To find out how we can make sense of unfamiliar inflections, psychologists spoke to volunteers in an accent they’d invented. Some subjects were told to imitate the odd sounds. Others were told to simply listen, or to repeat the sentence in their normal voice. Turns out the mimics did better at deciphering the unusual exchange. The scientists say that simply moving your mouth like other folks do allows you to intuit their potentially eccentric speech patterns, and get what they say.
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