Language Instinct Chapter 6

Language Instinct - Language Instinct Chapter 6 The Sounds of Silence Dr Swathi Vanniarajan Ling 161 Psycholinguistics Thesis of this chapter Human

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Language Instinct Chapter 6 The Sounds of Silence Dr. Swathi Vanniarajan Ling 161: Psycholinguistics
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Thesis of this chapter Human brain can handle phonological processes that cannot be captured by any speech synthesizer at this time.
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Argument 1 The human brain can hear speech content in sounds that we have only the remotest resemblance to speech and yet make sense of it.
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Our brain can flip between hearing something as a bleep and hearing it as a word because phonetic perception is like a sixth sense.
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Speech perception is a biological miracle that is a part of the human language instinct.
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What we perceive is language (speech). We hear speech as a string of separate words. In the speech sound wave, one word runs into the next seamlessly; there are no little silences between spoken words the way there are white spaces between written words.
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We simply hallucinate word boundaries when we reach the edge of a stretch of sound that matches some entry in our mental dictionary. . ..In a foreign language, it is impossible to tell where one word ends and the next begins.
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Argument 02 No human made system can match a human in decoding speech
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Ear is a narrow informational bottleneck. It lacks other visual supports. We can hear 45 phonemes per second. The phonemes are not presented in a conspicuous sequence. Our brain has to somehow unpack the information from what comes to the ear.
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Engineers have been working on speech synthesizers for more than 45 years. There is a tradeoff - if the computer has to understand a lot of people, then it understands very little.
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Also, even to understand one person, the system has to be trained to work with that person very extensively. It is an impressive product but no match for even a mediocre stenographer.
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course LING 161 at San Jose State University .

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Language Instinct - Language Instinct Chapter 6 The Sounds of Silence Dr Swathi Vanniarajan Ling 161 Psycholinguistics Thesis of this chapter Human

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