How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
This book describes and assesses pronunciation talent in its various dimensions, such as production and perception or the segmental and suprasegmental levels of speech. Special focus is put on the psychological and neural correlates of phonetic performance. Behavioral influences such as empathy or motivation are investigated. The resulting classification of proficiency and talent level is used to select subjects for neuroimaging studies in which differences in brain activity between talented and untalented individuals are observed.