Thursday, July 19, 2012

placement, resonance, accents again

  • vowels are dorsal
  • vowel height  = the distance between the high (arched) or low (cupped) dorsal point and mouth roof
  • vowel front/back ness = where is that mouth roof? palatal, mid, velar
  • lets call the dorsal point X and mouth roof reference point A.
  • A is fixed, so no issues here
  • X is variable. However, in every accent, X is constant/fixed. That's what placement means.
  • I can predict whether one is speaking American English or not without listening to what they are saying. Today, I was at sam's deli. I saw this Indian chick, who dressed like someone born in the states. I saw her mouth when she was talking to her colleagues, but could not hear anything since I was 30 feet away. I figured out that she is an Indian English speaker by looking at her mouth.
  • Indians' X is more forward than American's X. That's why you can tell whether she is speaking American English or Indian English, without listening to her. Just a couple of audible gestures are enough to tell this.
  • David Alan Stern in his tapes talk about point of resonance, placement, etc. A respected phonetician I know dismisses Stern's. 
  • Recently I have started exploring my tongue, so that I can gain finer awareness and control of various parts of tongue, etc. These exercises have paved the way for me to realize what the fuck Stern and others been talking about.
  • College/University phonetics instruction does not teach about these exercises. That's why all of those products end up being half-baked mimicry artists.

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