Zoeken

Het Talige Brein

Categorie

Research [EN]

Settling an old debate: can words help us see letters more clearly?

Letters are more easily recognised when embedded in a word. We’ve all experienced this effect, for instance when navigating in bad weather: it’s easier to read a word or name (like a road sign) than a random string (like a licence plate). But why?

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Settling an old debate: can words help us see letters more clearly?”

All mistakes spread a light

“Once a time upon, was a village there … what?!! The chamberlain was shocked. He was the third jester that messed all the words up. Maybe there was something wrong at court? Witchcraft, for sure! He heard other people having insane conversations, with dogs chased by cats and adjectives used as nouns. There was no time to think, and the king had to be informed.

Doorgaan met het lezen van “All mistakes spread a light”

Imagine an image without vision

What is an image? What a stupid question, you think. The answer seems clear enough! Open your eyes: what you see is an image (my living room, a burning candle, the bare trees at the top of the hill). But do we need vision to have images? What if we were born blind and had never seen anything?

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Imagine an image without vision”

Did the dog bite the man or was the dog bitten by the man?

People sometimes fail to notice that the second sentence actually means the opposite of the first: our comprehension abilities may not be as good as one assumes they are. Research has shown that implausible sentences with more complex structures are sometimes misunderstood in favour of the more plausible option.

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Did the dog bite the man or was the dog bitten by the man?”

The prediction paradox

In everyday language, you can sometimes anticipate a word so clearly that you can almost hear it before it has been said – for instance, “it’s raining cats and (…)”. In such cases, your mind seems to automatically fill in the blank. Intuitively, these mental predictions might seem important to help us understand language. But, in the language sciences, the role of prediction in language has always been controversial. To see why, we first need to understand a peculiar property of language itself.

Doorgaan met het lezen van “The prediction paradox”

Are we egocentric when we speak?

In a conversation, we often take into account the knowledge of the other person. You will probably talk differently, less technically, to your family about your work or studies than to your colleagues. But do we take others into account in every situation? And do some people do this more often than others?

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Are we egocentric when we speak?”

Finding the positives in every negative

“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”

Children’s language ability is derived from their parents who are good at communication

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”

Improvising Babbler

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.

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Improvising Babbler”

Blog op WordPress.com.

Omhoog ↑