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Posts Tagged ‘Bilingualism’

It’s on the Ttt….Tip de mi Lengua: Differences in the Tip of the Tongue States for Bilingual and Monolinguals

April 26th, 2018 No comments

Picture this: you run into someone you met last week. You remember you had a great conversation with them and got along well. But, there’s one problem. You can’t, for the life of you, remember their name.  You know it started with an “A” and was a relatively short name, but you can’t quite say the name out loud as you greet them. It’s RIGHT there though, on the tip of your tongue. Luckily, another mutual friend comes up to both of you and says, “Oh, how do you know Abigail?” Ah, yes, Abigail Rhodes. You remember now.

We all know that feeling that accompanies not being able to articulate something we are confident we know or should know. And, there’s a name for that feeling: it’s called the tip of the tongue phenomenon (TOT).  The TOT occurrence is a cognitive bias that is named after the colloquial phrase “it’s on the tip of my tongue” and helps to provide insights into why, even if we know something, we are sometimes unable to verbalize our answer.

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Why are Tongue Twisters so Difficult to Pronounce?

November 24th, 2014 4 comments

Tongue twisters are words, phrases or sentences composed of similar consonantal sounds that make it difficult to articulate. For example, try reading some of these out loud three times as fast as you can:

Freshly fried fresh flesh.

A bloke’s back bike brake block broke.

The soldiers shouldered shooters on their shoulders.

Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.

tongue

You might remember doing some of these as a child as fun little games for kids to do at parties or in the lunchroom. However, from the perspective of a language researcher tongue twisters can actually help us understand how we produce language.

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“To help Dora climb, you gotta say subida. Can you say subida?” – Boots in Dora the Explorer

May 1st, 2014 2 comments

 Dora-The-Explorer

Subida! Subida! Climb! Like Dora in the children’s television show Dora the Explorer, approximately 20% of the American population speaks more than one language fluently. (Grosjean, 2012) They are able to watch Spanish soap operas without subtitles, read the Harry Potter series in German, and ultimately pass along the language to their children. In schools across the country, students are learning a second language every day in the classroom to become bilingual.

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