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By the Donzerly Light: when our ears play tricks on us (26 Feb 2013)

UCL Sound on March 08, 2013 12:19

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    Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2013

    Prof Andrew Nevins, Professor of Linguistics, UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

    Almost every song lyric can be misunderstood: famously, Jimi Hendrix’s 'Kiss the Sky' is often heard as 'Kiss This Guy'. Why does this happen? While slips of the tongue are well-known, slips of the ear have received far less attention. Professor Nevins has developed a database of 4000 naturally collected examples where the hearer is the source of miscommunication. Looking into recurrent slips reveals that our expectations can bias what we mishear, but within limits: the actual utterance and the misheard message must be phonetically close enough to allow our ears to deceive us.

    Listen to more Lunch Hour Lectures from this series:

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