13: What Does it Mean to Sound Black? Intonation and Identity Interview with Nicole Holliday


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Oct 19 2017 43 mins   1.3k
If you grow up with multiple accents to choose from, what does the one you choose say about your identity? How can linguistics unpick our hidden assumptions about what “sounds angry” or “sounds articulate”? What can we learn from studying the melodies of speech, in addition to the words and sounds? In Episode 13 of Lingthusiasm, your host Gretchen McCulloch interviews Dr. Nicole Holliday, an Associate Professor of linguistics at Pomona Collegem about her work on the speech of American black/biracial young men, prosody and intonation, and what it means to sound black. We also talk about how Obama inadvertently provided her research topic, the linguistics of the Wu Tang Clan, and how linguistics can make the world a better place. This month’s bonus episode is a recording of our liveshow about discourse markers in Montreal in September. What do “um” and “like” have in common with “behold” and “nevertheless”? They’re all discourse markers! These little words and phrases get a bad rap for being “meaningless”, but they’re actually really important. Find out how, and picture yourself sitting among real, live lingthusiasts in the excellent linguistics section at Argo Bookshop, on the recording. You can get access to it and previous bonuses about language games, hypercorrection, swearing, and teaching yourself linguistics by supporting Lingthusiasm on Patreon. patreon.com/lingthusiasm For the links mentioned in this episode, check out our shownotes page at: http://lingthusiasm.com/post/166585412086/lingthusiasm-episode-13-what-does-it-mean-to LINGTHUSIASM ANNIVERSARY UPDATE! We’re excited to bring you our first interview episode right before our very special 1-year anniversary episode in November! To celebrate a whole year of enthusiastic linguistics podcasting, we’re aiming to hit another milestone at the same time: 100,000 listens across all episodes. We’re currently at 83k as of right before posting this episode, so it’s totally doable, but we need your help to get there! Here are some ways you can help: - Share a link to your favourite Lingthusiasm episode so far and say something about what you found interesting in it. If you link directly to the episode page on lingthusiasm.com, people can follow your link and listen even if they’re not normally podcast people. Can’t remember what was in each episode? Check out the quotes for memorable excerpts or transcripts for full episode text. - We appreciate all kinds of recs, including social media, blogs, newsletters, fellow podcasts, and recommending directly to a specific person who you think would enjoy fun conversations about language! - If you didn’t get around to listening to a couple episodes when they came out, now is a great time to get caught up! - Write a review on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts. The more reviews we have, the more that the Mighty Algorithms make us show up to other people browsing. Star ratings are great; star ratings with words beside them are even better. All of our listeners so far have come from word of mouth, and we’ve enjoyed hearing from so many of you how we’ve kept you company while folding laundry, walking the dog, driving to work, jogging, doing dishes, procrastinating on your linguistics papers, and so much more. But there are definitely still people out there who would be totally into making their mundane activities feel like a fascinating linguistics party, they just don’t know it’s an option yet. They need your help to find us! If you leave us a rec or review in public, we’ll thank you by name or pseudonym on our special anniversary post next month, which will live in perpetuity on our website. If you recommend us in private, we won’t know about it, but you can still feel a warm glow of satisfaction (and feel free to tell us about it on social media if you still want to be thanked!).