What is Team Language Cycles up to?
Language comprehension seems effortless. But often, difficulty arises when speakers serve too much information in too little time. While we try to be attentive and flexible, our comprehension abilities are still limited.
Team Language Cycles searches for the electrophysiological properties of the human brain that limit our comprehension abilities: How long are the time windows that our brain uses for linguistic information processing—and how much information can we process within a given time window? Could built-in time windows of the brain be the reason that the languages of the world pack information into units of fitting sizes (e.g., phrases and sentences)?
Our hypothesis: Cycles of electrophysiological activity allow for and constrain the formation of information units from the speech stream; potentially, this has driven the length and structure of information units across the world’s languages to fit processing cycles.