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13:15 - 13:55 26 February 2013

Lunch Hour Lecture: By the Donzerly Light: when our ears play tricks on us


Darwin Lecture Theatre access via Malet Place | Darwin Building (link Map)
access via Malet Place | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: FREE
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Prof Andrew Nevins, Professor of Linguistics, UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Almost every song lyric can be misunderstood: famously, Jimi Hendrix’s 'Kiss the Sky' is often heard as 'Kiss This Guy'. Why does this happen? While slips of the tongue are well-known, slips of the ear have received far less attention. Professor Nevins has developed a database of 4000 naturally collected examples where the hearer is the source of miscommunication. Looking into recurrent slips reveals that our expectations can bias what we mishear, but within limits: the actual utterance and the misheard message must be phonetically close enough to allow our ears to deceive us.


Catherine Dean
020 3108 3839 | c.dean@ucl.ac.uk


click here to watch the lecture live on the day at 1.15pm
click here to watch an interview with Professor Nevins on mishearing song lyrics