New Books in Language

Interviews with Scholars of Language about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 57m. Bisher sind 424 Folge(n) erschienen. Jede Woche gibt es eine neue Folge dieses Podcasts.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 16 days 14 hours 39 minutes


John E. Joseph, “Saussure” (Oxford UP, 2012)

Pretty much everyone who’s done a linguistics course has come across the name of Ferdinand de Saussure – a name that’s attached to such fundamentals as the distinction between synchrony and diachrony, and the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign.


 May 20, 2013  50m

Perry Link, “An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics” (Harvard UP, 2013)

Rhythm, metaphor, politics: these three features of language simultaneously enable us to communicate with each other and go largely unnoticed in the course of that communication. In An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor,


 May 13, 2013  1h6m

Jonathan Bobaljik, “Universals of Comparative Morphology” (MIT Press, 2012)

Morphology is sometimes painted as the ‘here be dragons’ of the linguistic map: a baffling domain of idiosyncrasies and irregularities, in which Heath Robinson contraptions abound and anything goes. In his new book,


 May 6, 2013  1h4m

Stephen E. Nadeau, “The Neural Architecture of Grammar” (MIT Press, 2012)

Although there seems to be a trend towards linguistic theories getting more cognitively or neurally plausible, there doesn’t seem to be an imminent prospect of a reconciliation between linguistics and neuroscience.


 April 13, 2013  1h2m

Stanley Dubinsky and Chris Holcomb, “Understanding Language Through Humor” (Cambridge UP, 2011)

A problem with doing linguistics is that once you start, it’s kind of inescapable – you see it everywhere. At some point a few months back, I was watching a DVD of a comedy series and came to the conclusion that its distinctiveness was all about the wa...


 March 15, 2013  55m

Elly van Gelderen, “The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty” (Oxford UP, 2011)

In language, as in life, history is constantly repeating itself. In her book The Linguistic Cycle: Language Change and the Language Faculty (Oxford University Press, 2011), Elly van Gelderen tackles the question of such ‘cyclical’ changes.


 March 1, 2013  54m

Willem J. M. Levelt, “A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era” (Oxford UP, 2012)

The only disappointment with A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era (Oxford UP, 2012) is that, as the subtitle says, the story it tells stops at the cognitive revolution, before Pim Levelt is himself a major player in psycholinguistics.


 February 19, 2013  58m

Nick J. Enfield, “The Anatomy of Meaning: Speech, Gesture, and Composite Utterances” (Cambridge UP, 2012)

Linguists are apt to get excited when a language is identified that exhibits exotic properties, and gladly travel halfway round the world to document it, particularly if they think it’s going to support a pet theory of theirs.


 January 16, 2013  1h1m

James R. Hurford, “The Origins of Grammar (Language in the Light of Evolution, Vol. 2)” (Oxford UP, 2012)

Building upon The Origins of Meaning (see previous interview), James R. Hurford‘s The Origins of Grammar (Language in the Light of Evolution, Vol. 2) (Oxford University Press, 2012) second volume sets out to explain how the unique complexity of human s...


 December 21, 2012  52m

James R. Hurford, “The Origins of Meaning (Language in Light of Evolution, Vol. 1)” (Oxford UP, 2007)

Evolutionary approaches to linguistics have notoriously had a rather chequered history, being associated with vague and unfalsifiable claims about the motivations for the origins of language. It seems as though the subject has only recently come in fro...


 December 16, 2012  50m