At first, I thought it was a frequency thing, and maybe I was too old to hear Yanny because it was at a higher frequency. But I consulted my 8 year old nephew, because little kids can hear higher frequencies (you lose your ability to hear high frequencies in your late teens), but he heard Laurel, no Yanny.
But I cracked the puzzle, it's because I, and everybody I asked, am Canadian, and the voice is American.
In fact, Canadian Twitter is all like "WTF? It's Laurel!"
Americans do not touch their soft palette with their tongue when they say the letter L, Canadians do. Canadians raise the letter "u" when it follows another vowel (when you hear Canadians say "oot" and "aboot", that's a raised "u" after the vowel "o"), Americans don't. And people process information using neural pathways already built, so this means a Canadian will always hear "Laurel" (velarized "L", raised "au", syllabized "rel"), whereas Americans can hear either or because Laurel and Yanny are so audibly similar in American English (though with Americans, it does become a frequency thing).
That's North America-centric, would wonder how people in other countries hear it.
Last Edit: May 19, 2018 1:45:04 GMT -4 by Souriquois
It depends, on most recordings I heard Laurel, but then one time my cousin was watching a talk show on TV, they played the recording and it sounded like Yanny.
Yeah, it's a mix of frequency and linguistics. If you're young and American, you are more likely to hear Yanny. The linguistic part comes in if you come from a part of the country where people touch their soft palette with their tongue when they say "L" (so, in the US, maybe Midwest?), they will always hear Laurel. The double factor of the vowel raise makes Canadians incapable of hearing "Yanny" unless they have had a lot of contact with Americans.
I'd like to see data on people from the UK. I wonder of people from the part of the UK where they speak the dialect that American English descends from (East Anglia, I think) can hear "Yanny".
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