Questions that are about the neurobiological and psychological factors that affect the acquisition, comprehension and utilisation of the language in human beings.

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0answers
34 views

What else about Proto-Indo-European can improve my English and French? [closed]

Thanks to Etymonline.com, I only recently discovered the value and utility of recognising Proto-Indo-European (aka PIE) roots in connecting words and so strengthening vocabulary. While bewaring of ...
1
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4answers
115 views

Does learning ancestral languages enrich a subsequent language?

[Grammarphobia.com:] The study, published in 1973, offered this breakdown of sources [of English vocabulary]: Latin: 28.34%;  French: 28.3%;   Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch: 25%; ...
7
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6answers
1k views

Why do we call pitches “low” and “high”?

We use "low" and "high" in everyday speech when talking about sound, pitch or even frequency. However, if you think of it, the sound of a bassoon is no way closer to the ground ("lower") than the ...
-1
votes
1answer
34 views

The difference between parsing in humans and in computers

I know we can't precisely describe how humans parse sentences but what is the most common hypothesis? Linguists say that humans don't use the known algorithms for context-free parsing (which makes ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Are there words that induce semantic satiation more or less quickly than other words?

Some time back, I noticed that the word "amongst" induces semantic satiation for me very quickly. I don't know why, but that particular word stops making sense to me in very short order, and to be ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Is there a term for a made-up synonym or analogy to describe a forgotten word?

(I'm not a linguist, just generally interested in languages, so forgive me if I lack the appropriate vocabulary.) There are some examples here, but the general gist is that someone forgets a word (in ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Memorability of words?

I'm asking this here as I'm not seeing a psycho-linguistic group, and I think that is what I'm looking at. I'm hoping there is some degree of crossover. Is there a specific word or phrase used that ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

How can I embed language proficiency assessment within an unrelated experiment design?

I'm in the process of designing a self-paced-reading & a grammaticality-judgment-task experiment, which should be performed by second language learners. It is crucial to the study is how the ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Do individuals have an Occam’s razor for word meanings?

Background and Example On the German Stack Exchange, we had a lengthy discussion regarding the meaning of the word Gefäß. It was undisputed that a Gefäß is: an item which can contain liquids ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

How to cope with many languages at the same time [closed]

I am a student who knows English, and whose mother tongue is Russian. I started studying English around 15 years ago and never put any effort into it. I just grew organically and managed to get to ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

Is the semantic component of a generative grammar especially difficult to incorporate in psycholinguistic proccessing models? [closed]

It is often said that it is difficult to match up the structure rules of a grammar with psychologically realistic models of competence. I was wondering if the semantic component was especially ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

Two tasks in one experiment design (self-paced-reading & grammaticality judgment)

For experiment design experts, I want to know if it's possible to design an experiment on PsychoPy or Open Sesame in which the subject does a self paced reading (with measuring the reading times for ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Language transfer for second language learners (French-English)

How does language transfer occur from French to English within native french speakers' mind? Can we observe this phenomenon ?
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Reference for help in identifying the abnormal syntax or use of language in psychotic individuals

I have a job in which I must try to differentiate between persons who are actually psychotic and those who are faking psychosis, and it is often quite difficult. I would like to identify ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

L1 memories being recalled in my L2

The situation is as follows: I have been studying my L2 for approximately 4 years. I have spent a total of 10 months immersed in the L2 environment. My current stint has been for 5 months and ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

Psycholinguistic/Sociolinguistic theories of lying and/or deception

That is a very broad question, I understand. I am working in a project where my aim is to detect linguistic features of deception as a person is speaking or writing. Some work has been done for ...
4
votes
1answer
302 views

Is 'It' anaphoric or cataphoric, and what is its antecedent/postcedent?

Question 1a: What does 'It' refer to in the following sentence: It was clearly in the mood to place acknowledgements at the bottom of questions. The context for the above sentence is provided ...
2
votes
2answers
258 views

What is the sociocultural purpose of banning slang in schools?

There was an article in the Guardian recently about a headteacher in the Black Country banning the use of local dialect in school: (http://www.theguardian.com/educa...) He says he's seeing children ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

The manifestation of creativity in written language

I am working on a project where the aim is to create a dictionary of creativity terms. I am a scholar of social psychology and marketing, and the aim the project is to be able to track ideas and ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

Methods for meaning extraction

Let someone wants to know what some word (concrete as "chair" or abstract as "happiness") mean. What methods, experimental techniques are there for extracting word's meaning? I found next ways: ...
2
votes
0answers
269 views

There is evidence that domesticated animals (cats or dogs) understand human language?

Some pet owners seem to be able to speak to their cats or dogs. Is there any evidence that animals understand human languages? EDIT: By understand, i mean understanding of spoken language and ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

What can dialectology contribute to psycho- or neurolinguistics - or the other way around?

Dialectology is the study of geographical varieties of a language. The study of (for example) older dialects of English (such as the dialect spoken in the Northeast of England around Newcastle) and ...
4
votes
1answer
240 views

Body parts and metaphor

Across languages, body parts are used as part of a metaphor, whether it is in an idiom or in a phrasal construction. Do any know of any survey like academic paper that investigates the whys and hows ...
1
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0answers
38 views

The informal word a child uses to call his/her mother is the same (or strongly similar) in many languages. Why? [duplicate]

I was rather surprised to learn that the Chinese word for "mommy" is māmā. It never surprised me to hear that this word is similar among Western languages, because of some common origin or borrowing ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is it “easier” to understand a foreign language when reading than to speak it?

I know that the two mentioned abilities are different. I always find it quite straightforward to understand a foreign language when reading. provided I have a good knowledge of its grammar and a large ...
1
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0answers
180 views

To what extent do children adapt to a language which is not their mother-tongue?

In following when talking about 'native speaker' I refer to what is considered as 'mother tongue' rather than reaching a level of fluency. For the purpose of this question think of an average person ...
6
votes
1answer
202 views

Does the phrase “thinking in a language” have empirical meaning?

In discussions of language learning, multilingualism, and related topics, I hear references to "thinking in a language." Two questions on this stack exchange list have referenced this, namely "What ...
1
vote
0answers
331 views

How to distinguish multilingualism from polyglotism?

What are defining criteria, and how can we decide whether a person speaking, say, ten languages is a multilingual or a polyglot?
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Do bilinguals and multilingual native speakers make language mistakes?

Suppose a person speaks several languages, occasionally making mistakes in grammar(s), using untypical patterns, clichés and/or calques. Can such a level of language competence be defined as ...
3
votes
1answer
377 views

Does language influence thinking skills or cognition

I have an intuition, and Hypothesis, that the native language we speak is responsible for our cognition and thinking skills. e.g. Hebrew speaking people would have poor spatial ability compared to ...
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votes
1answer
560 views

What are the job opportunities in linguistics? [closed]

I like learning new languages so I am curious in getting a degree in linguistics. What kind of jobs are available as a linguist? What are the opportunities available in this field? From what I am ...
8
votes
5answers
260 views

In multilingual dialogues, which factors determine the language the speaker chooses for a given word or phrase?

As is the case in many households, my wife and I are both fluent in two languages to the degree that we speak to each other without a conscious thought as to which language we are using. We often ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Why does ambient conversation in the same language confuse me when I recite, but in another language not?

I pray in Hebrew. Many of my prayers have fixed wordings; as such, sometimes (alas) I wind up reciting them without wholly concentrating on what I'm saying. When I'm doing so, I find that concurrent ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

What kinds of maths to learn for understanding dynamical systems in cognitive linguistics?

A current trend in cognitive science is to view the mind as a dynamical system (e.g., Continuity of Mind by psycholinguist Spivey, in which cognition--including language comprehension and ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Is there a term for a mental prototype changing?

Years ago, if I heard the word bird I thought about a sparrow since I live in western Pennsylvania and there are sparrows everywhere. But now, if I hear the word bird I picture a blue, two-dimensional ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to become a native speaker of another language for someone that already has a mother tongue?

Are there any studies/researches on fields like neurolinguistics(or any other fields) to allow people (can be via drugs, psycho training..whatever) to become a native speaker of another language? Is ...
8
votes
3answers
226 views

Is the body language and hand movements manifested by a person as they speak part of that person's idiolect?

By this, I mean do a person's body language and hand gestures as they speak manifest in a consistent and observable way? I'm a person who speaks with my hands very much; if I'm not moving my hands ...
5
votes
0answers
441 views

When you think one word, but write another, similar sounding word?

If you are writing or typing and you are thinking of one word, but then type another word made of the same phonemes, what is that called and what are the linguistic and /or psychological phenomena ...
5
votes
1answer
998 views

Hearing your name in a noisy crowd: what is this called and how might it work?

I can't really formulate it any more lucid than as it is in the title, so.... I'm reading a phonetics text now, but I haven't yet got to the chapter on 'speech perception' so maybe I'll come across at ...
0
votes
0answers
172 views

Understanding English deeply like native speakers

As I have noticed, a native speaker can actually judge the essence of person, the way he's feeling, even his personality through his writing or voice. Will it be possible for a non-native English ...
10
votes
4answers
329 views

Can one's native medium of language be written, rather than spoken or signed?

(This is probably a poorly-formed question, but I'm really just trying to find out if there's any research in this area.) Most children pick up a spoken or signed language at an early age, and this ...
3
votes
0answers
759 views

What language has the longest word for 'no' and 'yes'?

I'm asking this because I'm learning Swahili now, for which the word 'yes' translates to 'ndiyo' and 'no' translates to 'hakuna.' It strikes me as strange that a language would have such long words ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

What language, if any, do deaf people think in?

If a person is partially deaf, I think they would be able to acquire the language, and actually I've seen partially deaf people speak in addition to the use of a sign language. I suppose this means ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How does alcohol affect the ability to speak a second language?

From my own experience, drinking alcohol has both positive and negative effects to the ability of speaking a second language. On the one hand, it facilitates the process, mainly because one gets more ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

measuring relative importance/social proximity of an addressee based on length of written explanation in letters with multiple addressees

I have a corpus of personal letters in which writers explain a tough decision to multiple addressees, each in its own section/paragraph of the letter (for the most part). I wonder if anybody has ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Have very many studies been done on the difficulties that people have in verbally describing faces and other visual stimuli?

On Scienceblogs.com, we find an article titled When crime-fighting tools go bad: Problems with the face-composite system that documents the difficulty that people have in describing faces. The ...
3
votes
2answers
595 views

Limits on center-embedding in English

Consider the following extremely melodramatic story fragment (the sentences in the story, and its melodramatic character, set up context and motivation for the brain to parse an otherwise ...
8
votes
3answers
275 views

How do linguists deal with losing normal intuition?

Sometimes when I see an example sentence in a linguistics textbook which is supposed to be incorrect or unparseable, I get annoyed because the sentence seems just fine to me. Garden paths aren't the ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Do infants deliberately change the words when they omit the sounds and these words are minimal pairs?

While I was studying an infant's transcript, I realized that he deleted the [l] sound in "alma" [alma], a word in Turkish meaning "do not take". When he deleted the sound, the word became [a:ma]. ...
7
votes
2answers
300 views

What are the motivations for which direction syntactic trees are built in (top down or bottom up)?

When I learned x-bar theory, there seemed to be an implicit assumption that trees were built top-down, from IP or CP to the VP and its complement, etc. However, as I am learning more about Minimalism ...