Re: virus: From Mouth to Mind

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Thu 21 Nov 2002 - 04:49:58 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: virus: From Mouth to Mind"

    At 02:33 PM 20/11/02 -0600, you wrote:
    >> This article from has been sent to you by
    >> --------------------
    >> August 2002 issue
    >> By W. Wayt Gibbs
    >> New insights into how language warps the brain
    "Some neuroscientists think they are close to explaining, at a physical level, why many native Japanese speakers hear "liver" as "river," and why it is so much easier to learn a new language as a child than as an adult."

    Yes Joe this is a fascinating article. Just on this point though, a few years ago I was working with a youth group called 'The Flying Fruit-fly Circus. We had a Chinese trainer, who was a middle aged man with a good grasp of English. He had difficulties pronouncing the name, as I'm sure you can understand. What he said was 'Frying Flute-fry'. It was the cause of great amusement that, whilst he could obviously pronounce the required syllables, he could not say the name of his circus in the same way that we did. My solution was to write down 'The Frying Flute-fry Circus' and ask him to read it. He grinned a great big grin and, with perfect enunciation and posh accent (or at least good enough for us Ausies to think perfect and posh), said "The Flying Fruit-fly Circus". He knew that he had said it correctly and joined our hilarity. So I think that he heard it the way that we said it alright, it's just that he had to think the syllables differently. Jeremy

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