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Language in Paradise

On the 17th December 2017, Peter Hagoort - managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - held a public lecture on humans' unique ability for the use of language in Paradiso, Amsterdam. This lecture can now be viewed online.
Language in Paradise

Prof. Dr. Peter Hagoort was interviewed by Dr. Jolien Francken in a "Zomergasten"-like setting on the basis of film and tv clips. The lecture titled "Over sprekende auto’s, communicerende marsmannetjes en breintaal" (in English: About talking cars, communicating Martians and brain language) and can be viewed online here.

Various aspects of the unique human capacity for acquiring and using language have been discussed, such as:

  • Do animals have a language ability?
  • Can we communicate with extraterrestrials?
  • How many different languages are there?
  • Wouldn't it be better if we all speak the same language?
  • How is language anchored in the human brain?
  • What goes wrong when the brain is damaged?
  • How did Mandela learn Obama to speak?
  • What has John Cleese to say about the brain?
  • The urge of babies to share information.
  • What happened when we tried to let a dolphin speak English?
  • The enrichment of language in the poems of Lucebert.


Taal in het Paradijs (Language in Paradise)

The lecture was part of the mini-serie "Taal in het Paradijs" in which linguists discussed language at different levels; structure, brain and communication.

About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.



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