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Re: Cat phonemes

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 16:29
This thread caused me to analyse the speech of my house-friend a
little, an 8 kg male - very handsome and cuddly, but you wouldn't
want to meet him in a dark alley.

I found that he has the famous 4 cat phonemes, /m/, /i/, /a/ and /u/,
and in addition he uses an /e/ quite a bit, and the /u/ and the /m/
can open up to /o/ and /w/ respectively, but I suspect these are only
allophones. So far I haven't heard any /N/, but maybe cats have
dialects, and/or large variations in their vocal organs.

I think the purr may be phonemic too. At least it seems he means
something entirely different when he says it with a purr than when he
says the same thing without it.

However he does not rely on speech very much. Rather he prefers
telepathy, based on his experience that "daddy always knows what I
need." Unfortunately, his daddy isn't very susceptible to that kind
of communication.

Technically I think the purr is similar to the vibrantness that can
be heard in many people's voices.



Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>