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Language Log » “Quid professional crow”

Language Log » “Quid professional crow”

2023-05-18 09:33:29

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In Maria Bartiromo’s current interview with James Comer (R-KY), there’s an fascinating speech error — “quid professional crow” for “quid professional quo”:

This being Language Log reasonably than Making Enjoyable Of Politicians Log, I will begin by assuming that this was a slip of the tongue reasonably than an insufficient command of authorized Latin — particularly, a speech error involving perseveration of the consonant+/r/ onset cluster from “professional” to “quo”:

It is attainable that there was some Freudian priming of the slip, primarily based on reverberations of Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Stern’s intelligent 4/13/2023 Slate title “Quid Pro Crow“, in regards to the relationship of Clarence Thomas and Harlan Crow.

However in any case, as soon as consideration is drawn to this phrase, it has some phonetic properties price highlighting.

To begin with, it is a good instance of pre-boundary lengthening — crow is greater than twice so long as professional:

One other phonetic level is that this phrase’s illustration of why minimal and most values of basic frequency are (all the time) artifacts, or a minimum of profoundly uninteresting numbers. Even after cautious directions to Praat to decide on minimal and most f0 estimation values appropriate for Comer’s voice on this interview, the minimal and most values on this phrase symbolize scattered factors attributable to (imperceptible) interactions between laryngeal oscillation and vocal tract closures:

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And a histogram of F0 estimates additionally suggests why the imply worth is usually not a fantastic abstract statistic:

Then there’s the entire query of easy methods to characterize the phrase’s intonational sample — however that is a subject for an additional time.

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