Wednesday 30 September 2015

voiced interdental /l/

Paul Carley has found a video in which Ed Miliband pronounces the words "Labour" and "Let's" with a voiced interdental /l/.
Miliband says
1. "Labour plan for Britain's future"
2. "Let's make it happen together"

no. 1: "Labour" (credit: BBC News)

no. 2: "Let's" (credit: BBC News)

Sunday 27 September 2015

length becomes lenth

Paul Carley spotted another interesting pronunciation variant - it's that for the word length. LPD3 presents the results of an opinion poll on the BrE pronunciation of it: 48% prefer /leŋθ/, 36% favour /leŋkθ/ and 16% vote for /lentθ/. To the latter pronunciation John Wells adds a symbol indicating that it is a British English non-RP variant. CEPD18 has /leŋkθ/ only. Here are two short sections taken from BBC News of 22 September 2015:

The speaker is Danny Savage.

Monday 21 September 2015

Brian Sewell - RIP

Brian Sewell, art critic, columnist and writer, died in his London home on the 19th of September, 2015. He was not only renowned for his pungent, waspish, rapier-sharp remarks, but also for his 'privileged', genteel pronunciation, whch made quite a few people become prickly. In his words, he had the voice of an "Edwardian lesbian". Well, form your own judgment; there are lots of sound samples on the internet.

Here's a short extract from an interview which must have taken place in or shortly after 1979:


Saturday 19 September 2015

English-French-German jingle

You might want to read this blog by Peter Roach first before you continue with the present comment. One of the followers of Peter's blog asked for the sound files to be supplied. It's a jingle of a windscreen repair company in English, French and German (there may be versions in other languages as well, but I haven't checked this yet). The various rhythms are the interesting part.

Here they are:

Thursday 17 September 2015

listen to (the) unconscious

'Listen to the unconscious'? You may think that I've gone loopy. Whether this is true or not is not for me to decide.
What I want you to do is listen to the word in this recording and tell me if you spot a not too rare phonetic phenomenon.

(My thanks to Paul Carley for the link.)

Tuesday 15 September 2015

epenthetic glottal stop

Sharp-eared Paul Carley spotted an interesting instance of epenthesis. To preserve the sound sample for some time, I recorded it for you to listen to. It's in an interview by BBC Radio 4 with Diane Abbott, Labour MP for HackneyNorth and Stoke Newington.
 Paul found an epentheticglottal stop in the word also in this sentence of hers:
You can also serve - we also serve - we serve on the back benches.
Listen to the sound file:

This is a rather rare instance of epenthesis of a glottal plosive between /l/ and /s/.

Thursday 10 September 2015

mp3 files

Here's a short but excellent introduction, written by Sidney Wood, into the mp3 digital audio compression format. If you're not familiar with what mp3 does to your recordings and to your ears, you should read this intro first. For presentations of sound files on the internet it may at times be necessary to compress the original sound file to save storage space and/or avoid long loading times. Once you've converted a high-quality recording into the mp3-format, you should try to avoid re-encoding it if and when you change the volume or cut and paste it.

MP3directcut claims to allow mp3 files to be manipulated without a further quality loss due to re-encoding. I haven't tested this (and I don't get any royalties for writing about the product). Here's the link to the software, which is free.

mp3DirectCut - direct mp3 editor, splitter, cutter and recorder