Sunday, 20 May 2012

BBC teaches English ejectives?

credit: BBC
A student of mine drew my attention to another instance of English ejectives. She found it in a clip produced by the Beeb within their Learning English series. This particular clip is called "To Catch Your Eye / Eye-Catching".

credit: BBC
The sound clip contains a short dialogue between three Brits - Chris, Helen, and Jen.

Here's a short extract in which Chris says: "It's just a way of saying it attracted my attention and it made me want to take a closer look. I eventually bought it for only £10. What do you think?" Please concentrate on the word "think"!

video
credit: BBC

Is the BBC teaching ejectives?

8 comments:

  1. I'd expect students, whether consciously or not, to perceive such very occasional paralinguistic expressive 'noises' for what they are — and to be unconscious of and/or not fazed by them.

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    1. Well ... I'm pleased that a language student of mine was fazed by this paralinguistic feature.

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  2. Just wondering, could you imagine a German-speaker finishing off an utterance with an ejective flourish? Or is that completely alien?

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    1. @Paul Carley: I've never heard a German native speaker use ejectives, although one should never say never.

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  3. On a recent short course I taught, several non-native participants used occasional phrase-final k' in English without knowing they were doing it (until I mentioned it). One was Italian, another was (I think) Bulgarian.

    Unlike e.g. glottaling or Uptalk, it's not stigmatized or even noticed by the general public, and has spread like wildfire. In a recent TV documentary by UCL's Prof. Mark Miodownik, he had a full set of phrase-internal p', t', k'.

    I've found it quite challenging to teach native speakers NOT to do it, i.e. to have control over pulmonic/ejective final k.

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    1. Geoff: The TV documentary you mention - is that the "How It Works" series, the one on plastic in particular?

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    2. Geoff, did the Italian show any difficulties in ending a word on a consonant?

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  4. @ Kraut: Yes, that's the one. I may use the clips in a blog post.

    @ Lipman: Not really; this was a high-level professional English user. I did once have a Spanish student who produced final ejectives as a kind of by-product of tension when concentrating on final English plosives. The Italian's ejectives were more 'natural'.

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