A Linguistic Dissection of 7 Annoying Teenage Sounds

This is what you get when a linguist's children reach middle school. Linguist James Harbeck gives us the phonetic analysis of the things teenagers say WAY too much, mainly to annoy parents, teachers, and even their best friends. A sample:

1. Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root
This is usually spelled something like auuggghhh. It's the classic teenage sound of utter exasperation. The eyes are usually angled upwards, sometimes in contrast with a downward movement of the shoulders. "Breathy-voice" means that the vocal folds are wide apart, giving a very "chesty" sound. "Advanced tongue root" means that the back of the tongue is moved forward to make a larger resonating cavity behind it. "Low back" means the tongue doesn't rise anywhere in the mouth (compare this with "eee," which is high front). "Unrounded" means the lips aren't rounded.

If that makes no sense to you, it will when you hear him reproduce this and all the analyzed sounds in the accompanying video at The Week. Link -via Metafilter

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