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In a message dated 11/2/01 12:07:14 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:

<< >

> > with a "hard (voiceless)" marker and

> > a "don't open your mouth (nasal)" marker to

> > differentiate.

>

> Why do people often think of the voiceless sounds as "hard" and the

> voiced ones as "soft"?  I've always thought of it the other way

> around.

>


Your thinking is somehow twisted then. >>

    Then mine is, too.  :)  I realize phonetically and acoustically why
voiceless sounds require more oomph, but voiced sounds seem harder.  Why?
They're louder, first of all, so they hit the ears harder.  Second, they seem
more angry.  Observe: "pitch" neutral term; "bitch" very bad word.  "Pad" a
thing; "bad" self-explanatory.  "Tie" around your neck; "die" death!  "Call"
something you do; "gall" an angry emotion!  Or the first part of a bladder
that's going to be a lot of trouble for me when I hit fifty.  "Chin" part of
the body; "gin", one of the Demon Alcohol's minions.  Then there's "pour" and
"boar", the former being a gentle verb, the latter being a wild pig (or a
tiresome person or something a drill does into your skin).  And, who could
forget this example: "pious", someone who doesn't bother anyone, and "bias",
the root of all evil.
    Who can dispute such incontrovertible evidence?  Thus, voiced stops are
indeed harder than voiceless stops.  Case closed.

-David

P.S.: Taking a cue from Tom, "Humor not marked".