48: Who you are in high school, linguistically speaking - Interview with Shivonne Gates

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Sep 18 2020 44 mins   933
High school is a time when people really notice small social details, such as how you dress or what vowels you’re using. Making choices from among these various factors is a big way that we assert our identities as we’re growing up. For a particular group of students in the UK, they’re on the forefront of linguistic innovation using a variety known as Multicultural London English. In this episode, your host Lauren Gawne interviews Dr. Shivonne Gates, a linguist who wrote her dissertation on Multicultural London English and is currently a Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research, Britain’s largest independent social research agency. We talk about her research on accents in the UK, doing collaborative research with young people, and linguistics research jobs outside of academia. This month’s bonus episode is about pangrams! Pangrams are sentences that contain all of the letters of the alphabet, like the famous "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" and the more obscure "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!". In this episode, Gretchen and Lauren get enthusiastic about pangrams and the further questions that they raise about the structure of various languages. How short can you get an English pangram without becoming incoherent? Which characters are hard to include in different languages? Do accented characters count as separate letters? What kinds of using-every-symbol writing can you make with non-alphabetic writing systems? Announcements: We have teamed up with Crash Course to write the 16 video series Crash Course Linguistics. We’re so excited to share this course with you! If you want to get an email when each of the Crash Course Linguistics videos comes out, along with exercises to practice the concepts and links for further reading, you can sign up for Mutual Intelligibility email newsletters. https://mutualintelligibility.substack.com/ We also have exciting new merch colours! Our International Phonetic Alphabet scarves and masks, notebooks, mugs, and socks are now available in Raspberry, Mustard, and Lilac with white IPA symbols. https://lingthusiasm.com/merch For links to everything mentioned in this episode: https://lingthusiasm.com/post/629556445433790464/lingthusiasm-episode-48-who-you-are-in-high