Geer?

The latest Bizarro:

One of the challenges for ventriloquists is not to appear to be moving their lips. For obvious reasons, bilabial stops —  p b m — are a special challenge. Here, ventriloquists can take advantage of the acoustic (though not articulatory) closeness of bilabials to velars. With some support from the context, then, g can make a passable substitute for b.

2 Responses to “Geer?”

  1. Peter Harvey Says:

    It is impossible to speak Spanish at all without moving the lips. Spanish ventriloquists use the microphone to cover their mouths so that the audience can focus on the interaction between performer and dummy while maintaining the illusion that the ventriloquist is not speaking.

    The UK once had a prime minister, Alec Douglas-Home, who didn’t move his lips when he spoke naturally. Aristocratic gentlemen of his time and class just didn’t.

  2. Dan Scherlis Says:

    “”
    “Douglas-Home, who didn’t move his lips when he spoke naturally. Aristocratic gentlemen of his time and class just didn’t.”

    I am reminded of the similarly-underarticulated “Long Island Lockjaw”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locust_Valley_Lockjaw

    Is there indeed a correlation between upper-class accents and ostentatious avoidance of mouth-movement? Or does LIL merely imitate the accent of Douglas-Home et al?

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