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 verbal exchange. 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 finds the ideals, the myths, and the responses that encompass the growls, stutters, ums, ers, and ahs of daily language.
Beyond phrases is going outdoor 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 bounds 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 which means in language. by way of enticing with vocal sounds and tics frequently trivialized or neglected, past phrases provides a startling and engaging new technique to interact with language itself.
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Extra resources for Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizations
In the sob, the overcoming of the voice is itself overcome, as it becomes part of the armoury of voice. Sobbing can therefore become a kind of discipline, an exertion as well as an inhibition. ’15 There have been few physiological or psychological studies of the sob. However, some assistance is given by a study of crying conducted by G. Stanley Hall and Alvin Borgquist of Clark University in 1906, based on 200 returns of a questionnaire, supplemented by ethnological data from the Bureau of American Ethnology and the Archives of Aboriginal Knowledge, and responses to questions put to 55 beyond words missionaries regarding the peoples of the Paciﬁc.
It should be observed here that it is the idea or the ideal of an absolute distinction between the voiced and the unvoiced that is here at issue. As one might expect, the increase in physiological understanding and means of observing and measuring the processes of speech production has complicated this simple distinction between the voiced and the unvoiced. 5 But my concern, as I have said, is not with phonetics, but with the phenomenological phantom of the voice and its noisy inﬁltrators and fellow-travellers.
The sob does not quite do either of these things. For, rather than being a ﬁlter or coloration of speech, the sob is a kind of preemptive assault on it, a gag, clamp, or choke. The sob enacts the sense of a rising constriction, a desire for utterance so intense that it seems to bloat and block the means of it. 10 In his Sylva Sylvarum, Francis Bacon put sobbing alongside sighing as the fulcrum or turning-point in a spectrum of reactions to grief between resistance to and the desire for expulsion of the hurt: Griefe and Paine cause Sighing; Sobbing; Groaning; Screaming; and Roaring; Teares; Distorting of the Face; Grinding of the Teeth; Sweating.
Beyond Words: Sobs, Hums, Stutters and Other Vocalizations by Steven Connor