Language and speech

September 25, 2016

The phenomenon of language holds many mysteries: What is the basis of this unique human ability? How are we shaped by our native language, and how has language evolved in various parts of the world? An overview of important research questions in the Max Planck Society.

Language research: <br /> Worth talking about

Human language raises a large number of research questions - and Max Planck scientists are looking for the answers.

Narrating, explaining, discussing, persuading, instructing – what humans do with language goes far beyond the mere exchange of information. Without language there would be no business or politics, religion or science, law or poetry. However, the phenomenon of language holds many mysteries: What is the origin of this uniquely human aptitude? How does our native language influence us, and which characteristics has language developed in the different corners of the world? An overview of some important language-related research is presented here.

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The music in our speech
Daniela Sammler conducts research into the structures of the brain that process speech and music, and finds many commonalities
On the trail of the Galapagos of language evolution
In Vanuatu, researchers are investigating what drives language diversity.
Angela D. Friederici investigates what happens in the brain when we learn a language.
<br />Language is in the genes
Simon Fisher from the MPI for Psycho-linguistics is unravelling the genetic traces of the human ability to communicate. more
Measuring the effect
Winfried Menninghaus is studying how people react to poetry and prose.
Max Planck Research Magazine

Language is the most important form of communication.