Archive for the ‘Phonetics’ Category

Two cents, common sense, incense, and peppermints

March 27, 2019

The 2/26 One Big Happy, riffing on /sɛns/, in idioms with sense (common sense, horse sense, nonsense), in incense, and in cents (also in an idiom, two cents):

(#1)

Which, of course, leads us inevitably to the psychedelic days of 1967, with their whiff of incense and peppermints (plus some pot).

(more…)

Revisiting 27: Lilo, Stitch, Bouba, and Kiki

March 25, 2019

Mike Pope on Facebook, following up on my posting of the 25th “Lilo & Stitch”, with a question about the naming of the characters in the movie:


(#1) Stitch and Lilo

MP: Do you think the animators consciously followed a kiki/bouba paradigm?

AZ:  Almost surely not consciously; they just chose names that “sounded right” to them.

In general, writers’ name choices for fictitious characters are inscrutable in detail; even if the writers have an explicit account of where the names came from, unconscious preferences for certain kinds of names can usually be seen to be at play.

One of these preferences is the bouba/kiki effect, which has to do with the visual appearance of the referents (see the images above). Also involved are effects having to do with the gender of the referents (Stitch is male, Lilo female). No doubt there are more.

(more…)

Low back issues

March 20, 2019

… in a One Big Happy cartoon (in auditorium) and in the title of a 1998 movie (the nickname Paulie): in American English, unrounded [ɑ] for rounded [ɔ], collapsing the distinction between the phonemes /a/ in cot and /ɔ/ in caught.


(#1) Discomfort in the low back region: Polly on the left, Paulie on the right

(more…)

Hard Tundra

March 4, 2019

Adventures in cross-dialect understanding in the One Big Happy strips of 2/1 and 2/2, both featuring Ruthie and Joe’s playmate James:

(#1)

(#2)

(more…)

The wherewolf

March 3, 2019

Passed on by Joelle Stepian Bailard, this Cyanide and Happiness strip by Rob DenBleyker from 9/30/10:

A tour of the interrogative words of English.

(more…)

Inhaling pop culture

February 27, 2019

Today’s Zits, featuring teenage boys goofing off, but in a specific way:

(#1)

Thereby presenting an exercise in cartoon understanding that’s a snap if you’re plugged into American pop culture of the past century, but is something of a challenge otherwise.

(more…)

In the land of supertitles

February 22, 2019

Revived on Facebook recently, this 2/20/12 Cyanide and Happiness cartoon by Jay A.:

(#1)

The first three panels are routine (but annoying): Character 1 produces an example of AccConjSubj (the non-standard Accusative Conjoined Subject me and Steve) and Character 2 reacts with hysterical peeving, becoming physically sick from experiencing the AccConjSubj.

But then we discover that we’re not in anything like the real world, where someone speaks and someone else hears what they say, but instead in the Land of Supertitles, where someone produces a banner with writing on it and someone else reads it. That has to be what’s going on — since otherwise how could Chr2 know how Chr1 was spelling what they said? YOUR instead of YOU’RE, ALLERGYS insead of ALLERGIES, AFFECT instead of EFFECT, THEIR instead of THEY’RE, ITS instead of IT’S — they’re all homophones, so how could Chr2 know that Chr1 was spelling them wrong? UNLESS CHR2 COULD READ WHAT CHR1 WAS SAYING.

(more…)

Wading with Vladimir and Estragon

February 19, 2019

That, at least, is where it started, with this bit of playfulness on Facebook:

(#1)

One among a great many available versions of Wading for Godot (like this one, hardly any have an identifiable origin, but just get passed around on the web, along with jokes, funny pictures, and the like: the folk culture of the net). I’m particularly taken with #1, as a well-made image and as a close reworking of lines from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot:

(more…)

Imperfect rhyme, part 3

October 6, 2018

Previously on this blog:

on 9/30, “AZ on imperfect rhyme” (part 1 of a series): an inventory of publications of mine on half-rhyme and phonological similarity

on 10/1, “Imperfect rhyme, part 2”: an inventory of postings on this blog that discuss particular examples of half-rhyme

And now, part 3, the last: an inventory of publications that cite the papers of mine on imperfect rhyme in part 1 — mostly the first, the 1976 rock rhyme paper.

(more…)

Imperfect rhyme, part 2

October 1, 2018

First installment: my 9/30 posting “AZ on imperfect rhyme”, an inventory of publications of mine on half-rhyme and phonological similarity. Today, the second installment, an inventory of postings on this blog that discuss particular examples of half-rhyme. To come: an inventory of publications that cite the 5 papers of mine on imperfect rhyme, especially the first, the 1976 rock rhyme paper.

(more…)