LINGUIST List 3.766

Fri 09 Oct 1992

Disc: Like, Phoneticians

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Swann Philip, 3.738 Queries: Spoonerisms, Drift, Like, Chinese
  2. , 3.747 Phoneticians
  3. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 3.747 Phoneticians; New Chomsky Movie

Message 1: 3.738 Queries: Spoonerisms, Drift, Like, Chinese

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1992 08:56:27 +3.738 Queries: Spoonerisms, Drift, Like, Chinese
From: Swann Philip <swanndivsun.unige.ch>
Subject: 3.738 Queries: Spoonerisms, Drift, Like, Chinese

re: like

I remember this as a filler word back in the 70's. It was often
combined with "you know" - "he's goin', like you know, this is
just kind of really wierd....you know?" I don't think one should
attribute any subtle semantic functions to this sort of padding.
My personal theory, for what it's worth, is that it results
from the extreme compression of spoken English (especially when
the anglo-saxon vocabulary dominates) which means the average
slow moving teen-age brain finds it hard to generate semantic
content fast enough to keep up with the average fast moving
teen-age mouth: the padding gives semantic generation time
to catch up with verbal output. In Italian, where most linguistic
units are longer, I didn't notice the same phenomenon.

Philip Swann
University of Geneva
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: 3.747 Phoneticians

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 92 18:47:58 EDT3.747 Phoneticians
From: <Alexis_Manaster_RamerMTS.cc.Wayne.edu>
Subject: 3.747 Phoneticians

Richard Ogden seems dissatisfied with my point that there may
be cases where phoneticians do not hear things as they are,
and says that this would simply mean the phonetician is no
good. I do not mean to start a debate, especially since
I am writing a paper on this, but I would point out that
there is literature which does imply that there are cases
where what I said MUST be the case, no matter how good
the phonetician. There is the entire literature on incomplete
neutralization, which claims that in Russian, Polish, German,
and Catalan (which every phonetician has always heard as having
absolute total exceptionless final devoicing), there are small
but systematic measurable differences in the way underlying voiced
and voiceless finals are realized (differences realized in the
preceding vowel usually, as I understand). Now, the differences
in question are so small that we could not expect a human phonetician
to hear them.

Of course, there has been a lively debate as to whether these
findings are correct (and I myself have a paper pending which
argues that at least some of these, notably in the case of Catalan,
are not correct). Nevertheless, it is legitimate to ask whether
such phenomena exist--or at least whether they have been claimed
to exist. And that's really all that I am asking.

I might add that the instrumental findings which show that
words 'lucky' and 'bugger' have intervocalic fricatives seem
to me quite consistent with the fact that pretty decent phoneticians
often describe these as stops, namely, these fricatives are utterly
different from a good ach-laut or gamma. Although here, too, it
would be nice to know what exactly has been claimed about these
phenomena. For example, have there been phoneticians who noticed
them WITHOUT the aid of instruments?
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Re: 3.747 Phoneticians; New Chomsky Movie

Date: Mon, 05 Oct 92 17:27 PDT
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.747 Phoneticians; New Chomsky Movie

Re 'the good ear of a phonetician' or 'the ear of a good phonetician' --
there is a quote from Henry Sweet to the effect that he would rather trust
the ear of a phonetician than any instrumentation. If anyone wants the
exact quote and citation I'll look it up. Vicki Fromkin
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue