For questions about the psychology and neuroscience of the production and perception of oral and written language.

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8
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2answers
167 views

Can the daily use of two or more languages impact cognitive capacity?

I've read the following threads: Is it possible to think in a second language? Does language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity? is it possible to think without language? ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

How would self awareness be limited without languages

Is it possible to posses a self awareness without having any sort of language at hand, not even a personal sign system. How would such an languageless experience be like? I am not sure if this can be ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Why do you sometimes write down one word while actually intending to write another?

I've caught myself writing (typing) "possible" instead of "possibly" a few times over the past few days, while I do intend to write "possibly". Only upon rereading the sentence I notice my mistake. ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Learning vocabulary: Is it better to learn the word through translations?

Suppose that you have a student that is bilingual. Take for example that the student speaks Chinese and English. Suppose that said student is very fluent in Chinese, but not so fluent in English. ...
5
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0answers
27 views

Technical term for the loss of words in your mother-tongue when speaking a different language

I am basically looking for two words which are, though, related to some degree. It might even be that ultimately the same word is the answer to both parts of this question. I split them up into two ...
3
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0answers
23 views

How to select vocabulary items for a test designed to expand vocabulary in English as a second language students?

I am developing a personalized android program designed to expand vocabulary for students learning English as a second language. It includes "story-reading" and "Word-Meaning Quizes". First, ...
-1
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2answers
59 views

Should “just asking” as a reason for a question be considered to be a false statement?

When someone asks a questioner about the reason for his/her question, if they in return answer "just asking" roughly meaning "for no particular reason", should that answer be considered to be a false ...
9
votes
3answers
271 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its ...
2
votes
1answer
19 views

In measuring preferences, is the magnitude of the question wording effect topic-dependent?

I just read that in a survey on legalizing abortions: Responses depended strongly on the question wording. But I have also seen cases where question wording is largely irrelevant. As long as ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

How does syntax highlighting affect the learning of a new programming language?

What impact does syntax highlighting have on students' progress in learning a new programming language? I'm looking for studies along the lines of the following hypothetical experiment, which ...
6
votes
4answers
150 views

is it possible to think without language?

I'm trying to fathom what it might be like for a person with aphasia and for one with agnosia. For a person with a visual agnosia I wonder this: if two unrecognizable objects are shown to them, and ...
3
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2answers
111 views

Why do people get syllables mixed up when trying to recall words?

This question is related to this question. It could be a dupe, but I am more interested in whether this is a form of "dyslexic" thinking (for want of a better expression)? I posted this question on ...
12
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1answer
245 views

Does the effect of naturalistic exposure on second language acquisition vary with age?

A while back, I watched the movie The Terminal and the main character played by Tom Hanks learns to speak fluent English while he is stranded in the airport for more than a year. Which seems somewhat ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Learned dyslexia? adult predicament from childhood teacher´s incompetence?

I have a friend, over 30, who is convinced she cannot really read. Of course; she can read, but she struggles so much with sorting letters into words that she cannot absorb the content. Playing - say ...
10
votes
2answers
491 views

Why might a stutterer not stutter when talking to themselves, whispering, or singing?

Background: I'm a stutterer myself and have always wondered what caused my stuttering. There have been reports of the effects of certain genes and environmental factors that causes stuttering. But ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Is there a term for trying to remember a word, but only remembering its first letter?

This happens to me frequently. I'll say, "Oh you know that guy... uhh... I can't remember his name. But he starts with a 'Z'." You can remember part of the word but not the whole word. Is there a ...
10
votes
3answers
779 views

What is the effect of motherese on development?

Most cultures (Falk, 2009) have a special type of language that is used to talk to children: infant-directed-speech (IDL; or informally, motherese, baby talk). For instance, Fernald (1992) argues that ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Are there any vocal chord experiments that attempt to synthesize communication externally?

I have an idea for an experiment. Basically, the experiment would be to create a novel transmission of visual information via the human vocal chords, but not as a traditional human spoken language ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Why do people remember things when they stop trying to remember? [duplicate]

I posted this question on SE English: Antonym for ameliorate I had been trying to recall a word and it's recollection kept evading me. I remembered the word as soon as I posted the question; which ...
5
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0answers
30 views

Why do I type “it's” when I know it should be “its” [duplicate]

I know the difference between "its" and "it's". When I read it, even in my own writing, I can see incorrect usages almost instantly. However, when I type, I often type "it's" when I should write ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

The effects of online chat on written language skills

With the advent of texting and online social networking. There has been a dictionary of new words and acronyms, based on abbreviations. I have noticed that I will misuse there, they're and their, hear ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Can non-verbal communication in interpersonal relationships be taught rather than acquired?

In my experience people living together in difficult circumstances (e.g. close friends, family members) often learn to relate to each other's non-verbal cues. For instance; A spouse may go shopping ...
19
votes
1answer
269 views

How do emotions influence the language structures we use?

What are the verbal signs of subjectivity? I am doing research about the linguistic content of media (debates, talk-show, sport comments). It occurs that once the participant gets nervous or excited, ...
9
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1answer
102 views

Learning a language by Immersion

Immersion is the process by which children learn their native language, but it can also be used in educational settings. Apparently in some countries, where the official language is not the language ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What causes some people to unconsciously imitate the accents of others?

Background: I often notice that when I talk with someone with an accent that I often unconsciously start to imitate their accent. Similarly, you see some people that very quickly after moving to a ...
3
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0answers
18 views

What is the name of text analysis where emotional tone of words is analyzed? [duplicate]

I'm interested in knowing what can be learned about people by analyzing the emotional content of the words they use in casual speech or writing. I've heard it being referred to as " ... analysis". ...
7
votes
4answers
582 views

Is it possible to think in a second language?

Those who have learned a second language are guaranteed to consciously think of words and their corresponding meaning in your native language or vice versa. This is common with more "complex" ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does repeating one word over and over again sound weird to us after some time?

This effect seems to be observed with almost any word. I would say this phenomenon 'works' for longer and complex words better. When we repeat a word over and over again, it starts to sound very ...
4
votes
4answers
411 views

What is the fastest language to think in?

If you think in any language you're never misstaken on what word you mean even if there are many words that are spelled/pronounced the same. This causes a language with only one word meaning every ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the linguistic equivalent of functional fixedness?

Recently, I saw a crossword clue: (5 letters) "They help you after a crash." After going through the list of EMTs, firemen, police officers, etc. I realized that the answer was "IT Guy." This seems to ...
9
votes
3answers
308 views

What psychological factors account for code readability?

Readability is often intuitively synthesized. If you see some piece of code, you just know whether it is readable or not. But what are actual psychological, scientific explanations for this? There ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Any attempts at testing or modeling the 'cognitive conception' of language?

For those unfamiliar, the 'cognitive conception of language' refers to a claim made by some theorists that, in the words of Carruthers: "besides its obvious communicative functions, language also ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

How much information is lost when conveying an experience or emotion to another person?

Certain languages have words that do not literally translate into any another language. There is already a small loss of information in this sense. Emotions are a personal experience and the ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Is the eye direction language dependent on the direction of writing?

I've read from various sources about the eye direction language. What is of my special interest now, is: looking right means thinking (about future, new ideas etc.) looking left means remembering ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

What are the most well-understood vocal animal languages?

There are many examples of animal language that involve vocal pattens or "grammar". For example, there is the the Bee dance, bird songs, whale songs, dogs. Bird vocalization includes both bird calls ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there sub-conscious error correction in interpreting heard language?

My personal experience suggests there is a background process taking place when interpreting a partially heard utterance. The sound is taken in, the conscious part of my mind begins the process of ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Why do we seem to have an internal drive to use different expressions(mostly when writing)?

How come we have so many words/phrases that share the same meaning? I suppose the most obvious answer to this would be that through communication between people with accent/language A and B, new ...
5
votes
1answer
207 views

Is there a lot of redundancy in written and spoken language?

I read years ago in a pop science book that written and spoken language can be shown to have a high level of redundancy. The speculation was that this served to allow error correction because language ...
9
votes
2answers
246 views

What are different ways to determine centroids of fMRI activation, their drawbacks and perks?

I'm reading an older article on bilingualism (Kim, Relkin, Lee, & Hirsch, 1997) for a seminar. They were interested in the spatial separation of two languages in early and late bilinguals. They ...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Are there any cutting edge techniques that enable to acquire foreign language at relatively fast pace?

I am aware of immersion method as well as mnemonics such as the one Daniel Tammet's Born on a Blue Day. I read that Kim Peek's lack of corpus callosum enabled his brain to absorb information faster ...
5
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1answer
140 views

How does language change the understanding of a complex concept?

For example, does breaking down a complex concept, initially described with scientific and uncommon terms, into less complex language degrade the understanding of the concept or can it maintain all ...
6
votes
2answers
228 views

Is sub-vocalization when reading and writing merely a symptom of lack of fluency?

In reading & writing, I for one, find myself subvocalizing the statement to myself. This behaviour is language-independent. However, the effort and subvocalization involved is greater in any ...
7
votes
2answers
605 views

What is the average amount of new vocabulary adults retain when learning a second language?

What are the realistic/optimal (or maximal) number of words of vocabulary that can be learned (retained and later successfully accessed) by an adult learner of a foreign/second language? (Unit: Per ...
17
votes
2answers
643 views

Does language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity?

Some languages have multiple expressions to identify, address, comprehend, and interpret a single concept and/or experience. Are limits placed on understanding and describing aspects of cognition due ...
13
votes
1answer
804 views

How is a young child able to learn language so easily?

It's a well known fact that the earlier children are exposed to languages the better, as young children have a better ability to learn new languages than adults. Why is this? At what age does a ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What is the relationship between language and the level of comprehension of consciousness?

I asked a similar/related question a couple days ago about how language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity. I'm looking for materials, if any, on the subject of a language's ...