The science of how you sound when you talk through a face mask

Worried you won't be understood while wearing a mask? Don't be. We studied how people sound while talking through fabric and the results are encouraging.

Dominic Watt, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science, University of York • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~6 min

covid-19 coronavirus linguistics speech face-masks coronavirus-insights

Why do kids call their parents 'Mom' and 'Dad'?

One anthropologist found 1,072 similar words for 'mom' and 'dad' in the world's languages. It turns out a mix of biology, culture and encouragement from parents explains this phenomenon.

Denise Bodman, Principal Lecturer in Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University • conversation
May 6, 2020 ~6 min

children linguistics language parents mothers curious-kids curious-kids-us fathers dad names words baby-talk dads

Forensic linguists explore how emojis can be used as evidence in court

Forensic linguists are called as expert witnesses in court cases to provide linguistic analysis of legal documents and other forms of oral and documentary evidence -- including emojis.

Russell H. Kaschula, Professor of African Language Studies, Rhodes University • conversation
March 22, 2020 ~7 min

 language  emoticons  emojis  forensic-linguistics

Why people take offence

It's all about context.

Tahmineh Tayebi, Lecturer, Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, Aston University • conversation
March 4, 2020 ~6 min

 linguistics  language  offensive-language  insults

“She” goes missing from presidential language

Even when people believed Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election, they did not use “she” to refer to the next president.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Jan. 8, 2020 ~10 min

linguistics politics language women research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-institutes-of-health-nih


Mechanisms of real-time speech interpretation in the human brain revealed

Scientists have come a step closer to understanding how we’re able to understand spoken language so rapidly, and it involves a huge and complex set of computations in the brain.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Sept. 30, 2019 ~2 min

 language-sciences  linguistics

Comparing primate vocalizations

Study shows Old World monkeys combine items in speech — but only two and never more, unlike humans.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 3, 2019 ~7 min

evolution linguistics biology animals research school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences

AI system may accelerate search for cancer discoveries

Searching through the mountains of published cancer research could be made easier for scientists, thanks to a new AI system. 

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Nov. 27, 2018 ~4 min

artificial-intelligence-ai spotlight-on-artificial-intelligence spotlight-on-cancer cancer language-sciences linguistics natural-language-processing spotlight-on-language-sciences

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