UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Intoxicated Phonology

This research is intended to address the question of whether alcohol could improve the linguistic performance of second language learners in speech. There has been a widely held myth that alcohol could enhance the fluency of second language learners whose subjective experience, by and large, seems to be consonant with this myth. However it has yet to be tested that whether this "enhancement" is linguistic or not. As alcohol is known to impair motor control, one would normally expect an increase in speech errors made by the alcohol-influenced participants. To elucidate this, a series of experiments are being conducted by giving appropriate participants small and controlled doses of alcohol and their performance (in terms of speech rate, accuracy and more) will be measured.

We are currently concluding experiments on Korean, Greek, and German learners of English.

Here is an advert by Heineken "supporting" this myth:

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9_YfIQaz4