African Rhythms, Ideas of Sin and the Hammond Organ: A Brief History of Gospel Music’s Evolution

A choir sings traditional gospel music. Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller For the enslaved Africans, music – rhythm in particular – became a tool of communication about their conditions. Later, it laid the foundation for spirituals and gospel songs. By Dr. Robert Stephens / 02.28.2018 Professor of World Music University of Connecticut The enslaved Africans who first arrived in the British colony of Virginia in 1619 after being forcefully removed from their natural[…]

Is It Yanny or Laurel? It’s Your Brain, Not Your Ears, That Decides

You heard it say what? Roman Stetsyk/ Where you come down on the latest internet hullabaloo depends on how your brain fills in gaps in the sounds you hear. By Dr. Jennell Vick / 05.16.2018 Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences Case Western Reserve University As a speech scientist, I never thought I’d see so much excitement on social media[…]

Testing Ancient Human Hearing via Fossilized Ear Bones

3D virtual reconstruction of two-million-year-old ear. Rolf Quam, CC BY-ND Beyond the cool factor of figuring out hominin hearing capacities two million years ago, these findings could help answer the tantalizing question of when did human vocalized language first emerge. By Dr. Rolf Quam / 09.25.2015 Associate Professor of Anthropology Binghamton University (SUNY) How did the world sound to our ancient human relatives[…]

Recreating Language’s Big Bang through a Game of Vocal Charades

To communicate is human – but how did language originally get started? Scott Johnson, CC BY-NC-ND What can a bunch of people grunting in a lab teach us about our capacity to create language systems? A lot about the gesture- or vocalization-based origins of language. By Dr. Marcus Perlman / 08.04.2015 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology University of Madison-Wisconsin Roughly 7,000 languages are used around the world, and many[…]

The Elusive Foolproof Theory of the Origin of Language

It is nearly impossible for us to know or be sure about the earliest human language ever used. There have been many theories that try to explain where language came from. None prevailed or even came close to the position of the Darwinism theory in biology or the Big Bang theory in physics. By Dr. Ignatius Tri Endarto / 05.02.2018 Lecturer in Linguistics and Language Education Universitas[…]