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Re: META: "Chinese whispers"

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  • Jim Henry
    ... Maybe Phonology mutation relay or phonology evolution relay ? -- Jim Henry http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
    Message 1 of 39 , Feb 28, 2009
      On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 2:25 AM, Sai Emrys <saizai@...> wrote:

      > IMHO it deserves its own name, a la the Relay.

      Maybe "Phonology mutation relay" or
      "phonology evolution relay"?

      --
      Jim Henry
      http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
    • Garth Wallace
      ... It s possible to whisper at different pitches. It s tough to identify as a distinct pitch (because there are so many inharmonic partials), but it s pretty
      Message 39 of 39 , Mar 4, 2009
        On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 4:24 AM, Muke Tever <muke@...> wrote:
        > Paul Kershaw <ptkershaw@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Hence Mark's question, as I understood it: If "Chinese whispers" are so
        >> called because the Chinese are strange in an interesting way (like Chinese
        >> checkers), okay, that's a little bit ethnocentric but otherwise harmless; if
        >> "Chinese whispers" are so called because the Chinese are easily confused
        >> because their language is so much bar-bar-bar ("barbarian") with little
        >> meaning, that's in the same vein as "Chinese fire drill," and worth at least
        >> an introspection about
        >>  its usage.
        >
        > I imagine that whispered tonal languages would be slightly more difficult to
        > understand than whispered non-tonal languages, what with the disuse of
        > voicing removing the most overt[1] expression of tone.  I expect there's
        > probably more homophony in devoiced Chinese than in devoiced English.
        >
        >        *Muke!
        > [1] As I understand it, there's other factors that express the idea of the
        > tone, as the absence or presence of aspiration suggests voicedness or
        > voicelessness in English.

        It's possible to whisper at different pitches. It's tough to identify
        as a distinct pitch (because there are so many inharmonic partials),
        but it's pretty easy to tell that one is higher than another, or
        rising, or what have you.
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