The experience that babies get from eavesdropping on their mother’s conversations in utero helps their brain tune into the language that they will learn to speak once they are born.
Emily Nunnell/The Conversation CC-BY-ND
Using a sing song voice helps babies tell the difference between words like 'mummy' or 'daddy'.
If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
No longer do we need to talk with shop assistants, receptionists, bus drivers or even coworkers, we simply engage with a screen to communicate whatever it is we want to say.
One of the ways we work out what proto-language might have been like is by looking at languages which have developed from nothing in recent times. One of the best examples is Nicaraguan Sign Language.
In the space of a few short years, deaf Nicaraguan school children created their own language. This example may give us a clue about how spoken language developed over thousands of years.
Our research supports the idea that human speech abilities comes down to our brain power.
How to talk to people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Phone calls create an opportunity for genuine exchange that written communication lacks.
The internet has revolutionised communication, but voice calls are declining in some demographics. And that means we may be losing out on a powerful part of what connects us to each other.
Children’s imaginations around events can be even more frightening than reality.