Thursday, 6 October 2011

Would you like to go to a concert?

John Maidment in his blog entry of the 25th of September wrote on the fall-rise and high fall versions of the sentence "would you like to go to a concert?" The fall-rise clip is the one which raised the question of whether there was a rise actually audible in the final syllable of the word 'concert'. Unfortunately the quality of the recording of this particular sound clip is poor. So I asked John to re-record it, with which he kindly complied, and he put a more recent version online. Listen to the clips. First you'll hear the high fall (which is uncontroversial), next the older version of the fall-rise (d'you hear a rise in <-cert>?) and finally the new version of it.

Next you can see the fundamental frequency contours of the three clips.
  • High fall

    • Fall-rise (old version)

      •  Fall-rise (new)

      If the calculation of the fundamental at the end of the /ə/ in concert displayed in the second graph is correct and not an artefact, then the rise is really, really small, tiny, delicate, minute ...


      1. The old version of the Fall-rise seems to me more spontaneous than the new one. And although the rise in the old version is very small, it nonetheless does "colour" the entire word CONCERT -I think.

        What a manly voice!

      2. @Beatrice: John called his 2nd version "more canonical". So - yes, it sounds as if spoken more carefully, in a more exemplary manner.

      3. Masculinity (or effeminacy) is not the issue here