The importance of being Earnest

While many may concur with Shakespeare that ‘what is called Rose would smell as sweet by any other name’, yet some Cornell researchers have just published a finding whereby if Rose’s substitute was not a ‘typical’ noun, then though it may smell the same, but would take longer to pronounce.

As per this study claiming association between the figure of speech and phonological composition of a word, verbs and nouns have different phonological properties and for atypical nouns and verbs, it takes longer to pronounce them or read them.

As this is a seed magazine article, I’m sure that this would be picked up by many other fellow Science bloggers. What the article does not mention is whether the results have been obtained for one language only (English) or are generalized. Also how does this relate to observations that one is able to find word boundaries in a speech which is from a foreign language?

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