This content is archived, it could be outdated.
'Haute cuisine' inaugural lecture of James McQueen
Oct 1, 2009
James McQueen studied experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. He has been interested in language ever since, particularly in speech comprehension. In 1992, McQueen got his PhD at the University of Cambridge and since 1993 he has been a researcher at the MPI for Psycholinguistics.
In his inaugural lecture, entitled 'Al sprekende leert men' and creatively presented as a five course 'haute cuisine' menu, McQueen described listening experiments that examine how listeners segment spoken words out of the continuous speech stream and how they recognise speech sounds. He examined the psychological mechanisms involved in the different mental processes underlying speech comprehension. His primary argument is that the listener needs to be able to learn. There is great variability in the way speech is realised. In order to cope with this, we have to be able to tune in to the way in which different speakers talk.McQueen demonstrated that we have this amazing capacity to learn about speech. He outlined in the lecture how he plans to pursue this research. McQueen: 'We've already learnt a great deal about this human skill, but there is still much left for us to discover.'