02 JUN 2015 by ideonexus

 Onomatopoeia, Sound Symbolism, and Phonesthesia

Onomatopoeia and sound symbolism are the seeds of a more pervasive phenomenon in language called phonesthesia, in which families of words share a teeny snatch of sound and a teeny shred of meaning. Many words with the sound sn-, for example, have something to do with the nose, presumably because you can almost feel your nose wrinkle when you pronounce it. They include words for the nose itself (like snout), words for noselike instruments (like snorkel and snoot, a cone for directing a spotlig...
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13 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 With Obtuse Spelling Rules, Pronunciation Becomes Reliant...

Since our current orthografy bears no real relation to the present pronunciation, but is at best an imperfect attempt to represent that of the Elizabethan period, English pronunciation has become almost entirely a matter of oral tradition as unsafe a gide in regard to correctness in speech as it is in regard to correctness in history. We learn to talk, and continue to talk, entirely "by ear," and with the same tendency to uncertainty and variation as do those who play music by ear. The...
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11 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 How Many Vowels in the English Language?

No, the answer is not: “Five: a, e, i, o u.” Granted, in traditional English spelling those are the vowel letters, yes, but I’m talking about our spoken language: How many significant vowel sounds are there? Well, if you consult any popular American English dictionary, and study the Pronunciation Key, there will be a long list of vowels. In the Pronunciation Key to the American Heritage Dictionary, 19 different vowel symbols are listed (not counting the ones only used in foreign words)!...
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Not five, but considered phonetically there are 19.

08 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Babies Categorize Sounds Before Words

As they hear us talk, babies are busily grouping the sounds they hear into the right categories, the categories their particular language uses. By one year of age, babies' speech categories begin to resemble those of the adults in their culture. Pat conducted some even more complicated experiments with Swedish babies using simple vowels to see how early they start organizing the sounds of their language in an adult-like way. She showed that at six months the process has already begun. The six...
Folksonomies: babies development language
Folksonomies: babies development language
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Babies learn the sounds of their language, which gives them the ability to distinguish and categorize words later on.