Rethink Speech Taster

Ever laughed at speech turned backwards?

It sounds like a strange foreign language, possibly Martian.

Now – have you ever laughed at writing turned backwards?

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Somehow not quite so funny, is it?

So why is that? Why is backwards speech funny, while backwards writing is ho-hum?

The answer tells us something pretty fundamental about the nature of speech.

Love mondegreens and mishearings?

Here’s a classic example (from Felix Sputnik).

At Rethink Speech, we love funny misheard song lyrics (mondegreens). And not just for their humour, great as that is.

Even more for what they can tell us about the nature of speech – and the nature of our minds (Hint: there’s more to it than a trick of our ‘biased’ brain).

Want to speak like a rainbow? Turns out, you do!

The rainbow is a sequence of 7 colours, right?

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Well, sort of right. 7 colours is how we think about speech. The real rainbow is a continuous gradation of colour.

The word ‘rainbow’ is a sequence of 7 sounds, right? Turns out that’s only sort of right too. We think about it as 7 sounds. In reality it’s a continuous gradation of sound.

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Why spoken communication needs phonetic science

‘The French have a notoriously difficult time with the  ‘th’ sound in English.’

Can you tell what these people are trying to say?

Is ‘th’ really their main problem? Is teaching them ‘th’ the best help you could give?

Rethinking speech can suggest a better way.

Why the law needs phonetic science

Phonetics is a lot more interesting than you probably expect. And its findings have relevance in a lot more important domains than you might expect.

One of the areas Rethink Speech specialises in is Forensic Phonetics. The video gives a taste.

But wait, there’s more!

Rethink Speech is as much about thinking as about speech. Investigating speech gives a fresh new perspective on how the mind works, with implications for how we understand our world and ourselves, and for how we live our lives.

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In today’s world, what could be more important than that?