LINGUIST List 16.116

Sun Jan 16 2005

Qs: Least Spoken Language; Acoustic Phonetics

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        1.    Steve Butler, Least Spoken Language
        2.    Frederic Rousseaux, Acoustic Phonetics

Message 1: Least Spoken Language

Date: 13-Jan-2005
From: Steve Butler <>
Subject: Least Spoken Language

I remember many years ago that Guinness listed that two sisters where the
 only ones to communicate in their language.  I would appreicate it if you
 could confirm this ... including the sister's names and the language name
 given, if applicable.
 Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

Message 2: Acoustic Phonetics

Date: 16-Jan-2005
From: Frederic Rousseaux <>
Subject: Acoustic Phonetics


first of all, merry Xmas and happy new year!

And now for the linguist part. I searched a lot for acoustic phonetics, but
it seemed the topic became somewhat specialized on ''material'' issues
(speech recognition, synthetic speech, speech ''transport'' and so on).
I wonder if there is a acoutic classification of sounds, in the way there's
an articulatory one (plosives, fricatives, approximants etc.). Whereever i
go, I found a somewhat clear classification of vowels (acute/grave and
compact/diffuse), but when it comes to consonants, well... all i get is
acoustic properties of consonants listed in articulatory order... So, are
acoustic phonetics still young, or is there simply no way of decribing
speech sounds in a pure acoustic way? (i'm aware that a consonant is
identified mostly by the way it interacts with a vowel... maybe that's my
answer, sigh.)

thank you for reading,

i hope i was clear, for this is a rather technical english considering the
english i'm used to use (used to use... is that correct? seems awkward)

Best regards,


Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
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