The LSA is proud to serve as the lead sponsor of the Subtitle podcast.  This new venture is made possible, in part, by the receipt of a grant totaling almost $200,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  The podcast, called Subtitle, is produced by Patrick Cox, winner of the LSA's Linguistics Journalism Award in 2019, and by documentary film and radio producer Kavita Pillay. Cox previously served as the producer of the World in Words podcast that was also supported by the NEH.  The LSA is excited to assume sponsorship of this outstanding forum for informing the public about language and linguistics research.

The NEH grant will only cover about 80 percent of the total project expenses, with the remainder to be raised through individual donations, corporate sponsorships, private foundation grants, and paid advertising. As a charitable, tax-exempt non-profit organization, the LSA welcomes financial contributions to support its mission, including production costs associated with the Subtitle podcast. Donations for this purpose may be made by visiting our secure online donation facility.

About Subtitle

Language unites and divides us. It amuses and aggravates us. It gives us voice and mystifies us.  Subtitle explores how language does all these things, perplexing and fooling us along the way. The podcast considers linguistic obsessions: apostrophe “abuse,” speech discrimination, the sweetness of a mother tongue. It tells the stories of comedians and scholars; speakers of endangered languages; speakers of multiple languages; and just plain old speakers. 

Subscribe to Subtitle on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen to Episode One: Not So Anonymous 

Listen to Episode Two: Words We Love to Hate

Listen to Episode Three: The Language of Diamonds

Listen to Episode Four: Gullah Geechee enters the academy

Listen to Episode FiveWhy Mormons are so good at languages

Listen to Episode Six: Is a Polyglot's Brain Different?

Listen to Episode Seven: The Talk of the Forest 

Listen to Episode Eight: Did Katrina Kill the New Orleans Accent?

Listen to Episode Nine: How to Communicate with Aliens

Listen to Episode Ten: Going Dutch

Listen to Episode Eleven: One virus, many languages

Listen to Episode Twelve: At war, and not at war

Listen to Episode Thirteen: In quarantine with Joanna Hausmann

Listen to Episode Fourteen: In quarantine with Joe Wong

Listen to Episode Fifteen: A metaphor for our times with Elena Simino

Listen to Episode Sixteen:  'Sisu' gets an update

Listen to Episode Seventeen: The birth of a language

Listen to Episode Eighteen: We Speak: Patrick and Kavita

Listen to Episode Nineteen: We Speak: Verónica

Listen to Episode Twenty: We Speak: Ciku

Listen to Episode Twenty-One: We Speak: Tina


About Patrick Cox 

Patrick Cox worked as a theater sound designer in Copenhagen and London before graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a Masters in Journalism. He then worked in radio journalism, mainly for The World public radio show where he reported from dozens of countries. The stories he brought home that most intrigued him were about language: the street slang of Singapore, the linguistic spats of post-apartheid South Africa, the lost words of the lost nation of Yugoslavia. In 2008, he founded The World in Words podcast. In 2018, the Linguistic Society of America gave him its Linguistics Journalism Award. A year later, Subtitle was born. 


About Kavita Pillay

Kavita Pillay was born and raised in northeastern Ohio, where the myth of the “General American” accent runs deep. She came to audio by way of documentary film. She has reported for The World and the BBC on comedians in Singapore, Catholicism in Poland, and Finland’s insecurity complex. Her feature-length documentary on Indian men named Stalin and Lenin is in post-production. Her work has received the support of many organizations, including the LEF Foundation, the Sundance Institute, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Fulbright Scholar Program.