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LingLab is the brain child of graduate students in the Sociolinguistics program at NC State University. We don’t think about it much sometimes, but language touches every single thing we do as human beings. In our linguistics lab at NCSU, we have linguists who study bilingualism in Korean hip hop music, text message lingo, the use of Caribbean dialects in literature (just to name a few!) Did you know that you can actually measure a vowel and generate a quantitative graph of someone’s accent? We do that too, and so much more. Every day our lab is full of interesting conversations about the nature of language and the different ways it takes on a life of its own in the world, and the many different approaches we take to analyzing it. This podcast is our way of bringing you into the conversation.

 

Recent Episodes

linguistics

Sociolinguistics: A Definition

On the linglab podcast we’ve talked a lot about the research people are doing in sociolinguistics, but we really haven’t defined it for people who don’t know what that word means. On this episode I talk with seven sociolinguists about how they define sociolinguistics, generally and for themselves. Their answers are just as diverse and nuanced as the field itself and they reveal why it is important to have larger more inclusive conversations about language.

Featuring: Jon Forrest, Ari Janoff, Jordan Holley, Caroline Myrick, Joel Schneier, Eric Wilbanks, and Dr. Walt Wolfram.

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A Lee Chip

We talk to Caroline Myrick, a Sociology and Sociolinguistics doctoral student at N.C. State, about her work compiling a dictionary on Saban English, a variety of English spoken on the island of Saba. Joining us in the lab is Teddy Johnson, Caroline’s co-writer and a local Saban, who initially started collecting Saban words and expressions over fifteen years ago.

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The Politics of Accessibility

We discuss Vernacular Third Person, a mode of fiction story-telling where the third person narrator speaks in vernacular. We discuss how Vernacular Third Person challenges ideologies about authority in written discourses. Who really gets to speak in written genres and how?
But this question isn’t just limited to fiction. Can academic discourses be more inclusive? Can they be more accessible?
Linguists Karissa Wojcik, Ari Janoff, M.K. Hedrick, and Caroline Myrick join me in the lab to talk about how academia can benefit from questioning its own assumptions about language.

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It Won’t Cost Much. Just Your voice!

We talk to NC State Masters student Karen Eisenhauer about her linguistic research on Disney Princess movies. As it turns out, although Princess movies are market towards young girls, women have considerably less speaking lines than men. We speak to Karen about about her findings as well as discuss some of the media response that has come out of this work. Eisenhauer sets the record straight about some of the misconceptions that she has been seeing online. We also talk about the importance of linguistic research in popular media.

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What’s in a Name?

We talk to Caroline Myrick, a doctoral student and linguistic student at N.C. State about her work with Saban English, a variety of English spoken on the small Dutch island of Saba. We also discuss how her work ties into a larger debate that linguists have been having for decades, and how that debate is relevant to linguistic research and popular attitudes about language today. Professor and renowned linguist, Dr. Walt Wolfram, weighs in on this important conversation and offers some great insight into the nature of change in academic disciplines.

Netflix & Chill

“Netflix and chill”… We all know what it REALLY means, right? The expression was chosen as the 2015 Euphemism of the Year by the American Dialect Society! But where did this phrase come from? When did it start? Linguistic experts weigh in on this trending locution in this week’s episode of LingLab, by Ari Janoff. This is our first ever visual podcast, with more hopefully to come in the future.

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Would You Like Fry With That?

we talk to Amy Hemmeter, a Masters student in Linguistics at N.C. State University, about her research on social perceptions of vocal fry. Vocal fry, like uptalk and quotative like, has been receiving a lot of pushback in the media. It has become a punchline in a media that has a history of problematizing female voices. We talk about the cultural bias that creates this kind of critique and whether we should challenge these attitudes in our culture.

text-message-spying

A Technical Glitch is Still a Social Violation

We talk to Joel Schneier, a graduate of our linguistic program and current doctoral student, about his work in text messaging as well as text messaging’s undeserved label as the destroyer of language and what linguists really think is going on with this new medium. We also talk about how text messaging may be changing social relationships in rather unexpected ways.