Deep in the tropical forests of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, chimpanzees wander in relative abundance, and Michael Johnson isn’t far behind. He follows chimpanzees through the treetops to capture the day-to-day sounds they use to communicate: howling, screeching and the infamous pant-hoot. He does all this in an effort to learn whether chimps have […]
Think back to high school. Did you take a foreign language? If so, how much do you remember? Could you say what you ate for breakfast today in that language? Exchange a few pleasantries? Thinking back, how well do you think you could speak in that foreign language even at the time you were learning […]
From early on in her career as an artist, Helen Lee has used the medium of glass to explore language and identity. If you walk past the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art at night, you might see three Mandarin Chinese characters blazing out at you in pink neon. That is one of Lee’s newest works, […]
Psychologist and UW-Madison postdoctoral researcher Marcus Perlman speaks with Monday 8 O’Clock Buzz host Brian Standing about the realization among the scientific community that apes and non-human animals possess sophisticated and voluntary control over gestures and vocalizations, the implications for the evolution of human speech, and the de-centering of humanism.
Today host Patty Peltekos talks with Mary Norris, author contributor to The New Yorker. Her book, “Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen,” takes her decades of copy editing and addresses the hilarity of the English language and the way we use it. Mary Norris has been working at The New Yorker since […]
English speakers use a polyglot language of Germanic origins, littered with Latin, French, Arabic, Yiddish and slang from nearly every generation and who knows what else. English changes constantly. Now, with the internet, it’s changing almost daily. Anja Wanner, a linguist with the University of Wisconsin, studies how the internet changes the English language. She […]