A new device developed by a research team at UC Berkeley is able to produce mechanical speech using only the thought of the word being produced from the subject. The researchers hope that this device will enable patients suffering from conditions that limit or prohibit spoken communication, such as the effects from a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease, to be able to communicate normally.

The researchers placed electrodes on the surface of the subjects’ brains in the region associated with language, then recorded the electrical patterns their brains produced when perceiving spoken speech. This information was then applied to a computer model that sorted out which patterns belonged to which sounds, creating maps of the subjects’ perceived speech patterns.
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Where do languages come from? Many linguists think that all human languages came from a single one that was spoken in East Africa around 50,000 years ago. But how would it have sounded–would it have been mainly grunts? New research suggests that it sounded somewhat like the speech of Yoda in "Star Wars."

In LiveScience.com, Natalie Wolchover quotes linguist Merritt Ruhlen as saying, "This language would have been spoken by a small East African population who seemingly invented fully modern language and then spread around the world, replacing everyone else."
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Using computerized text analysis, scientists are able to help police identify psychopathic murderers by analyzing the word choices they use when talking about their crimes. Researcher Jeff Hancock found that "the words of these criminals match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional "flatness."
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The words people use are like fingerprints that can reveal their relationships, honesty, or their status in a group. Scientists are using linguistic software to analyze pronouns, articles, prepositions and a handful of other small function words. Social psychologist James W. Pennebaker says, "Using computerized text analyses on hundreds of thousands of letters, poems, books, blogs, Tweets, conversations and other texts, it is possible to begin to read people’s hearts and minds in ways they can’t do themselves.
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