Watch Professor Aditi Lahiri's Anna Morpurgo Davies Lecture held in London at the British Academy on Friday 8th May 2015.
Speech requires a speaker and a listener, and both have their role to play in language transmission and change. No word is ever spoken exactly the same even by the same speaker. Despite subtle variation, listeners understand with remarkable ease. It is the speaker-listener interaction that prevents human language from ever remaining static: change is subtle, but persistent and relentless.
This talk traced language change and language processing, drawing on evidence of rather different kinds: old manuscripts, the traditional source of philology, as well as modern speech analysis and brain imaging techniques.
Click on the following link to watch the lecture in full: