LINGUIST List 12.123

Fri Jan 19 2001

Qs: Frequency List/Communication Aids, "Tra-la-la"

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  1. Simon.Brownsell, word frequency for communication aids
  2. Elizabeth Alexander, Equivalents of the syllables: "tra-la-la"

Message 1: word frequency for communication aids

Date: 19 Jan 2001 09:21:24 +0000
From: Simon.Brownsell <>
Subject: word frequency for communication aids

Dear group,
I am trying to identify a list of commonly used words/phrases for
disabled people with communication aids. I am aware of the word
frequency data that is available, but cannot locate specific
information for the group in question.

For example, a user may select "drink" and through speech synthesis
the result may be "I would like a drink please". I am hoping to
identify the commonly used words/phrases so that we can incorporate
these into a speech recognition communication aid for people with
sever dysarthria (See
However, discussions with Speech and Language Therapists and
literature searching has not revealed a list.
Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
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Message 2: Equivalents of the syllables: "tra-la-la"

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 09:19:18 -0500
From: Elizabeth Alexander <>
Subject: Equivalents of the syllables: "tra-la-la"

Dear Linguists,

I am a composer seeking other language equivalents of the English
nonsense singing syllables: "tra-la-la," for use in a commissioned
work for a children's choir. I've collected the following syllables so
far, primarily from Western languages. But I'd particularly like to
find syllables from parts of AFRICA, ASIA, or SOUTH AMERICA. Along
with an "English spelling" of the syllables, I'd appreciate
information about the vowel sounds, stressed syllables, and common
variations. (Comments about the syllables I've already collected are
also welcome!)

Please respond privately to If there's
some interest in my posting the results, I'll do so.

British: "tyr-a-li, tyr-a-lo"
German: "val-de-ri, val-de-ra"
Scandinavian: "ho-la-hi, ho-la-ho"
Swedish: "suderuttan-tei" (the "u" as in "blue")
Norwegian: "suddeli-dei" (the "u" as in "blue," the accent on the "dei")
French: "la-deri-don-la"
Turkish: "ten-nen-ni ten-nen-nen-ni"
Russian versions from specific songs: 
"liuli liuli" (cf. "Kalinka") 
"ai-da-da" (cf. the so called "Volga Boatsong")

Thank you for your help!
Elizabeth Alexander 

Elizabeth Alexander / SEAFARER PRESS MUSIC
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