Saturday 18 June 2011

how to survive on some paralinguistic vocalisations

Paralinguistic vocalisations are not what we would call proper words. Rather, they are signals produced by those body parts that we happen to use for articulating the speech sounds of a language. If we want to represent paralinguistic signals in writing we run into difficulties because there's no generally approved orthography for them. We very often find them in cartoons and comic books. There are hundreds of expressions symbolising sounds produced by objects (the shooting of a pistol as BAM! or the sound of the diesel engine of a London bus as BOGGLER BOGGLER!) or by persons (the act of swallowing liquid as DOOK DOOK! et cetera).

How to keep your articulatory expenses low in English!
  1. Take a sip of cool refreshing water on a hot summer day and say: "/ɑː/"
  2. A: "My dog just died". B: "/ɔː/"
  3. A door slams on your finger and you shout: "/aʊ/"
  4. A: "The new film XY is shown on TV tonight." B (with mild surprise): "/əʊ/"
  5. You're driving much too fast and you see a speed camera ahead: "/ˈʔʌˈʔəʊ/"
  6. There's a fly in your soup: "/uːːː/"
  7. You spill your tea while pouring: "/uːps/"
  8. You finally understand the problem: "/ʔəˈhɑː/"
  9. You don't hear what someone says: "/hʌ̃/"
  10. No - as a reply to a question: "/ˈʔʌ̃ˈʔə̃/"
  11. Yes - as a reply to a question: "/ə̃ˈhʌ̃/"
I can't remember in which book I found them. Does anyone know because I want to give credit to the author? Also - if you know some more, you're invited to post them!

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