John J. Ohala

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The author suggests that the following seemingly disparate phenomena have an underlying relationship: cross-language similarities in the intonation contours for statements versus questions, cross-cultural similarities in the vocal expression via intonation of attitude and affect, cross-language patterns in the use of tone, vowels, and consonants in "sound(More)
Certain signaling functions of the pitch of voice are remarkably similar across languages and cultures: (1) high or rising pitch to mark questions, low or falling pitch to mark nonquestions; (2) high pitch to signal politeness, low pitch to signal assertiveness; (3) in 'sound symbolic' vocabulary, high tone used with words connoting smallness or diminutive,(More)
A useful source for unifying theories guiding research on the expression of emotions by the voice as well as by accompanying visual gestures (kinesics) is provided by ethology, the science devoted to the comparative study of behavior. Ethology, examining human and non-human behavior, maintains that much of behavior is shaped by phylogenetic adaptations. In(More)
Two of the most fundamental distinctions between classes of speech sounds is that between sonorants and obstruents and between continuants and non-continuants. Sonorants are characterized as sounds which have no constriction small enough to impede the flow of air to the point of creating any audible turbulence; obstruents, as sounds which have a(More)
A previous study of the VC transitions characteristic of the five places of articulation in Hindi stops (labial, dental, retroflex, palatal, and velar) showed considerable overlap between different places correlated with the quality of the preceding vowel. For example, [labial] and [dental] had similar transitions following /i/; [labial] and [velar],(More)