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"Audio-phonology" - what do you think?

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  • Lucy Mellersh
    Dear LT-SIG, Someone from a company called Speedlingua is trying to sell me a software program that uses audio frequencies (they tell me these are different
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 22, 2006
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      Dear LT-SIG,

      Someone from a company called Speedlingua is trying to sell me a
      software program that uses audio frequencies (they tell me these are
      different for each language) to teach pronunciation.

      I certainly agree that being able to hear a sound is the first step
      towards producing it.

      They quoted some research done in the 1930s by someone called Tomatis.
      Seems rather old science to me, does anyone know of any more recent
      research into this area especially in relation to foreign language
      learning? I wondered if anyone has heard of this and if so, what you
      think of it.

      Lucy
    • Anthony Green
      Hello Lucy Sometimes old science doesn t get the recognition it deserves. I have a lot of respect for Tomatis s ideas, though i have always regarded the
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 23, 2006
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        Hello Lucy

        Sometimes old science doesn't get the recognition it deserves. I have a
        lot of respect for Tomatis's ideas, though i have always regarded the
        practical application of them as quite a tough prospect. I hope
        SpeedLingua have found a good way of doing it.
        In a nutshell, if we think of why certain nations appear to be "better" at
        foreign languages, we can look at it in terms of nature and nurture.
        Some nations are regarded as having highly efficient education systems, in
        which languages are regarded as important for the population: Scandinavia
        comes to mind. Nurture is therefore an imprtant factor in why
        Scandinavians are good at languages.
        Many native speakers of Slav languages, despite not necessarily having the
        same advantages in terms of education systems, also seem to pick up
        languages more easily, and Tomatis attributed this, I believe, to the
        extremely wide range of frequencies used in Slav languages, which enables
        them to perform much better than their counterparts in say Italy or Spain,
        whose native languages use a much narrower band of frequencies. If their
        educational systems are equally efficient (potentially an explosive
        issue!) then Nature is thus perhaps more important than nurture for Slavs,
        compared with Latin-language speakers.

        Rather than applying Tomatis's ideas directly, I have taken a completely
        different approach to enabling people to pick up on the sounds/frequencies
        they have difficulty with, and I would be very interested if you decided
        to compare what I do (available with free samples at www.voicebook.com)
        with the approach taken by SpeedLingua, which I do not know at all.


        Anthony





        Lucy Mellersh said:
        > Dear LT-SIG,
        >
        > Someone from a company called Speedlingua is trying to sell me a
        > software program that uses audio frequencies (they tell me these are
        > different for each language) to teach pronunciation.
        >
        > I certainly agree that being able to hear a sound is the first step
        > towards producing it.
        >
        > They quoted some research done in the 1930s by someone called Tomatis.
        > Seems rather old science to me, does anyone know of any more recent
        > research into this area especially in relation to foreign language
        > learning? I wondered if anyone has heard of this and if so, what you
        > think of it.
        >
        > Lucy
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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