Igqira lendlela nguqo ngqotwane

15 05 2008

My first love in linguistics was phonetics: the study of the “remarkable, elegant and principled unity” (Laver 1994: 592) in which language exploits speech. What I retain from the discipline of phonetics is an appreciation of linguistic diversity, increased empathic awareness and an ear for articulatory idiosyncrasies.

For example, I have a soft spot for languages with exotic sounds. Case in point is Xhosa, a language spoken in South Africa that features clicks. Miriam Makeba explains and demonstrates these sounds in her jazzy rendition of the Click song. Youtube it here. Thanks for the tip, Angus.

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