Linguistic illusions are situations in which people systematically mis-interpret, mis-hear, or mis-judge sounds, words, or sentences, arriving at unintended interpretations, or perceiving ungrammatical sentences as if they are well formed. Not simply the product of a human language system that is uniformly unreliable or gullible, linguistic illusions can reveal the ways that the human brain encodes linguistic material and how networks of brain mechanisms work together to ensure fast and robust language understanding. This lecture demonstrates what these illusions reveal about how humans mentally perceive and encode language.
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