Süäüüelläi (alcarilinque) wrote in linguaphiles,
Süäüüelläi
alcarilinque
linguaphiles

NYT: Whence the Whistle?

This small article appeared in the New York Times. I over heard someone talking about it, so I borrowed the paper from them.

Q. Can there be a nutritional or physical reason for the sudden onset of a whistling “S” in an adult’s speech?

A. The answer is almost certainly physical rather than nutritional, unless the sufferer happened to eat a cavity-causing diet that led to dental work.

The flaw in pronouncing a sibilant S, which speech therapists call sigmatism, can follow even minor changes to the way the tongue aligns with the teeth. As a result of either too small a gap or too large a gap between the biting edges of the front teeth, the air forced through the gap in pronouncing the S sound can produce an extra whistle.


There's more, of course, but I just thought I'd pass it on if anyone was interested. :)
Tags: in-the-news
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