The Wide World of Language Diversity
Exploring Black American Sign Language and regional grammar.
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Nicole Holliday and Ben Zimmer discuss a regional grammatical construction that is most commonly associated with the Philadelphia area, though it’s also found in Canada and Vermont. Then they talk with journalist Allyson Waller about Black American Sign Language. Waller won the Linguistics Journalism Award from the Linguistic Society of America for her New York Times piece “Black, Deaf, and Extremely Online.” Finally, we invite listener Ben Snitkoff to take part in some word play with an improv-comedy theme.
Do you have any language questions or fun facts to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Produced by Jasmine Ellis and June Thomas.
Here are some notes and references from this episode:
The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project page for the “done my homework” construction
The Facebook Live video of a conversation between Britney Trumpy and Patsy Kelly
“Black, Deaf, and Extremely Online,” by Allyson Waller for the New York Times
The Linguistics Society of America’s announcement of the 2021 Linguistics Journalism Award
Nakia Smith’s TikTok page
The documentary Signing Black in America
Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed, by Carl Zimmer