Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
The mutter of invention.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.




a language meant to be screamed from far away
  [vote for,

Owing both to distance and the distortion of speech occurring when you yell, no one hears most of the sounds comprising the words you are pronouncing. So the idea is to create a language based on an investigation of both that which is actually spoken and what is actually heard in such situations. That the listener is able to make out the content of a yelled message is a game of inference on their part. Eventually a full language could be constructed from scratch that only uses the distance-audible vocalizations. But not today. This is a rough and ready language you can use (t)OHd(d)AYE. (today)

We need only run normal English through the filters of real world yelling at a distance

The first filter is the way one pronounces when one screams. The word "me" when yelled becomes "may". The second filter is the way consonant sounds cannot travel long distances well. So "me" became "may" and when heard at a distance it becomes "AYE", that is, a long 'a' sound. Pitch, inflection and cadence still actually work pretty well at a distance.

Suppose you wanted to yell at a truck driver on the freeway "I'm going to drag you out of that truck and slice your throat". We assume both motorists' windows open.

The trucker would hear something like the following:

"AU-AYE OH-AY OH /a/ OH /a/-OH UH /a/ UH /a/ AU-AYE OH OH "

"I'm" becomes a short 'O' sound followed by a long 'A' sound; "AU-AYE" . "Going to" becomes a long 'O' followed by long 'A'; OH-AYE and then "to" which is screamed as "TOE" and is heard as a long "O" sound or OH .

The the entire alphabet then boils down to short o, long o, short a, long a, and short u ("uh") AU, OH, /a/, AYE, UH

fishboner, Mar 22 2014

http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Xhosa_language [hippo, Mar 24 2014]

Live Feed from SABC http://www.sabc.co....vepopup#fragment-20
I'll post another link to the site as a whole. [skoomphemph, Mar 24 2014]

The SABC web page, itself -- this show's page http://www.ukhozifm...egory=Monday-Friday
If you listened a moment ago you'd have heard the Zulu word for 'opening batsman' -- "iOpeningbetsman". Most adoptions from English are direct. [skoomphemph, Mar 24 2014]

Silbo Gomero http://en.wikipedia...lbo_Gomero_language
Very similar, adapting the Spanish language to whistled tones. [TomP, Mar 25 2014]


       Why adapt an ill-suited language to this purpose (English is meant to be mumbled), when there's already a complete language especially designed for this purpose in existence?   

       I offer you Zulu, which is a language for shouting euphonious conversations with your friend across the valley, in. Centuries of living in wide valleys that invite conversation, combined with a belief that quiet people are sneaky people have shaped a language that sounds just like music, and carries well over distances even the most adapted mumblespeak will never manage.   

       Oddly enough, at close range, though loud enough to reassure the people across the street that you're plotting against them, the language somehow doesn't hurt the ears. WHAT YOU SEEK ALREADY EXISTS (b'tis prbly nt widely known-t'e-xst)
skoomphemph, Mar 22 2014

       Well done, [skoomph].   

       As a second alternative, I offer you Welsh, which cannot be understood at any range or volume even by those who have spoken it fluently for their entire lives, meaning there is no difference between misunderstanding it from far away and misunderstanding it close up.
Alterother, Mar 22 2014

       Spasiba [Alterother]. The BBC offers to teach you how to say "Dween hoffi sharrat Cymraeg" on one of its pages in the language section, but I found it too terrifying to proceed any further. That said, "sharrat" is quite a nice word for "to speak", and "hoffi" is quite a happy word for "to like".   

skoomphemph, Mar 22 2014

       Oh by the way, [fishy], no well-adjusted American would offer to slit somebody's throat, not even a trucker's. That is considered a valid threat and therefore is entirely the wrong kind of rude. "I'm going to drag you out of that truck and break your face" is a far more cordial and acceptable salutation. Look closely and you'll spot the subtle but telling differences.
Alterother, Mar 22 2014

       Surely yodelling was made for this sort of thing?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 23 2014

       No, as I understand it the Swiss take a dim view on the practice of screaming at one another in traffic.
Alterother, Mar 23 2014

       Not North American or South American, Your really talking Downtown New York, Maybe Chicago, LA   

       Any ZULU recordings?
popbottle, Mar 23 2014

       [skoomph] Did you mean Zulu, or Xhosa? (see link) I thought it was the clicks in Xhosa that make it good for communicating in dense vegetation or over distances.
hippo, Mar 24 2014

       If you hit the link supplied some today, you should hear some isiZulu. Otherwise look for the tiny "Listen Live" button on the top bar of the web page.   

       Other alternatives on SABC include ia. Afrikaans, and Indian music.
skoomphemph, Mar 24 2014

       An observation came to me. As much as people like to pick on Detroit for being a dangerous place to live, they never insult our driving habits. And skoomph is brave to utter the black speech of Mordor...
RayfordSteele, Mar 24 2014

       There's another language specifically for this. I'll find a [link]. There are many similar whistled languages, but the one called Silbo Gomero is one of the more widely known. It's entirely whistled, based on Spanish in much the same way as this idea suggests. It was developed to be able to communicate across the large valleys on the island of La Gomera, and is now being taught in the local schools to prevent it being lost.
TomP, Mar 25 2014

       [hippo] I missed the idea that the clicks help communication over long distances. I'd be surprised if they did. They're quite soft consonants.   

       Zulu and Xhosa (and Swazi, Shangaan - in S.Moçambique, Ndebele/Matabele - in W.Zimbabwe ... and perhaps Ngoni/Angoni - right up into parts of Malawi and Tanzania) are very similar languages - probably more similar than eg Dutch is to German (but I'm guessing, here). Lots of tribes had to run when Shaka started empire building here, and that's how you get Ngoni groups in East Africa. I think they may have lost their clicks.   

       Interesting to see how many click consonants the Bushman languages have. I think the clicks came from them. Before this end of Africa was Zulu (etc) country, it was Khoisan/Bushman country.   

       And Silbo Gomero is a fascinating idea, but I'm afraid it's all gibberish to me.
skoomphemph, Mar 26 2014

       'Dunno 'bout clicks, but even soft whistles can cut through high levels of noise.
FlyingToaster, Mar 26 2014


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle