Saturday, May 16, 2009

Does it count as unvoiced if the whole word is whispered?

Needless to say I've been excitedly tracking Grace's acquisition of various sounds as she learns to speak and I've been waiting anxiously to hear her first unvoiced consonant.

The other day, we came to a fine page in a book with the following text:

"The PIG is driving the tractor... putt-putt-putt..."

The putt-putt-putt is supposed to be a tractor sound (there are round poofs of smoke which illustrate the rhythm going out of the tractor tailpipe).

Grace finds this page highly entertaining, enough so that she echoed back:


It was the first time I ever heard a clear "P" from her, so I was very excited. But then I realized she had whispered the rest of the word (a shouted whisper).

Oh well.

If you're curious, Grace's consonants so far are roughly as follows...

Grace's sound, roughlyPhonemes she uses the sound for (in rough "English-y" notation)
d/t/ and /d/
b/b/ and /p/
ʒ (zh)/s/, /z/ /ʃ/ (sh),/tʃ/ (ch) /dʒ/ (j)
ɹ (some version of it)/ɹ/ (r) and /w/
funny sounds
p/p/ in a whispered tractor sound
r* (coronal trill)Used consistently for what a duck says -- I have no idea why
[ʙ] (bilabial trill)Used joyfully and frequently for silliness
r̼ (linguolabial trill)Used joyfully and spitfully for silliness

*Katharine things this might be [ʀ] (uvular trill), which would make some more sense of it since this at least has her tongue somewhere close to the position needed for a "quack" sound (velar plosive)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Now that's style...

From google docs...

The bad news is that Google Docs has just encountered an error.
The good news is that you've helped us find a bug, which we are now looking into.

This is actually a bit annoying as I'm using google docs for a time sensitive assignment... but nonetheless, I appreciate their astonishing dedication to the half-full glass. I should work on some error messages like that for Gourmet.