Lena Henke - Cross-Cultural Psycholinguistics with Smartphones: The Little Prince Project

2021, December 9 - 12:00

Integrated into "The English sentence" lecture (on 9 December, 2021), DEL delivers the following online talk:

Lena Henke

(Research Group Language Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences)

Cross-Cultural Psycholinguistics with Smartphones: The Little Prince Project

Our mother tongue comes easy to us. We understand it naturally and without much effort. It seems  like it was made for us.  But  how  do  we  understand  the  many  sounds and words so effortlessly?

Perhaps the brain's electronics and our  language are ideally attuned  to  each  other. When we listen to speech, we perceive a continuous stream of words. We need to combine these words before  the  individual  words overcrowd our memory and we forget them. However,  to  make those connections, we need to sample entire groups of words, rather  than  each of them individually.

Now the question arises: could the electronics of the human brain even prescribe a processing window for the grouping of words and thus an ideal group size? And if brain electronics are the same in all humans, shouldn't this processing window be reflected in languages themselves?

To  answer these questions, we have  developed the  smartphone app Language Cycles.  In the app, native speakers of 25 languages can participate in two experiments. Our goal is to find out which structures are perceived as pleasant in all languages and in which way words are collected into word groups. The app allows us to collect a large sample of the different languages and thus helps us to uncover similarities across languages.

Join with this link: https://unideb.webex.com/unideb/j.php?MTID=mbec358ba9e301071ea9a86ac4c29f1b5

All are welcome!


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