Lexicon Valley

Slate Podcasts

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.

All Episodes

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

Sep 15

41 min

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

Sep 1

62 min

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

Aug 18

54 min

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

Aug 4

46 min

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

Jul 21

51 min

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

Jul 7

40 min

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

Jun 23

50 min

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

Jun 9

45 min

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

May 26

43 min

A luxuriance of long words, baroque case endings and irregular everything—the Native American tongues! 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

May 12

60 min

Host John McWhorter shares some of his longstanding language peeves—yes, linguists have them too! 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

Apr 28

45 min

Host John McWhorter finds linguistic inspiration in an 80-year-old musical performance of Rubber Dolly. 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

Apr 14

41 min

The -o suffix traces back to old comic strip characters with names like Knocko and Groucho. Neato! 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

Mar 31

43 min

Mandarin might not have gender or case endings but there's more to grammar than conjugations. 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

Mar 17

50 min

Want to hear what English will sound like in the future? Talk to a woman. 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

Mar 4

50 min

DNA analysis is revealing which speakers traveled where and when. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 18

43 min

Let's talk about how we talk about that which already occurred. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 4

40 min

Coming and going in languages around the world. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 21

39 min

How our idea of formality can affect the way we say certain words. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 7

45 min

Add to German a large helping of Hebrew and a dollop of Slavic. Stir. Let marinate. Enjoy! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2019

46 min

What does a rooster have to do with male genitalia anyway? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2019

42 min

Terms such as "like" and "sort of" are ways for English speakers to sound more polite. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2019

45 min

What is it with people and animals and irregular plurals? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2019

37 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Long-dead elements of the language still haunt our everyday speech. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 2019

35 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Come table-hopping as we discuss the linguistic quirks of some mealtime terms. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 2019

39 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Never mind those 26 letters—the English language has 44 unique sounds. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 2019

35 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. English has shed many of its nuances over the centuries. Take pronouns, for example. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 2019

38 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. Curse words can reveal a lot about language. S#!t, hell and darn, to name three, contain countless linguistic lessons. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 2019

34 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. From Madagascar to Easter Island, Austronesian tongues traveled far and wide with early seafarers. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 2019

43 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. The difference between a language and a dialect is mostly meaningless and entirely political. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 2019

40 min

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now. A conversation with linguist Gretchen McCulloch about her new book, Because Internet. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 2019

36 min

Why is ph pronounced that way? The answer is positively phantastic. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 2019

44 min

We revisit the popular notion that our language helps shapes our worldview. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 2019

46 min

The word transient reveals some enduring patterns in English pronunciation and etymology. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 2019

37 min

What an ancient, undecipherable manuscript says—and doesn't say—about Latin and its spawn. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 2019

42 min

The letter R has a habit of intruding on spoken English. How come? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 2019

46 min

A linguistic mystery in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 2019

44 min

A conversation with Gaston Dorren, author of Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 2019

34 min

Tonal languages evolved mostly in hot and humid places. What would explain that? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 2019

43 min

What we can learn about English from am, the seemingly simplest verb. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 2019

36 min

Where did Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic and their kin originate? And what is a triconsonantal root? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 2019

42 min

This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. How an old word for child morphed into a versatile, and very modern, suffix. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 2019

40 min

This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. Some more of the many ways that neologisms form. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 2019

41 min

This episode is brought to you by Babbel. Try for free today at babbel.com/lexicon. An actually very literal discussion of true words. Really! Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 2019

37 min

English speakers have been getting it on with the F-word for centuries. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 2019

43 min

A New Year's meditation on a joyful word. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2018

35 min

More than half of Americans are currently living with one or more serious, preventable, chronic diseases. These rates are expected to increase significantly over the next two decades. In this episode of Life Effects, host Sara Ivry talks to Gabriel Cortez, a San Francisco-based educator and poet who is one of many young people actively working against the rise of Type 2 diabetes in his community. Dr. Mercedes Carnathon, Vice Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, also joins the conversation. Together, they look at Type 2 diabetes from multiple angles, including Gabriel’s first-hand experience watching the chronic disease infiltrate his family and the broader role that social determinants (culture, socio-economic status, stress, stigmas, etc.) play in who develops the disease and how it’s managed. The individual(s) who have written and created the content in and whose images appear in the articles, profiles, podcasts and videos from the Life Effects program may have been paid by Teva Pharmaceuticals for their contributions.  This content represents the opinions of the contributor and does not necessarily reflect those of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Similarly, Teva Pharmaceuticals does not review, control, influence or endorse any content related to the contributor's websites or social media networks. All content on the Life Effects website is intended for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered medical advice or recommendations. Consult a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and before beginning or changing any treatment regimen. NPS-US-NP-00369 NOVEMBER 2018 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2018

29 min

A conversation with Lane Greene, author of Talk on the Wild Side, about the "vague and anarchic" nature of language. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 2018

36 min

Our speech is becoming more childlike, but not for the reasons you think. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2018

38 min

How far back can we trace, with any accuracy, the spoken word? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2018

44 min

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