What is cognitive phonetics?

How do you think about speech? pixabay
How do YOU think about speech? Pixabay

Cognitive Phonetics is the scientific study of how people think about speech.

That may seem a bit paradoxical. If phonetics is a science, shouldn’t it focus on what speech is really like, not on what people think about it?

Well certainly phonetics needs to observe what speech is really like – but doing so turns out to raise a lot of questions about how people think about speech – as we discuss in our Intro.

If that sounds a bit weird but a bit intriguing, and if you have gone through introductory topics like What does it mean to think about speech? — you might be just about ready to check out RTS101: Unlearning especially Observing speech and Thinking about speech.