Study: Word sounds contain clues for language learners

(PhysOrg.com) -- Why do words sound the way they do? For over a century, it has been a central tenet of linguistic theory that there is a completely arbitrary relationship between how a word sounds and what it means.

'Coffee Talk' Disappearing In Native New Yorkers

In the early 1990s, comedian Mike Myers regularly dressed up in a giant wig, gaudy fake nails and gigantic sunglasses to become Linda Richman -- a stereotypical New Yorker who had fits of feeling "verklempt" and thought that ...

Disappearing vowels 'caught' on tape in US midwest

Try to pronounce the words "caught" and "cot." If you're a New Yorker by birth, the two words will sound as different as their spellings. But if you grew up in California, you probably pronounce them identically.

Wagner's 'difficult' reputation unwarranted says research

The composer Richard Wagner is well-known, even notorious, for writing operas that can challenge both performers and listeners. A new study published in the Journal of the Acoustic Society of America reveals that Wagner set ...

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