Streams

 

 

Linguistics

The New Yorker: Out Loud

Jack Hitt on forensic linguistics.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jack Hitt on forensic linguistics.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Story of English in 100 Words

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

David Crystal, honorary professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor, and now author of The Story of English in 100 Words, discusses what certain words tell us about our linguistic history, and takes your calls on which word you think is the most significant.

Comments [29]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Decoding Your E-Mail Personality

Monday, August 01, 2011

Ben Zimmer, executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com, and New York Times contributor, explains how forensic linguists try to detect "fingerprints" in e-mails and other digital writing. His article "Decoding Your E-Mail Personality" looks at the how it's done and what your e-mails and digital writing reveal about you.

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The Takeaway

Where Does Language Come From?

Friday, April 15, 2011

A new study has traced the origins of language to ancient South Africa, implying that there's one starting place for modern language. So what were the first words? Likely simple verbs and nouns that reflected the immediate needs of the population, says Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Reading in England. He's a former professor and advisor to the author of the study, Quentin Atkinson.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Accents and Dialects

Friday, March 04, 2011

Today's Please Explain is all about accents in the English speaking world--how did Australians come to sound different than New Zealanders? Why do some people lose their accents quickly...while others can hold on to them for decades? NYU Professor of Linguistics Gregory Guy and North Carolina State University Distinguished Professor of English Walt Wolfram will discuss the various accents in the English-speaking world and even analyze some samples from volunteers!

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Mother of All Meanings

Friday, November 19, 2010

Liza Bakewell, linguistic anthropologist at Brown University and the author of Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun, explores the influence of language on Mexican culture through the lens of the Spanish word for "mother."

Got a favorite "madre" phrase or any other mom-language story? Let us know! (And...keep it clean)

Comments [17]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Global English: Future Tense

Friday, October 29, 2010

The world's current lingua franca picks up words and phrases from other languages and sends them back again. Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of these.

We want your suggestions!  Nominate a word that should be a part of "global English" here.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Global English: Made in New York

Monday, October 25, 2010

Leslie Dunton-Downer, author The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, joins us again to explore some of the words and phrases from other languages picked up by the world's current lingua franca.

We want your suggestions! Nominate a word from another language that should be a part of "global English" here.

Comments [9]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Global English: Disco

Friday, October 22, 2010

Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of the words and phrases from other languages picked up by the world's current lingua franca.

Comments [9]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Why the World Looks Different through Other Languages

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Acclaimed linguist Guy Deutscher looks at the thorny question of how—and if—culture and language shape each other. His new book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different through Other Languages re-examines the long discredited belief that our native tongues influence the way we see the world. He argues that the words we have and expressions we use can profoundly shape our understanding of everything: from color, to gender to morals.

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The Takeaway

How Language Shapes the Way We See the World

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," according to Shakespeare's Juliet. But would it look the same, too? Does language shape the way we see the world? And how do culture and language influence one another?

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The Takeaway

What's In a Name, Nevada?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From George W. Bush to Michelle Obama, political candidates have learned the hard way that if you want to get votes in Nevada, you need to know how to pronounce it like a local. But that isn't as clear-cut as it sounds. The linguistics are so disputed that outgoing Assemblyman Harry Mortenson is now working on a resolution that would make “neh-VAH-dah” an equally acceptable pronunciation as "neh-VA-dah." It is a political plea for tolerance.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Preserving Endangered Languages

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Linguists Juliette Blevins and Daniel Kauffman discuss endangered languages and the Endangered Language Alliance, which is working to record and save dying languages. They’ll look at the richness of languages spoken in New York City, and how many of those languages are at risk of fading from the city and the world.

Comments [12]

The Takeaway

Your most hated words and phrases

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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The Takeaway

Irritating English phrases

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

At this moment in time, we’re going to interface with someone who will hopefully tell us why words adversely impact so many people. Are we annoying you yet? Jeremy Butterfield might know why. He’s the author of a new book called "A Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare," which features the most annoying words and phrases in the English language

Comments [71]

The Takeaway

Campaign language

Monday, October 27, 2008

During the primaries, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton criticized another Democratic presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama, for offering "just words." But now it seems the simplicity of his words, and the calm with which he delivers them, could explain why he's ahead in the polls. Has the economic crisis rendered slogans and sound bites obsolete? Writer Steve Almond discusses the power of language on the campaign trail.

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The Takeaway

A linguist's take on the final presidential debate between McCain and Obama

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guest: Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst, The Global Language Monitor. Payack has analyzed language patterns of all the presidential and vice presidential debates.

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The Takeaway

The campaigns and the war of witty words

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

In last night’s political debate, did McCain or Obama put lipstick on another barnyard animal? The Takeaway talks with linguist James Geary about political aphorisms, and which candidate won the war of witty words.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

"Rescue?" "Bailout?" Speaking metaphorically about financial problems

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Usually figurative language serves to inform and make difficult concepts easier to understand. However, describing the intricacies of the financial crisis and subsequent proposals has proved challenging for many politicians.

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The Takeaway

"Wall Street got drunk" and other pithy phrases for global crises

Friday, July 25, 2008

President Bush summed up America's recent economic woes this week with four cool words: "Wall Street got drunk." The Takeaway asked you for more catchy crisis slogans.

Comments [7]