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Lexicon Valley

Slate Podcasts

435
Followers
2.2K
Plays
Lexicon Valley

Lexicon Valley

Slate Podcasts

435
Followers
2.2K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

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.

Latest Episodes

On the Origin of English

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 nowto 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

60 min13 h ago
Comments
On the Origin of English

White Author, Black English. Problem?

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 nowto 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

55 min2 w ago
Comments
White Author, Black English. Problem?

Do Cats Have Language?

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 nowto 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

61 minOCT 27
Comments
Do Cats Have Language?

Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

Peculiar linguistic tales of America's soldiers. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads.Sign up nowto 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

39 minOCT 13
Comments
Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

To Reason Why

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 nowto 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

38 minSEP 29
Comments
To Reason Why

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

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 nowto 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

43 minSEP 15
Comments
When Talking to Your Mother-In-Law Is a Minefield

The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

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 nowto 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

61 minSEP 1
Comments
The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

This Am a Minstrel Stereotype, Right?

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 nowto 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

55 minAUG 18
Comments
This Am a Minstrel Stereotype, Right?

When Jews Adapted Spanish

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 nowto 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

46 minAUG 4
Comments
When Jews Adapted Spanish

Lots of languages have no dedicated way to indicate later-ness. Somehow life goes on.

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 nowto 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

52 minJUL 21
Comments
Lots of languages have no dedicated way to indicate later-ness. Somehow life goes on.

Latest Episodes

On the Origin of English

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 nowto 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

60 min13 h ago
Comments
On the Origin of English

White Author, Black English. Problem?

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 nowto 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

55 min2 w ago
Comments
White Author, Black English. Problem?

Do Cats Have Language?

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 nowto 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

61 minOCT 27
Comments
Do Cats Have Language?

Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

Peculiar linguistic tales of America's soldiers. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads.Sign up nowto 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

39 minOCT 13
Comments
Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

To Reason Why

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 nowto 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

38 minSEP 29
Comments
To Reason Why

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

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 nowto 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

43 minSEP 15
Comments
When Talking to Your Mother-In-Law Is a Minefield

The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

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 nowto 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

61 minSEP 1
Comments
The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

This Am a Minstrel Stereotype, Right?

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 nowto 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

55 minAUG 18
Comments
This Am a Minstrel Stereotype, Right?

When Jews Adapted Spanish

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 nowto 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

46 minAUG 4
Comments
When Jews Adapted Spanish

Lots of languages have no dedicated way to indicate later-ness. Somehow life goes on.

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 nowto 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

52 minJUL 21
Comments
Lots of languages have no dedicated way to indicate later-ness. Somehow life goes on.
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