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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Physical Properties of a Voice
Question: What properties should a sound have in order to be considered as a
linguistic signal by the brain?

Reply: This would be a really intereesting assignment question.

Have you ever thought you heard what you thought was someone speaking and then realised it was a bird, or a car engine, or the sea, or the wind in the leaves, or nothing at all?

Once the brain is involved, the answer involves mostly psychology, not acoustics.


Reply From: Anthea Fraser Gupta      click here to access email
Date: 25-Jul-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Physical Properties of a Voice    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (24-Jul-2012)

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