Labiodental sounds, such as F and V, have been known to be rarely met in hunter-gatherer languages. To understand how this has occurred, the authors undertook a massive statistical inquiry. 2,400 languages were analyzed, and a biomechanical model of mouth and lip movements was created.
Knowledge of the facts is called factive knowledge. In the phrase 'He knows [that it is warm outside]', the embedded clause is assumed to be true. However, in the phrase 'It seems [that it is warm outside]', the embedded clause is presupposed to be false or counterfactive.
Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as 'f' in languages all over the world, a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich has shown. The findings contradict the theory that the range of human sounds has remained fixed throughout human history.
A new Northwestern University study provides the first evidence that infants' increasingly precise perceptual tuning to the sounds of their native language sets constraints on the range of human languages they will link to cognition.
Scientists employed fMRI to record the brain activity of participants speaking with another human or with a robot. Their findings show that, when compared to a similar conversation with a robot, dialogue with a fellow human significantly increases activity in the amygdalae, basal ganglia, and hypothalamus. The first two of these brain structures are involved in cerebral reward circuits while the third synthesizes oxytocin, a neuropeptide that specifically promotes the formation of social bonds.
Speakers tend to say 'uh' before uncommon words ('uh... automobile') rather than common words ('car'). In a new eye-tracking study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics show that listeners use this information to predict an uncommon word upon hearing 'uh.' Moreover, when an 'atypical' speaker says 'uh' before common words ('uh... car'), listeners learn to predict common words after 'uh' -- but only with a native speaker.
A new study of the English definite article 'the' demonstrates that even seemingly drab function words can send powerful social and political signals. The study 'Pragmatics and the social life of the English definite article,' by Eric Acton (Eastern Michigan University) will be published in the March, 2019 issue of the scholarly journal Language.
A new review explores the different areas of the brain that process the meaning of concrete and abstract concepts. The article is published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurophysiology (JNP).
Studying the songs of mice from the cloud forests of Costa Rica, researchers have identified a brain circuit that might enable the high-speed back and forth of human conversation. This insight could help researchers better understand the causes of speech disorders and point the way to new treatments.
The same brain network that adults use when they hear angry vocalizations is at work in infants as young as six months old, an effect that is strongest in infants whose mothers spend the most time controlling their behavior, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Chen Zhao of the University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues.