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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Hearing 'gay': Prosody, interpretation and the affective judgments of men’s speech
Author: Erez Levon
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article describes a controlled experiment designed to determine what people listen to specifically when judging a speaker’s sexuality. Four experimental stimuli were produced by digitally shortening the syllable duration and narrowing the pitch range of one male speaker reading a passage. Listeners rated various combinations of the four stimuli on 10 affective scales, including straight/gay and effeminate/masculine. Altering the two variables was insufficient to alter listeners’ perceptions of the speakers sexuality to a level of significance. However, significant correlations between the different attitudinal scales illustrated that perceptions of sexuality are ideologically linked to other perceptions of personality and personhood.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: American Speech 81(1): 56-78, 2006.
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