March 26, 2012

in #13,2012,Best Comics Ever,eponyms,french,Monday Comic,Webcomic

This week in Articulatory and Impressionistic Phonetics, we’re learning about rhotics, otherwise known as ‘r sounds.’ As opposed to fricatives, laterals, or nasals, the class of rhotic sounds do not fit together neatly under a simple definition. They are said in different places in the mouth, with different types of stricture, and with different tongue positions. Ladefoged and Maddieson say there may be phonological, acoustic, or auditory connection, but it doesn’t look like there’s a phonetic one.  All of them are oral continuants with neutral lip posture, and they are most clearly linked through their IPA symbols resembling ‘r’ in some way: [r ɾ ɹ ɺ ɻ ɽ ʀ ʁ]. Rhotics are weird. I’m rhotic and proud.

In the seminar about rhotic sounds, we practiced the rhotic trills, which are associated with Spanish and French, and Richard Ogden mentioned that phoneticians have fun by trying to make the 3 trill sounds of the IPA at the same time, which looks something like this: [ʀ͡r͜ʙ]. The diacritic means that the sounds are spoken simultaneously. On paper, I could make the arch go over all three, but this is the best I can do for the internet. The 3 parts are:

  • [ʀ] uvular trill – French ‘r’
  • [r] alveolar trill –  Spanish rolling ‘r’
  • [ʙ] bilabial trill – pretend to be a motorboat.

I’ve been bursting into simultaneous trill attempts around campus for the last 24 hours, and wondering if anyone had recorded their attempts. I couldn’t find anything on the internet with the same keywords, so I made my own video and put it on YouTube. It helps to build up from back to front. This has to be done quickly, before the air pressure is lost. Every attempt has ended in giggling, and this video is no exception. Enjoy!


March 6, 2012

in french,IPA,lips,phonetics,spanish,University of York,Words & Origins

There was a charity spelling bee tonight at Comedy Sportz for SOSSA. It was FUN. I wish I could have been in for longer, they had cool inventive rounds after I got out… 🙁

1. advantage
2. accommodate
3. brisage (I spelled it wrong)

Brisage has to do with explosives. It is a very technical word not used outside of the firearm and explosives nerd world. F it.


March 25, 2011

in comedy sportz,french,round 3,rumble bee,spelling,spelling bee

1. lily
2. potassium
3. asterisk
4. poimenics (I spelled it wrong)

26 people playing tonight! Andy got 3rd, Robert got the most French word in the universe, embonpoint (pronounced AUH-BAU-POIA)


January 18, 2011

in french,round 4,spelling,spelling bee

It can also be found elsewhere here.


December 20, 2010

in #51,cultural differences,elsewhere,english,failblog,french,graphjam,Monday Comic,venn diagrams,Webcomic

1. pressure
2. proportional
3. heifer
4. bouillabaisse


October 19, 2010

in french,round 4,spelling,spelling bee,Words & Origins

1. grieve
2. retch
3. poussin

I gave up before the bee started, so I laid on the grenade for the newcomers.


October 12, 2010

in french,round 3,spelling bee,terrible,Words & Origins