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Lexicon Valley

Slate

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Slate

Description:

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

Language:

English


Episodes

Wallowing in Negativity

2/16/2021
From the evolution of ain't to double negatives, simply saying no is wonderfully complex. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:44:40

Fossil Hunting in English

2/2/2021
Our language contains a trove of buried clues, petrified remnants of its past. But you have to know where to dig. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:44:55

Why Do Languages Have Gender?

1/19/2021
Lots of languages divide words into categories, like male and female. How does that happen? Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:19

Forgetting Your Roots

1/5/2021
Words have a way of rebelling against their etymological parents, acquiring meanings of their own. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:36

Future English Speaker, Can You Read Me?

12/22/2020
That language changes is certain. How quickly or slowly is another matter. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:04:36

Getting Got

12/8/2020
The story of how one little verb developed a seemingly endless capacity to absorb new meanings. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:42:59

On the Origin of English

11/24/2020
A controversial theory holds that English, along with other Germanic languages, was profoundly influenced early on by Phoenician. The evidence is intriguing. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:00:05

White Author, Black English. Problem?

11/10/2020
Mark Twain famously depicted what he called the "Missouri Negro dialect" of Jim. Would that be acceptable today? Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:24

Do Cats Have Language?

10/27/2020
Animals bark, sing, purr and even gesture, all fascinating but a far cry from human communication. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:00:44

Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

10/13/2020
Peculiar linguistic tales of America's soldiers. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:38:38

To Reason Why

9/29/2020
There's more than one way to ask why. How come? What for? Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:38:27

When Talking to Your Mother-In-Law Is a Minefield

9/15/2020
From baby talk to formal varieties, languages around the world offer—or even require—different ways of speaking for different situations. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:43:13

The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

9/1/2020
Enslaved people developed a hybrid language that sailed from Africa to the Caribbean and—unbelievably—back again. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:01:47

This Am a Minstrel Stereotype, Right?

8/18/2020
A longstanding mystery of Black English may finally be solved. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:53:11

When Jews Adapted Spanish

8/4/2020
Languages of the Ottoman Empire, inspired by historian Alan Mikhail's new book God's Shadow. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:45:08

Does English Have a Future?

7/21/2020
Lots of languages have no dedicated way to indicate later-ness. Somehow life goes on. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:50:45

Defund Karen

7/7/2020
On the insults, acronyms and sloganeering of America's racial reckoning. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:40:14

Beyond the Five Ws

6/23/2020
The curious grammar of questions in languages around the world. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:49:20

Tweety Bird and Toddlerspeak

6/9/2020
Language acquisition is like magic—how do children do it?! Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:45:39

Coronavirus: Isolation and Aspiration

5/26/2020
Can strongly aspirated consonants increase transmission of COVID-19? Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:42:48