What kind of logic can we find inside sentences? How do we calculate the meaning from what we hear? In this episode, we talk about predicate logic: why we need it, how it differs from sentential logic, and how we can combine it with quantifiers to capture the full meaning of our language.
Topic 49: How Do Computers Understand Our Speech?
How do programs figure out what we're saying? How have these programs changed over time? In this episode, we talk about speech recognition software: what sorts of information it pays attention to, how it's evolved over time, and why it's both gotten a lot better and still has a long way to go.
Topic 48: Parsing Strategies
How do we build sentences based on what we see and hear? What approaches do we take to work out what's being said? In this episode, we talk about parsing strategies: why we need them, what they do for us, and how they can sometimes lead us to making weird interpretations.
Topic 47: Child Phonological Errors
Why do little kids make speech mistakes? What patterns can we find in their errors? In this episode, we talk about sound substitutions in child speech: why it happens, what varieties there are, and how many different varieties we can find even in a single word.
Topic 46: Resonance and Formants
How do we create different kinds of sound waves when we only have one mouth? What properties do those speech waves have? In this episode, we talk about resonance and formants: how different parts of a speech wave can get amplified, how that relates to how we talk, and how the sounds of vowels are influenced by our tongue and lip setups.
Topic 45: Priming
What connections do we make when we encounter language? How long does it take us to spot these ties? In this episode, we talk about priming: what it is, how far those connections go, and why our minds aren't exploding with the complexity of the web we drag through our sentences all the time.
Topic 44: Sentential Logic
How much does logic structure our sentences, and what kind of logic should we use? In this week's episode, we talk about sentential logic: where it came from, how we connect things up systematically, and in what ways language looks like it moves away from pure logic.
Topic 43: Negative Evidence
When a kid makes a mistake in their language, does it help them fix it to correct the error? How do they deal with linguistic feedback? In this episode, we talk about negative evidence and child language acquisition: what it is, when we provide it, and how kids listen to it.
Topic 42: Morphological Typologies
How do different languages arrange their meaningful pieces? How many meanings can they let one piece have? In this episode, we look at morphological typologies: how different languages link up their morphemes (or don't!), how they connect one or more meanings to a given sound, and how they can mix and match between different morpheme options.
Topic 41: Non-Pulmonic Consonants: Ejectives, Implosives, and Clicks
How do we make sounds without using our lungs? What kinds of consonants can we gulp or pop out of our mouths? In this episode, we talk about non-pulmonic consonants: ejectives, implosives, and clicks. We look at how we make them, where we find them, and why some configurations for making these sounds are just impossible.