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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Query Details


Query Subject:   Paralinguistic clicks
Author:   Mark Jones
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   DEAR LINGUISTS,

IT'S COMMON IN THE PHONETIC LITERATURE (E.G. JOHN LAVER (1994) "PRINCIPLES OF PHONETICS": 175, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS) TO SEE CLICK CONSONANTS (VELARIC INGRESSIVE SOUNDS) DESCRIBED AS RARE AS CONTRASTIVE UNITS, BUT COMMON PARALINGUISTICALLY. I'M AWARE OF THEIR PHONOLOGICAL DISTRIBUTION, BUT I DON'T KNOW OF ANY DETAILED SURVEY OF PARALINGUISTIC USAGE.

IN (BRITISH) ENGLISH WE HAVE TWO PARALINGUISTIC CLICKS: THE DENTAL CLICK ([/]), WRITTEN AS EITHER "TUT" OR "TSK", AND THE LATERAL CLICK ([//]), WHICH AS FAR AS I'M AWARE HAS NO WRITTEN FORM. THE DENTAL "TUT/TSK" USUALLY OCCURS DOUBLED, I.E. AS "TUT TUT" OR "TSK TSK" TO INDICATE DISAPPROVAL. THE LATERAL CLICK (ALSO DOUBLED) IS THE SOUND MADE TO ENCOURAGE A HORSE TO MOVE. THERE IS, OF COURSE, ALSO THE BILABIAL CLICK ([0]) WHICH IS A KISS. I DON'T INCLUDE THIS AS PARALINGUISTIC, BECAUSE IT IS WHAT IT SYMBOLISES.

I'D LIKE TO CCONDUCT AS WIDE A CROSS-LINGUISTIC SURVEY AS POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE:

1) WHETHER CLICKS ARE WIDELY USED PARALINGUISTICALLY;
2) WHICH CLICKS ARE USED PARALINGUISTICALLY;
3) WHAT THE CLICK SOUNDS SYMBOLISE;
4) WHETHER 'DOUBLING' OF THE CLICK IS COMMON, E.G. AS IN ENGLISH "TUT TUT".

I'D ALSO LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT WRITING CONVENTIONS FOR THE PARALINGUISTIC CLICKS. DOES ENGLISH HAVE A PREFERENCE FOR "TUT" OR "TSK", DOES [//] HAVE A WRITTEN FORM? WHAT DO OTHER LANGUAGES DO?

I'D BE VERY GRATEFUL IF LIST USERS WOULD CONTRIBUTE ANY INFORMATION ON THEIR NATIVE OR NEAR-NATIVE LANGUAGES TO ME AT THE FOLLOWING MAIL ADDRESS (SET UP TO KEEP MY UNIVERSITY MAIL VOLUME DOWN):

PARALINGUISTIC_CLICKS@HOTMAIL.COM

I'LL POST A SUMMARY, BUT I'D LIKE TO GIVE USERS A FEW WEEKS TO RESPOND.

MANY THANKS!

MARK JONES
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
MJJ13@CAM.AC.UK
LL Issue: 14.762
Date posted: 17-Mar-2003