Recently I have been examining speech reversals on the internet. It is clear that there is a plethora of examples that are ambiguous or obviously incorrect. Clearly, projection is occurring. Yet, some responders on the various sites indicate agreement with examples while others oppose. I have to assume that concurrence with highly dubious reversals is a case of priming which Mark Newbrooke claimed was a factor in hearing reversals. This is where the words are given to the listener beforehand, and this influences the listener’s perception. The listener perceives a syllable count, hears some phonemes or allophonic variations that are within linguistic limits, and the remainder is projected into; the mind adds the necessary sounds, and/or deletes others so that a recognisable string of language occurs. Furthermore, there are many reversals that are of 2 to 5 words, Out of the multitudinous strings of speech occurring each day, it is not unreasonable to expect short language-like strings from the reversed sounds that are simply coincidental occurrences.
So, projection occurs; priming occurs, too. Short strings of speech are not all that remarkable – often they are just the reverse of the sounds of the forward speech, and probably occur when different people say it, or there are a couple of ambiguous sounds that allows the mind to fill in the ‘right’ sounds. But, with all that said, does this mean that there is nothing genuine about reversed speech? Not necessarily. It means projection is an issue. It means that there are plenty of poor or ‘shaky’ examples around.
Amongst all the valueless apparent language, there is some pretty powerful stuff, and stuff that occurs in much longer strings of language, that I believe, are reasonably there within linguistic bounds. It is these longer strings that ‘separate the men from the boys’ so to speak.
This is why I continue to look at Reverse Speech.