Happy New Year’s Eve! Have you made any resolutions? Perhaps a resolution to learn something new in the new year? If so, you’re in luck! I’ve recently run across a number of different Netflix documentaries that touch on differents aspects of acoustics that readers of this blog might enjoy. (Yes, I’ve spent a lot of my winter break watching documentaries. Why do you ask?)
- Sanrachna (Hindi with English subtitles)
- This series focuses on the architecture of ancient India. The second episode is all about the architectural acoustics of Golconda fort and Gol Gumbaz. Through careful design and construction, a handclap in the foyer of Golconda fort can be heard half a mile away!
- The Lion in Your Living Room (English)
- This Canadian documentary is about domestic house cats. In addition to some discussion of the ins and outs of cat’s ears, there’s a really cool segment by Karen McComb where she talks about the acoustic qualities of different types of purrs.
- Bonus: Some sweet examples of the Canadian vowel shift.
- Ocean Giants (English)
- This BBC documentary about whales and dolphins has three hour-long episodes, and each includes a lot of underwater acoustics and animal communication. If you’ve only got time for one episode, the third episode “Voices of the Sea” is all about whale and dolphin vocalizations.
- Do I sound gay? (English)
- This documentary by David Thorpe explores the stereotype of “a gay voice” and does include some cameos by linguists. From a sociolinguisitcs standpoint, I think it’s a bit simplistic (to be fair, probably becuase I’m a sociolinguist) but it’s still an interesting discussion of speech and identity.
- Bonus: If you want to get a more linguistics-y perspective, this post on Language Log (and the comments) go into a lot of depth.
Oh, and if you don’t have Netflix, I’ve got you covered too. Here are two Youtube channels with linguistics contents you might like:
- Lingthusiasm (English)
- The Ling Space (English)
- This channel has been around for a while and has little bite-sized videos about a range of linguistics topics. They have a new video every Wednesday.
Do you know of any other good documentaries about linguistics or acoustics? Leave a comment and let me know!