What do the sounds fffff, vvvv, ssss, and zzzz all have in common? They're all produced by creating a sort of friction in your mouth when you constrict two parts against each other, whether that's your lips, your teeth, your tongue, the roof of your mouth, or in your throat. This whole class of sounds that are produced using friction are known as fricatives!

In this episode, your hosts Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne get enthusiastic about fricatives! We take you on a tour from the front of your mouth to the back (sadly, you’ll have to imagine the tiny cartoon schoolbus for yourself), and tell some of our favourite fricative-related stories along the way, including how the printing press is responsible for Ye Olde Teashoppe signs, the Extremely Welsh clothing chain LL Bean, and Gretchen’s erstwhile student days playing IPA Scrabble.

If you have fricative stories of your own to add, feel free to talk about them in the Lingthusiasm Discord, or tag us in them on social media @lingthusiasm and we might share them!

Announcements:

We have new merch! Have you always wanted to recreate the classic psycholinguistics experiment of cross-modal perception wherever you go? With our bold coloured kiki/bouba merch you can! https://www.redbubble.com/people/lingthusiasm/

Kiki Bouba

If I give you a rounded, lumpy shape and a sharp, spiky one, and tell you that one is called kiki and the other bouba, which name would you attach to which shape? It turns out that people's responses are surprisingly consistent! This classic experiment in cross-modal perception featured in Lingthusiasm episode 21: What words sound spiky across languages?, has become a favourite subject of linguistics memes, and is now available as Lingthusiasm merch! https://www.redbubble.com/people/lingthusiasm/

What the fricative

Whether you're having a fricative hard day or you're just fricative surprised, now you can confuse people by not actually swearing and secretly give yourself an excuse to chat linguistics with them, thanks to our What the Fricative items in black or white text! Check out our cheeky ‘What The Fricative’ merch for all your almost-sweary needs! https://www.redbubble.com/people/lingthusiasm/

As ever, we love seeing photos of any Lingthusiasm merch in your lives! Tag us in them @lingthusiasm on social media!

Announcements:

In fiction, we can often tell when a character is drunk or high by their way of speaking: when someone's slurring sounds together or jumping erratically from topic to topic, the audience is meant to assume that they're under the influence. But how accurate are these fictional portrayals?

In this episode, Lauren and Gretchen get enthusiastic about two fun studies of how people talk differently when under the influence of alcohol or cannabis: the German Alcohol Language Corpus and the delightfully named "Dude, What Was I Talking About? A New Sociolinguistic Framework for Marijuana-Intoxicated Speech". We also talk about the logistical complications of setting out to study intoxicated speech, from setting up fake pubs and recording in a "vehicular environment" to the ethical issues around how to make sure that impaired people are giving informed consent to participate (tip: ask them when they're still sober).

Join us on Patreon to learn more, and get access to 52 other bonus episodes! You’ll also get access to our Discord server, where you can chat about your favourite Pokémon names with other language nerds! https://www.patreon.com/lingthusiasm

For links mentioned in this episode: https://lingthusiasm.com/post/656826674919440384/lingthusiasm-episode-58-a-fun-filled-fricative

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne. Innehållet i podden är skapat av Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.