Language in the eye of the beholder
Research in the Center for Language Science and the Language and Bilingualism Lab in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese has been featured in a recent article by Penn State News. The article discusses research being conducted by Clara Cohen, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology.
Although only a small faction of the larger scope of linguistics research, Cohen’s study could potentially unlock new information about how language is processed across the globe, with possible benefits for those with dyslexia and even Apple’s computerized personal assistant, Siri.
Cohen suggests that for English speakers, determining whether or not a noun is plural might actually occur before a person even hears the “s” at the end of the word. In fact, there are subtle cues in the duration of singular and plural words that could help a listener predict plurality.