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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3answers
8k 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
votes
0answers
19 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
2answers
4k 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
481 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
75 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
402 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
133 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
0answers
43 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 ...
5
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0answers
81 views

What are the most well-understood vocal animal languages? [closed]

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
74 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
78 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
301 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
344 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
109 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
votes
1answer
157 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
305 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
1k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
822 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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
136 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 ...