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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: Redundancy and Evolution
Submitter: Alex Marsden
Description: Hello,

I was recently studying redundancy on a psycholinguistics module. I was
wondering if anyone knows of any research done on evolution in relation to
redundancy? I read that after listening to someone speak, the listener will
- on average - have forgotten around 50% of what has been said (Fiske,
1982: 11). I suggested that this could have been the reason for humans
adopting function words to complement the content words - as if the person
deletes the function words as they listen, they will simply be left with
the content words and the actual intended meaning of the utterance. Can
anyone give me anymore information on this? Thanks - Alex Marsden

Fiske, J. (1982) Introduction to Communication Studies, USA: Methuen and Co.
Date Posted: 17-Jan-2007
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
LL Issue: 18.176
Posted: 17-Jan-2007

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