Talkin’ About Talk is a collection of fascinating insights into language: a series of 52 little essays–conversational in tone, light and anecdotal in style–that encourage language study and invite listeners to look further into the subject of each essay. The series, part of the 2005: The Year of Languages celebration, was co-sponsored by the College of Charleston (SC) and the National Museum of Language. The material was written by a wide-ranging group of experts, including some of the most well-known linguists in America.

The first twenty programs are online and available here. They are about 5 min each. I haven’t listened to them all, but what I’ve heard so far makes for a good introduction to contemporary issues in linguistics, sociolinguistics, and linguistic anthropology. They are basically just one person talking (the same person no matter who wrote the segment), which gives them a bit of monotonous tone — especially if you listen to more than a couple in a row. It would have been nice if they had been more like NPR news segments with interviews and real-world sounds mixed in.

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