390)
    And yes, ⟨mint⟩ (where money is printed) is also related to ⟨moneta⟩
    Etymologies of island, isle, OK, and lox (which has a dialectical variation still spelled "lax"!)

    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.


    Thanks for listening!

    • 57 min
    Episode 1: Batman's Batsman

    Episode 1: Batman's Batsman

    Our very first episode, answering real language questions from real listeners! And boy do we live up to our no-research policy. (What is the truth about bubblers? TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!)

    Jump right to:


    00:43 Thing of the Day: Ambiguity (...or is it?)
    04:28 In the English word ⟨scent⟩, is the ⟨s⟩ or the ⟨c⟩ silent?
    11:50 Has our study of linguistics caused us to consciously change how we talk?
    25:48 How should you pluralize superhero names?
    34:37 Can "informal" mean "giving information to the reader" along with "not formal"?
    39:30 The Puzzler: Can you find a word that has three double letters in a row?

    Covered in this episode:


    Fun with affixes!
    English “soft c” spelling rules
    Awkward teenage spelling reform phases
    A hot take not taken
    Obligatory (incorrect) citation of the Martha’s Vineyard accent study
    How to tell if you should study linguistics
    Obligatory mention of “bubbler”
    Why is “bubbler” localised SO SPECIFICALLY?
    Everyone needs to see Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
    Hot takes on Spider-Men, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Attorney General
    In-laws and Sinlaws
    Obligatory Latin-based explanations
    ⟨bassoon⟩ and ⟨balloon⟩ are basically the same word

    Links and other post-show thoughts:


    We have no link to back up Sarah’s assertion that ⟨sc⟩ makes an [ʃ] sound in Late Latin and modern Italian, despite a wide search. However, ⟨conscious⟩ is an English word where ⟨sc⟩ makes an [ʃ] sound, so that's almost as good.
    The Nantucket study, which was actually done in Martha’s Vineyard (no research, y'all)
    Confirmed: Kohler is a town named after the company named after the founding family
    Bubbler is related to a Kohler trademark 
    Bubbler is not related to a Kohler trademark 
    I don't know what to think about bubbler anymore (They exist in Portland, OR, too!)
    Fun fact: Sarah heard “Spider-Mans” in the wild the week after we recorded this podcast, explaining that "Into the Spider-Verse" has six total “Spider-Mans”. Native speaker intuition for the win!
    Etymologies of inform versus informal
    Turns out that ⟨informative⟩ ALSO used to be an inflammable-style contranym! (Well, sort of. It used to mean ⟨formative⟩. What even.)

    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 McLeod.

    Thanks for listening!

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

electrike ,

LxAD is great!

Fantastic and thought-provoking! :D

kalob1 ,

More?

Can we get some more of this please?

Jeanietoo ,

The kind of nerdy convo I wish my friends would have with me

Stumbled across this searching for a new linguistics podcast. Only one episode but I already look forward to the next one.

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