Last month I spoke to the guys at the pretty-new, DC-based podcast Here's How I Think This Works:
On Episode 6 of Here’s How I Think This Works, we talk about talking. We discuss when and why people started talking, what distinguishes lower forms of communication from a full-blown language, how different languages emerged, and how technology continues to drive the evolution of language. When we’re done talking amongst ourselves, we bring on guest expert Jennifer Nycz, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. Jennifer explains why most of what popular culture has taught us about linguistics is incorrect (apologies to fans of Arrival and Eskimo lore), and how different accents emerge among a population.
It was a lot of fun - looking forward to hearing more episodes!
I spoke with Dan Nosowitz from Atlas Obscura about my research on accent shift among mobile speakers - the result is this very accessible introduction to some of my work (and that of Arvilla Payne and James Flege):
The sci-fi film Arrival recently opened, and because its main character is a linguist, Brice Russ at Science Magazine decided to get some linguists' perspectives on the film. Follow the link below to hear from David Adger (Queen Mary University of London), Nicholas Subtirelu (Georgetown) and me.
Is it a cinéma vérité portrayal of how linguists work in the field? No. Does the language learning (on both the human and alien sides) happen improbably fast? Yes. But I really enjoyed this movie nonetheless!
Here's a nice piece on accommodation and acquiring new dialect features in the Atlantic's CityLab blog, with comments from Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University) and me: