DDL - UMR 5596
ISH - Bat C
14 avenue Berthelot
69007 Lyon
Tél : 04 72 72 64 12
Fax : 04 72 72 65 90

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This project is undertaken within the framework of the hypo/hyper correction theory, first described as a synchronic process by Björn Lindblom and then reconsidered in a diachronic perspective by John Ohala. This theory considers intra and inter individual variation as one of the principal sources of phonetic changes. This project studies variability in a translinguistic perspective.

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The oral mode of human language, viz. speech, possesses particular temporal and spectral acoustic features. Determining the specific brain networks involved in language processing constitutes a major concern in studies dealing with human cognition. This context has favoured the emergence of the belief that human's brain is predisposed to process the 'primitive' components of language. We may indeed wonder if the brain has specialized networks of areas for the processing of human language and whether these neural chains respond only and/or specifically to human's voice and/or to its characteristics.

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The perception of spoken language is a task we daily fulfil and it implies maximal involvement of the cognitive functions. Its intelligibility will vary according to the clarity of the signal and to the brain's ability to process that signal. Reverse speech is regarded as «degraded speech signal in its most drastic form» and it is generally used as a control condition in experiments intended to demonstrate that the human brain has a capacity to process language, for instance. However, previous experiments on the English language have revealed that human's perceptual system is actually able to process reverse speech to a certain extent.

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