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Re: More from the Popular Linguistics Front

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  • R A Brown
    ... [snip] ... Yep. [snip] ... Nor IMHO is James Harbeck! What on earth does he mean by saying that a lateral fricative is like l but a little tighter ?
    Message 1 of 47 , Mar 30, 2013
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      On 29/03/2013 17:55, George Corley wrote:
      > On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM, Padraic Brown wrote:
      >

      >> http://news.yahoo.com/8-bizarre-sounds-youve-probably-made-without-knowing-111000931.html
      [snip]
      >
      >>
      > Oh so many errors:

      Yep.

      [snip]
      > Not sure on the lateral fricative.

      Nor IMHO is James Harbeck! What on earth does he mean by
      saying that a lateral fricative is "like 'l' but a little
      tighter"? If it has any meaning, it must surely describe an
      ordinary lateral said with more emphasis. It most certainly
      doesn't describe the fricative, whether voiced or voiceless.

      If he written that they were like 'l' but softer, I might
      have sort of seen what he was getting at. But if one is
      going to describe the sound, do it properly.

      I've heard the voiceless version often enough, having lived
      in Wales for 22 years before moving back to SE England. I
      have used it myself and still occasionally use it. I've
      never come across anyone using a pulmonic _ingressive_
      version.

      I have no problem with the voiced form, but little occasion
      to use it, not having much knowledge of or occasion to speak
      Xhosa, Zulu, Mongolian or Kabardian ;)

      But both sounds are your normal pulmonic egressive consonants.

      As far as I can make out, ingressive pulmonic sounds are
      almost always _paralinguistic_, the only instance of it
      being regularly used is AFAIK is in the ǃXóõ language of
      Botswana and, according to Wikipedia: Ladefoged & Maddieson
      (1996:268) state that "This ǃXóõ click is probably unique
      among the sounds of the world's languages that, even in the
      middle of a sentence, it may have ingressive pulmonic airflow."

      The speech technologist Robert Eklund has a whole page
      devoted to pulmonic ingressive phonation:
      http://ingressivespeech.info/

      Don't see any mention of lateral fricatives there ;)

      --
      Ray
      ==================================
      http://www.carolandray.plus.com
      ==================================
      "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
      for individual beings and events."
      [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
    • George Corley
      ... Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways doesn t
      Message 47 of 47 , Apr 11 9:06 PM
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        On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

        >
        > Of course you need to be able to write them (probably mostly in fiction
        > whether sci-fi or not). People do utter them in real life, and realistic
        > written dialogue is going to have to include them. (Personally I suspect
        > that tut-tut, tsk~tisk, tch-tch are all allographs of the same sound.) I'm
        > sure most languages have such words, and writers will try to approximate
        > them. As for ringtones, they can be handled.....
        >
        > "John was about to hop into bed with Leona, when he felt his phone start
        > to vibrate [or maybe jingle, or whatever they do....] in his shirt pocket."
        >
        > "In the middle of the dinner party, suddenly the opening bars of Bach's
        > Toccata and Fugue in D minor blared forth. "Oops, sorry" said Lord Peter,
        > red in the face, "I forgot to turn the ruddy thing off."
        >

        Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for
        a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways
        doesn't mean we shouldn't ever consider expressing things with onomatopeia.

        Consider a scene like this:
        -------------------------------------------
        Brrrt, brrrt
        Brrrt, brrrt

        In her foggy and half-sleeping state, it took Sophia longer than it should
        have to recognize that the strange low buzzing sound was just her phone
        vibrating on the nightstand. She realized she had forgotten to turn on the
        sound for her morning alarm. She checked the phone's face for the time:
        9:30. Crap, an hour late and she wasn't even out of bed.
        ---------------------------------------------

        The onomatopeia helps the reader visualize the scene more vividly, and put
        themselves into the environment of the story. Think also about comics,
        where varied onomatopeia play a huge role in expressing all kinds of things
        succinctly in a way that can be easily incorporated into the art.
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