Posts Tagged ‘ Psycholinguistics ’

Rubber Robot Mouths for the Hearing Impaired

A team of researchers  is attempting to create an apparatus that not only learns how to articulate human speech, but also teaches hearing impaired individuals how to better articulate such speech (see original article) and even sing!

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It does this by using neural networks to adaptively learn how to vocalize using the constructed robot mouth. Then, the hearing impaired can use visual feedback to ascertain whether or not their utterances match the targets, or ideal utterances.

You can actually watch a video of the “creepy” little robot here. Apparently, it took a little bit of mocking in Popular Science to come to the forefront of my attention.

Nevertheless, it promises to be a useful tool for the hearing impaired who desire to not be speech impaired as well.

-Posted by Ashley


Language’s Equal Status

I’ve grown up hearing people say and thinking that the English language was a “complex” language, even more complex than other languages. Now, after minimal reading in linguistics, I know this is a misconception. English may be irregular but it’s no more complex than any other language. The linguist Dan Slobin summarized this point nicely in a Qualia interview.

There’s no way in which you can define one language as being more complex than another. If you look at all of the devices available in a language, my guess is they’ll balance each other off. So, if you lose case-inflection then you’ll have more complicated word order laws and richer uses of prepositions. (Slobin, 2005)

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