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Addendum 31: Bat Signals

If you listened to our episode about bat communication, you might want to read the actual science behind animals and animal communication. (And don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!)



Episode 31: Todos/Todas/Todes Addendum

In our latest episode, we chat with Dr. Santiago Kalinowski, the Director of the Linguistics Department at the Argentinian Academy of Letters. We get into the topic of lenguaje inclusivo/inclusive language in Spanish.

Spanish is a “morphologically rich” language… That is to say, unlike English, nouns encode grammatical gender–masculine and feminine–so, any modifying adjectives or articles must conform to the noun’s grammatical gender.

Mesa = a feminine noun that takes a feminine article, la

La mesa = the table.

And adjectives conform to mesa’s feminine gender:

La mesa bonita = the pretty table

But what about with people?

If there were a group of 12 women, 3 non-binary folks, and 2 men, you have to use the masculine ‘default’ to say “They are students”:

Ellos son estudiantes. (Ellas is the feminine plural, but can only be used if everyone in the group is female/female-identified.)

Lenguaje inclusivo, in part, is using a THIRD option, the new Elles. Or todes, or bonites. Non-binary gender? No problem.

Here is the video of the amazing young girl who tells her teacher what’s up.

Here is the video of the protester using lenguaje inclusivo, like a boss.

Since we talked with Santiago, I’ve seen so many articles about ‘Latinx’, here are a couple: Love it? Hate it? ‘Latinx’ points to the future and ‘Latinx’: An offense to the Spanish language or a nod to inclusion?

Santiago also shared some information with us, which I will share here.

For further reference, you can check any of the following links to interviews and articles written by me or where I’ve been quoted:

  1. First take on the issue
  2. Shorter version of the same article published as op ed in an actual media outlet (that I could translate to English if necessary)
  3. Interview in that same outlet (with two video clips).
  4. Piece in the fairly popular magazine “Noticias”, where I’m one of the sources.
  5. Full length video (1 hour and 40 minutes) of the debate that was held at the Institute of Linguistics of the University of Buenos Aires where I intervened.

Finally, remember these wise words: “I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t necessarily need to be a lawyer to defend others’ rights.”


Transcript 11: French (Canadian) Fries

CARRIE: Hi and welcome to the Vocal Fries Podcast, the podcast about linguistic discrimination.

MEGAN: I’m Megan Figueroa.

CARRIE: And I’m Carrie Gillon and today we have another guest. We’re gonna be talking about Canadian French with Dr. Nicole Rosen, who is a Canada Research Chair in Language Interactions at the University of Manitoba. She studies Canadian languages, including English, French and Michif. And full disclosure okay we actually wrote a book together on Michif, which is coming out early January! So welcome to the show!

NICOLE: Thanks for having me!

Continue reading “Transcript 11: French (Canadian) Fries”

Transcript 10: Down in the Holler

MEGAN: Welcome to the Vocal Fries Podcast, the podcast about linguistic discrimination.

CARRIE: I’m Carrie Gillon

MEGAN: And I’m Megan Figueroa. We have one housekeeping item: another email. It’s our third email. We’re just gonna keep counting. That’s how exciting that is. And it’s from the Ivory Coast.

Continue reading “Transcript 10: Down in the Holler”

Episode 29: Neaux French Left Behind/Bonus 9 Addendum

If you listened to our episode about varieties of French in Louisiana, you might have some questions. And if you listened to our bonus, you might have even more (unless you know a lot about French). (And don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!)

How many people speak Louisiana Creole? fewer than 10k

How many speak Louisiana regional French? probably around 150k

Why does it matter if French is no longer spoken in LA? Because it matters to the people of LA.

What were the differences between Louisiana Creole and Louisiana Regional French mentioned by Dr. Dajko?

She mentioned a few that weren’t totally clearcut:

  1. The high front rounded vowel (/y/) is usually unrounded in Louisiana Creole, less so in Louisiana Regional French (/y/ → /i/) so tu ‘you (sg)’ /ty/ becomes /ti/ (although, it also seems to have become /to/, which is nice and confusing)
  2. post-vocalic r (/ʁ/) is more often dropped in creole (like Boston or London r-lessness, where ‘car’ is pronounced ‘cah’): bonjour becomes bonjou

She mentioned more that were better diagnostics:

  1. There’s no gender marking in Louisiana Creole; gender maintained in Louisiana Regional French
  2. The pronominal systems are different. Louisiana Regional French has a system much closer to standard French. For example, moi became mo in Louisiana Creole, and it is used in subject position (moi, je + verb became mo + verb).

Mo té kourí ô Villaj.

I past travel to village

“I went to Lafayette.”

  1. In French, there is a process called liaison, where a consonant is only pronounced when the following word is vowel-initial. For example, les tables [letabl] (~lay tahbl) (no /z/) ‘the tables’ vs. les ouiseaux [lezwazo] (~lay zwahzoh) (/z/ shows up) ‘the birds’. In many creoles (and Michif), the /z/ gets reanalyzed as part of the noun. So ouiseau ‘bird’ often becomes zwazo. For example, in Michif, the word for ‘egg’ oeuf got borrowed as zaf (where the /z/ comes from the liaison from the article les). Same with ‘tree’ arbre, which becomes zarb. In Mauritian Creole (another French creole), ‘almond’ is zamann (the /z/ comes from liaison originally. In Louisiana Creole, the word for ‘bird’ is zozo. Louisiana Regional French maintains a more regularized liaison process.
  2. The article follows the noun in Louisiana Creole: maison la instead of la maison. This is also common in French creoles (and likely isn’t a reversal, but comes from a different morpheme).
  3. In possession, Louisiana Creole uses gagner ‘to win’ for ‘to have’ (as do some other varieties of French). Louisiana Regional French uses avoir ‘to have’. She provided us with a test sentence to distinguish between the two varieties:

I have 5 dollars = mo gen senk pyas (Louisiana Creole) vs. j’ai cinq pias (Louisiana Regional French)

(senk pyas sounds exactly the same as cinq pias, so the only differences are the pronouns mo vs. j’ and gen (from gagner) vs. ai (from avoir).)


Transcript 9: Chicano? ChicanYES!

CARRIE: Hi and welcome to The Vocal Fries Podcast, the podcast about linguistic discrimination.

MEGAN: I’m Megan Figueroa.

CARRIE: And I’m Carrie Gillon. Today we have two housekeeping items, before we start our show. The first is an email from a listener: Liz.

AOL voice: You’ve got mail!

Continue reading “Transcript 9: Chicano? ChicanYES!”