Lingua Franca - Program podcast

ABC Radio National

Arts, Literature

Lingua Franca, presented by Maria Zijlstra, looks at all aspects of language: language old, modern, and even invented. Through interviews and prepared talks, the program features experts who analyse a single topic of interest to users and lovers of language. Examples of the sort of linguistic territory they traverse are: bi-lingual education, ebonics, the language of pornography, and the political use of words. Lingua Franca is published every Saturday.


How Sherpa children learn their language

December 15th, 2012

Episode 44 of 50 episodes

The Sherpa people – famous for their assistance to climbers of Mount Everest – speak to their children using short, sharp commands, rather than the ‘motherese’ or child-directed baby talk that is so common among native speakers of European languages. Current research in this remote Himalayan community may debunk the notion that such baby talk is a universal component of child language acquisition.