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In this episode I talk about words – what they are and where they come from. This is losely based on a talk I gave at the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava in 2018 entitled “Deconstructing Language“.
Videos and slides from other presentations I have given at language-related events.
Music featured in this episode
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One thought on “Episode 41 – Words”
Simon, I am surprised your podcast did not include the word (or, prefix) “meta”. Your presentation used meta-words to describe words. The idea of “meta” comes up a lot in language-related fields. In your own, you use phonetic notations like IPA or UPA. These could be called meta-alphabets, which are alphabets used to describe the pronunciation of other alphabets.
So, when you gave a podcast and spoke about words, you used meta-words to do so. Of course, when you do that, you used English as the meta-language to describe English (as well as other languages).
It is possible that meta-references could be “nested” or “recursive”, but that probably happens infrequently. For instance, there might be a meta-meta-alphabet that tried to form a common description of all phonetic alphabets, which themselves are meta-alphabets. As I say, it’s *possible* to do this, but likely there isn’t much call for it, except in some very restricted academic settings.