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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Pulmonic ingressive phonation: Diachronic and synchronic characteristics, distribution and function in animal and human sound production and in human speech
Author: Robert Eklund
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Institution: Karolinska Institute
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Abstract: This paper looks at the phenomenon of ingressive speech, i.e. speech produced on a pulmonic ingressive airstream, set in the context of human and animal ingressive phonation. The literature on ingressive speech and phonation spanning several centuries is reviewed, as well as contemporary reports of their incidence and characteristics from both functional and acoustic perspectives. Ingressive phonation has been used as a deliberate means of speech or sound production for hundreds of years in order to achieve specific effects, and it is still used for the same purposes, by e.g. shamans and ventriloquists. In normal spoken conversation – contrary to what is often claimed – present-day ingressive speech is not limited to Scandinavia or Nordic languages, but is found on all continents, in genetically unrelated languages. Where ingressive speech occurs, it serves more or less the same paralinguistic functions, such as a feedback marker in a dialog. Since pulmonic ingressive phonation is also common in the calls of monkeys and apes, thus exhibiting a biological basis, it is suggested that ingressive speech might constitute a neglected universal phenomenon, rather than being highly marked, which is how it is commonly described in the literature.


This article appears IN Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 38, Issue 3.

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