Episode 47: The happy fun big adjective episode

A new episode of Lingthusiasm!

Listen here to Episode 47: The happy fun big adjective episode

Adjectives: they’re big, they’re fun, they’re…maybe non-existent? In English, we have a fairly straightforward category of adjectives: they’re words that can get described with a comparative or a superlative, such as “bigger” or “most fun”. But when we start looking across lots of languages, we find that some languages lump adjectives in with verbs, some with nouns, and some do different things altogether.  

In this episode, your hosts Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch get enthusiastic about adjectives! We talk about how linguists come up with diagnostic tests to determine whether something is an adjective, other quirks about adjectives (such as why we say “big red ball” but not “red big ball”), and the galaxy-brain question of whether grammatical categories like adjectives are even valid across all languages. 

This month’s bonus episode is about doing LingComm on a budget - plus the Lingthusiasm origin story! We got started doing linguistics communication when we were both broke grad students. We talk about the various stages we went through with launching our blogs, Superlinguo and All Things Linguistic, and of course this podcast a few years later! We give tips on how to come up with a topic, set a schedule, and promote your project, as well as the nitty-gritty details on free or low-cost ways to do  things like registering a website and starting a blog, podcast, or youtube channel. Support Lingthusiasm on Patreon to get access to this and 40 other bonus episodes, and to chat with fellow lingthusiasts in the Lingthusiasm patron Discord.


By popular demand, our IPA, Tree and Esoteric Symbol designs are now available on these new non-medical reusable fabric masks from Redbubble. On our store you’ll find the white IPA characters on blackred or navy, and the esoteric symbols in white on black or green on black. If you fancy another colour, or the tree design, we’ve made masks available on all of the scarf pages.

Also check out our Schwa (Never Stressed) pins, IPA scarves, IPA socks, and more at RedBubble.

Here are the links mentioned in this episode:

You can listen to this episode via Lingthusiasm.com, Soundcloud, RSS, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also download an mp3 via the Soundcloud page for offline listening, and stay tuned for a transcript of this episode on the Lingthusiasm website. To receive an email whenever a new episode drops, sign up for the Lingthusiasm mailing list.

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Email us at contact [at] lingthusiasm [dot] com

Gretchen is on Twitter as @GretchenAMcC and blogs at All Things Linguistic.

Lauren is on Twitter as @superlinguo and blogs at Superlinguo.

Lingthusiasm is created by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne. Our senior producer is Claire Gawne, our editorial producer is Sarah Dopierala, and our music is ‘Ancient City’ by The Triangles.

Here’s the link again to Episode 47: The happy fun big adjective episode

Thanks for listening, and stay Lingthusiastic!

Lauren & Gretchen