Anna Morpurgo Davies Lecture 2015
‘Observing language change and language processing: Old manuscripts, new brains’
Professor Aditi Lahiri gave the lecture on Friday 8th May 2015.
Speech requires a speaker and a listener, and both have their roles to play in language transmission and change. No word is ever spoken exactly the same even by the same speaker. Despite subtle variation, listeners understand with remarkable ease. It is the speaker-listener interaction that prevents human language from ever remaining static: change is subtle, but persistent and relentless. This talk traces language change and language processing, drawing on evidence of rather different kinds: old manuscripts, the traditional source of philology, as well as modern speech analysis and brain imaging techniques.