How do they eat? Are they trained in the art of communicating and entertaining? In this first installment of a two-part series, we’ll examine the science behind drinking and communication and how it has impacted human life through time, from the ancient Greeks to the 20th century.
As we saw with our conversation with Peter Gazzaniga from the University of New Mexico, learning how to speak a language isn’t everything. Some languages have so many words it is actually difficult to be understood. According to a study, there are around 17,000 words in all, and of those, the majority are “very difficult or impossible to pronounce.” There are two words that will be highlighted here: uvula and sine.
You’ll notice they’re not the same. That’s because different languages have different vowels and consonants, and there’s something called a “vowel sound.” Vocal fry is basically a way of changing the way words sound from their vowel sound: “fry, fah, fu” becomes “fahjuhfah, fufah fah.” To see if this really exists in some languages, we put the words into a virtual dictionary and played around with it.
There is a lot to be said that the most basic words have different vowels and consonants. So there is also some variation depending on the language you speak.
Our virtual dictionaries included Latin, English, German, Spanish, Korean, Sanskrit, Spanish-Portuguese, Turkish, and Tamil.
The differences are clear, with words that are easy to pronounce morphing into words that are more difficult to pronounce, for example, words with vowels turning into sounds that are more like the uvula and sine.
Vowel Sound Variations vs. Vowel Hardness
When people hear the vowels of different languages, the words sound different and the vowels that appear are not the same. There are two aspects to this: vowel sound variation and vowel hardness. The most obvious kind of vowel difficulty is known as accent. What does it mean?
In simple terms, it’s the sound you hear when someone speaks with one hand while looking with the other. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:
Voweling is the art and craft of making sounds change when your mouth is closed. Vowels are the sounds that are used by your mouth to communicate. Vowels are made up of a consonant
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