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Latest Vowel Stories

2014-06-28 14:45:19

University of Cologne Researchers explain the link between language and emotions A team of researchers headed by the Erfurt-based psychologist Prof. Ralf Rummer and the Cologne-based phoneticist Prof. Martine Grice has carried out some ground-breaking experiments to uncover the links between language and emotions. They were able to demonstrate that the articulation of vowels systematically influences our feelings and vice versa. The research project looked at the question of whether...

faking laughter
2014-05-07 05:24:07

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online We’ve all pretended to laugh at those bad jokes our friends, family members or coworkers tell every now and then, but how often are we convincing in those efforts? Apparently, just over one-third of the time, according to UCLA associate professor of communication studies Greg Bryant. In what the university is calling “the first scholarly exploration of the acoustic differences between fake and genuine laughter and our ability...

2013-04-23 13:01:12

Children growing up in the Rufiji region along the coast of Tanzania are learning Swahili as their first language. Consequently, their parents are expected to be the last generation to be fluent in the minority language Ndengeleko. A new doctoral thesis in African languages from the University of Gothenburg is the first, and maybe last, attempt ever to explore Ndengeleko grammatically. More than 120 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most are minority languages spoken by various ethnic...

Babies Learn Language While Still In The Womb
2013-01-02 09:44:22

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A groundbreaking study has demonstrated that newborns are able to distinguish between the sounds of their parents´ native language and a foreign language just hours after they are born. Previously, researchers believed that babies did not begin to recognize language differences until well after they had left their mother´s womb. Scientists have long known that the mechanical and cognitive equipment for hearing develop in...

2009-11-05 13:19:30

The perceptions of five Chinese vowel /u, o, a, y, i/ and many perceptional phenomena can be explained well by the excitation pattern peaks. The study is reported in Science in China, Series F-Information Sciences, Volume 52ï¼Å’Issues 10 (Oct, 2009). It is commonly accepted that the locations of prominent energy concentrations are related to vowel quality. But, because the spectrum of a sound undergoes many significant changes after entering the peripheral...

2009-10-26 23:56:39

Try to pronounce the words "caught" and "cot." If you're a New Yorker by birth, the two words will sound as different as their spellings. But if you grew up in California, you probably pronounce them identically. American English is slowly changing; across the nation, the two "low-back" vowel sounds in these words are merging, region by region. Now Christina Esposito of the Macalester College has tracked the change sweeping eastwards across the Midwest into Minnesota. She will present her...

2009-07-01 10:07:26

The composer Richard Wagner is well-known, even notorious, for writing operas that can challenge both performers and listeners. A new study published in the Journal of the Acoustic Society of America reveals that Wagner set his text to music in a way that uses the acoustics of the soprano voice in a manner that helps both performers and listeners."Each vowel in European languages is associated with a set of resonance frequencies of the vocal tract," says author, Dr John Smith of the...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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