2012 Japanese Ig Nobel Prize-winning Invention Patented by US Navy in 2021

The US Navy has obtained a patent (US patent #11082763, “Handheld acoustic hailing and disruption systems and methods”), here in the year 2021, for a device essentially the same as the invention that earned an Ig Nobel Prize in the year 2012 for a team of Japanese inventors. Unsound Invention, Anew New Scientist magazine reports […]

Masked and Un-Masked Spittle Produced When One Says “Stay Healthy”

The biomedical race to understand and tame the COVID-19 virus proceeds rapidly, drop by drop. This new spittle study is the very latest addition to the literature: “Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” Philip Anfinrud, Valentyn Stadnytskyi, Christina E. Bax, and Adriaan Bax, New England Journal of Medicine, April 15, 2020. (Thanks […]

The California-ness of open-mouthed jaw settings (new study)

Looking at the clip above, did you spot any prominent non-verbal actions that might characterize ValleySpeak? A number of academic papers have examined the pronunciation aspects of so-called ValSpeak from California, few however, have focused on one of its characteristic features known as ‘Jaw Setting’ – in this case slack jaw, open mouth (see Fig. […]

Whistled languages – like ‘local cellular phones’ (study)

“Whistled languages are a valuable heritage of human culture.” – explained a 2004 paper : ‘Bioacoustics of human whistled languages: an alternative approach to the cognitive processes of language’ (in : An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. vol.76 no.2, June 2004). It was authored by Dr. Julien Meyer of the Laboratoire de Dynamique du Langage (DDL)-CNRS, Institut […]

Speaking whilst breathing-in (not restricted to ventriloquists)

Humans mostly tend to ‘breathe out’ whilst speaking (or making other vocalisations). Mostly but not exclusively. So-called Ingressive Speech is quite prevalent worldwide – and not just amongst ventriloquists. Take for example, a Scottish male saying “Aye aye I ken” (“Yes, yes I know”). [.wav audio file here] http://www.ida.liu.se/~robek28/audio/ingressive-Eklund_JIPA_2008_Fig_7b_ingr-aye_egr-aye-i-ken_male.wav Robert Eklund, who is Associate Professor […]

“Like” a linguistics study

“Discourse marker like (DML) is recognized as a highly stigmatized feature of American English, one with strong ideological ties to inarticulate, ‘Valley Girl’ speech. Previous work suggests that individual listeners form impressions that both reference and perpetuate DML’s status, as DML- containing speech is judged as friendlier and less intelligent than controls.” But what about […]

The first public corpus of alcoholized German speech

Collectors of alcoholized German speech, rejoice! A new corpus is available to you: “Alcohol Language Corpus. The first public corpus of alcoholized German speech,” Florian Schiel [pictured here], Christian Heinrich, and Sabine Barfüßer, Language Resources and Evaluation, 2011. The authors, at the Bavarian Archive for Speech Signals, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, explain: “The Alcohol Language Corpus (ALC) […]

Putting words into dogs’ mouths – ventriloquistically

Professor Sirpa Leppänen of the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, has a paper in Discourse, Context & Media (Volume 8, June 2015) about the ventriloquistic authentication of the human voice, as found in dog blogs. “It approaches dog blogs as an example of the strategic use of pervasive but contentious anthropomorphic western discourses […]