Tag Archives: linguistics

The Psychological Science of Storytelling

Microphone with blurry audience BG

ResearchBlogging.orgIt hit me about two years ago, sometime after I started this blog. Somewhere between the comedy shows and alarming amount of documentaries I began watching, and the seemingly endless number of people I have met in the last few years, I realized that the social world spins on the axis of stories. It’s hard to believe this fact unless you’re actually in a position where you exploit it. For me, it has become a hard fact of life – if you’re a good storyteller, good things come to you, and people want to be around you. It seems like the most popular people are often the best storytellers, and if you’re a good storyteller, you’re probably good at other things too. But just how do stories have such amazing effects on our lives?

Posted in Culture, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Social Psych, TED | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why Can’t Japanese People Say L’s or R’s?

Most Westerners who come into contact with Japanese people first wonder why they can’t seem to pronounce R’s and L’s. Those who are around them more often tend to observe that they actually can pronounce them, but they always mix them up. Neither of these assumptions are totally accurate. In order to understand the confusion with these English letters, we have to know a bit about the Japanese language.

Posted in Culture, Japan | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Is Japanese the Fastest-Sounding Language?

When you hear a language that you don’t understand, it always sounds like it’s whizzing by you at a million words per minute. People are also generally ignorant of the way they themselves contract colloquialisms and make their natural speech slurred and hurried. This is all natural. But recent research has given some interesting information regarding the speed of several common languages, including which has the most information packed into the fewest amount of syllables, and which language has the most syllables. Where does your language stack up?

Posted in Japan, Psychology | Tagged , , | 3 Comments