Final obstruent devoicing

Thursday, 1 April 2004 — 2:14pm

Ardalambion has been given a run for its money as my favourite website pertaining to linguistics. The challenger is the Speech Accent Archive, a repository of over three hundred samples of both first- and second-language English speakers reading the same paragraph, complete with phonetic transcriptions and pattern analysis. Until about the age of ten I had a bad habit of lazily tackling the ‘th’ sound with a ‘d’ or ‘f’, but only now am I properly aware that this is a generalization known as an “interdental fricative change”. Discover this and other fun facts while listening to a heck of a lot of people speak.

Whenever something really amazing happens on 1 April, it is best to err on the side of scepticism, but this appears to be as true as apple pie, or however the mangled vernacular goes: the first screenshots from the recently-announced GameCube sequel to Paper Mario. This one is my favourite.

One would think there would be more worth mentioning today, but alas, there is not. Either there is a severe dearth of April Fool’s spirit on the Web this year, or everybody stopped being clever and/or funny. I suspect both.


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