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Download Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizations by Steven Connor PDF

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By Steven Connor

In past phrases, Steven Connor seeks to appreciate spoken human language open air phrases, a realm that encompasses the sounds we make that deliver intensity, which means, and confusion to conversation. Plunging into the connotations and makes use of linked to specific teams of vocal utterances—the guttural, the dental, the fricative, and the sibilant—he unearths the ideals, the myths, and the responses that encompass the growls, stutters, ums, ers, and ahs of daily language.

Beyond phrases is going outdoors of linguistics and phonetics to target the preferred conceptions of what language is, instead of what it truly is or the way it works. From the moans and sobs of human grief to playful linguistic nonsense, Connor probes the fringes and boundaries of human language—and our definition of “voice” and meaning—to problem our easy assumptions approximately what it's to speak and the place we discover that means in language. via enticing with vocal sounds and tics frequently trivialized or overlooked, past phrases offers a startling and interesting new method to have interaction with language itself.

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42 For so much of its history, the stammer has been experienced as a kind of stone-like blockage or fossilization of speech, but the fact that the story links solidity and fluidity provides a telling image of the way in which the animate soul of speech builds and borrows from the inanimate. The voice is nourished by the parasites and imperfections that feed upon it. 32 three Hiss All voice is shaped breath. But there are two phases to this shaping. There is, of course, the articulation of the breath, the application of stops and delays, and the chivvying of the voice into particular channels, gates and pathways.

The autumnal, deciduous voice, which is heard in illness, fatigue, ague and age, is not epically shredded by 31 beyond words passion, but rather silted with lilting circumstance. It is a voice becoming distinct in the very accidents whereby it loses its difference and distinctness. As Aristotle wrote, only creatures that have life can give voice, but not everything that is in the voice, or given utterance by it, is alive. In coughs, whispers, drawls, hisses, hesitations, laughs, stammers and other vocal noisings, the voice meets and mingles with what it is not – indeed is, in the end, nothing more than this mingling.

Walter Whiter’s Etymologicon Universale of 1822 insisted on the Principle of Uniformity, by which we are at once supplied with the most important maxim in discovering the origin of words. ’10 The distinction between vowels and consonants has also been ethnicized, in terms of a distinction between Hebrew, traditionally 37 beyond words regarded by Christian commentators as the primary language, that was closest to the divine, and Greek. This is because written Hebrew does not phonetically represent vowels, while Greek was the first written language to derive a notation for them.

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