Arguably, we are all masters of our first language(s). In many domains, improvisation is the showcase of ultimate mastery, no? Can we go the other way around and say that when using language we are constantly improvising? The author of this blog post certainly found this idea far-fetched at first. Here, we try to unpack the commonalities between musical improvisation and every-day speaking. Read along and learn what Johann Sebastian Bach, Anthony Hopkins, and Michael Jordan have in common.
“To be, or not to be?” Who among us a few months ago could have dreamed the famous fictitious ruminations of that great Dane would carve themselves into our collective realities. Negativity is inescapable in the face of a global pandemic, and in these times, the famous question itself becomes inescapable. From the responsible citizen agonizing over whether or not to attend a social gathering, to the doctors and nurses deciding who gets the last ventilator, and who does not.Doorgaan met het lezen van “Finding the positives in every negative”
In een gesprek houd je vaak rekening met wat de ander weet. Zo praat je waarschijnlijk anders, simpeler, tegen je familie over je werk of studie, dan tegen je collega’s. Maar doen we dat in elke situatie? En doen sommige mensen dit vaker dan anderen?Doorgaan met het lezen van “Zijn we egocentrische sprekers?”
There is growing evidence to support that early childhood experience influences a child’s language comprehension and production ability by shaping how his/her brain grows and develops. It is important to understand which aspects of childhood experience are critical for a child’s language development.Doorgaan met het lezen van “Children’s language ability is derived from their parents who are good at communication”
Can language make us see?
Imagine an elephant. One of those African bush elephants. Large ears covering its shoulders; a powerful trunk falling to the ground; a pair of magnificent ivory tusks.
Were you able to see it? If so, it is tempting to jump to a conclusion: Yes, language makes us see things we are not currently perceiving through our eyes. But does your mental picture of an elephant have anything to do with real vision? Here’s the answer.
At first glance, the question in the title might seem like a paradox. If the answer is ‘yes’, and impossible languages do exist, then those languages aren’t impossible at all. However, the title aims to address a different question: is there a limit to the variety of languages that there could be? In other words, can we think of a language that will never be spoken by humans? Read more
We are used to thinking that what we see accurately represents our environment, give or take an occasional lapse of attention. We talk about eyes as being windows to the outside world, allowing us to ‘see reality’. However, research has recently shown that the whole picture is not quite so simple. As it turns out, the way we see our surroundings is very much shaped by our knowledge, experience, and expectations. And one of the things that seems to have the biggest impact on our perception is actually our language.
Soms kun je een woord al horen aankomen nog voor het is gezegd (bijv. “peper en […]”). Gevoelsmatig spelen zulke mentale voorspellingen een belangrijke rol in taalbegrip. Maar in de taalwetenschap is het belang van voorspellingen en verwachtingen lange tijd omstreden geweest. Hoe kan dat? Om dat te snappen, moeten we het eerst hebben over de aard van taal zelf. Lees verder