Episode 4: Learning to Talk

How do babies learn how to talk? In this episode I explore how they go from little howling machines to little sentence builders in the space of a couple of years.

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Get in touch @accentricitypod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to chat some more about baby talk!

If you would like to take the Wug test (or test the tiny people in your life), I’ve done a blog post it which allows you to do so here. Remember that it’s not a test of intelligence! It tests a kid’s stage of linguistic development, and also their willingness to play along with the weird world of adults.

In this particular episode, I’m focusing on the stories of kids who are acquiring spoken language, and who are moving towards communicating in the same kind of way as I am now. Of course kids are much more diverse than this. Not everyone learns to talk, and some people develop communication strategies which involve single words or sounds, rather than phrases or sentences. Some people learn to speak using sign languages, and in these cases the story is in some ways similar to this one, and in other ways quite different. This episode is just about one of the many ways of growing up and learning language. I hope to visit some of the other ways in later episodes.

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The contributors: 

* Harris, aged 2 months. Thanks to mum Angie and dad Braxton.

* Mila, aged 8 months. Thanks to mum Nichola.

* Connie, aged 1 year. Thanks to mum Kat, dad Andrew and gran Sheila.

* Martha, aged 1 and a half. Thanks to mum Jennie and dad Euan.

* Kira, aged 2 and a half. Thanks to mum Joanna.

* Emilie, aged 3 and a half. Thanks to mum Jenn.

* Ronan, aged 4. Thanks to mum Lynsey.

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Thanks to all of the people who volunteered to help out, and sorry that I didn’t get to speak to all of you! Thanks to Cat, Anna, Tanya and Shiona for volunteering your kids, and to Katy, Rebecca and Jenny for volunteering the kids of friends and family.

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Thanks to Professor Jennifer Smith of the University of Glasgow for help with the content. Jennifer Smith is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. At the moment she’s working on two big research projects: One Speaker Two Dialects and The Scots Syntax Atlas. You can find more information about her research and publications here.

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A million thankyous to all of the new patrons of the podcast! Chris Rodger, Osh Kealy, Daidhidh Eyre, Scott Hames and Sam Wrigglesworth via Patreon, and Rachel Smith and Hilary Stewart via the 'donate' button on the website. All money raised will go towards making a second series of the podcast.

If you’d like to support this podcast financially, click here or here. If you have enthusiasm but not cold hard cash, tell a pal about it, or gies a wee rating and review. These things are just as helpful!

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Big big thanks to John McDiarmid for production support. John is a freelance radio producer, documentarian and journalist. You can find his company on Instagram @teltmedia. He recently finished his first feature-length documentary, St Mungo’s Approval

Big big thanks too to Seb Philp for the music. He doesn’t have a website, but if you’d like to talk to him, send me a message! 

Episode 3: Singing Voice, Speaking Voice

‘And finally there’s just this sort of awakening moment where you realise there’s no way I can tell these stories - wee Central Scotland stories - and have a false accent.’ – Dave Hook

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A lot of Scottish singers perform with an accent that doesn’t sound much like their speaking accent – but why is this? And is it changing? In this episode I look at the role of Scottish accents in the Scottish music scene. 

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Get in touch @accentricitypod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and tell me about how this situation compares to the music scene where you are.

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The contributors: 

* Justin Currie performs solo and with his band Del Amitri

* Aidan Moffat’s most recent album is a collaboration with RM Hubbert called Here Lies The Body. If you haven’t listened to Arab Strap, look up Ten Years of Tears for a very fast trip through their career.

* Dave Hook performs with the band Stanley Odd, and solo as Solareye. He will be supporting Bombskare at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh on the 2nd of March (2019), and you can see him as part of collaborative hip-hop project The Air In Between on the 28th and 29th of March (2019). Tickets and more info on other gigs can be found here.

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If you’re new to Scotland’s music scene and would like to know more about it, I recommend listening to Halina Rifai’s podcast Podcart. Also go and listen to three of my (other) favourite bands playing in Scotland just now, Bossy Love, Sacred Paws and Free Love

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The music used in this episode is (in order of appearance):
* Nothing Ever Happens by Del Amitri
* The First Big Weekend by Arab Strap
* The Shy Retirer by Arab Strap
* Roll To Me by Del Amitri
* It’s All Gone To Fuck by Stanley Odd
* The Pageant by Solareye 

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The music is used with the permission of the artists. 

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Thanks:

Big big thanks to John McDiarmid for production support. John is a freelance radio producer, documentarian and journalist. You can find his company on Instagram @teltmedia. He recently finished his first feature-length documentary, St Mungo’s Approval

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Big big thanks too to Seb Philp for the music. He doesn’t have a website, but if you’d like to talk to him, send me a message! 

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Episode 2: More Than One Voice

We all have more than one voice. For some of us that means using multiple languages, for some it means making tiny adjustments to the way we speak – often so tiny that we don’t notice them ourselves. What do you do?

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If you’d like to talk about style-shifting and code-switching, join in the chat @accentricitypod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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If you’d like to support this podcast financially, click here or here. If you have enthusiasm but not cold hard cash, tell a pal about it, or gies a wee rating and review. These things are just as helpful!

***

The contributors:

* Jennifer Smith is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. At the moment she’s working on two big research projects: One Speaker Two Dialects and The Scots Syntax Atlas. You can find more information about her research and publications here.

* Emilia is only seven so she doesn’t (yet) have a website. Watch this space! Thanks also to her brother Daniel, her mum Ula and her dad Kyle.

* Thanks to the contributors from the Barras – you were endlessly excellent!

* And thanks to my sister Martha for the chat and the wine.

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Big big thanks to John McDiarmid for production support. John is a freelance radio producer, documentarian and journalist. You can find his company on Instagram @teltmedia. He recently finished his first feature-length documentary, St Mungo’s Approval.

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Big big thanks too to Seb Philp for the music. He doesn’t have a website, but if you’d like to talk to him, send me a message!

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Episode 1: Making Assumptions

All ways of speaking are linguistically equal, and none is better than any other. But the way people talk about language, you’d never guess that was the case. This is an episode about linguistic prejudice, and why it’s stupid.

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If you’d like to talk about your experiences with linguistic prejudice, join in the chat @accentricitypod on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Also visit The Accentism Project, where you can submit your story to a growing collection, and read about other people’s experiences.

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The contributors:

Most of the people who appear on this episode are strangers I met at the Barras. If you hear a voice you know, ask them to listen to the episode and get in touch, I’d love to hear from them!
The people whose names I do know are:

* Jenny Wartanby is working on a PhD about the Scottish movement to end violence against women. You can follow her on Twitter @armsofrain.

* Mark Leslie (“unleash the Glaswegian accent!”) is a photographer who takes INCREDIBLE photos around and about the Barras. You can see some of his work here.

* Ewa Wanat is a phonetician working at the University of Glasgow.

* Collette McCarthy works in TV - she’s a development executive for World Productions. She is originally from East London but now lives in Glasgow.

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Thanks:

Big big thanks to John McDiarmid for production support. John is a freelance radio producer, documentarian and journalist. You can find his company on Instagram @teltmedia. He recently finished his first feature-length documentary, St Mungo’s Approval.

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Big big thanks too to Seb Philp for the music. He doesn’t have a website, but if you’d like to talk to him, send me a message!

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Also thanks to my everlastingly excellent writer-pals Bicola Barratt-Crane, Peter McCune, Angie Spoto, Eilidh McCabe, Joma West, Heather Margaret, Josie Rodgers and Agnieszka Checka for being the first to listen to episode 1, and for all of the feedback and ideas. They are both the best proof-readers and the best pals anyone could wish for!

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And thanks to Osh for that point about the Queen dropping her /r/s :)