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Sound research at Acoustical Society meeting
Date:5/9/2011

r those that were harder to say. Her results, however, revealed that intoxicated speakers could, up to a point, produce proper pronunciation with aplomb. Test subjects were given servings of vodka and orange juice until their blood alcohol content reached between 0.1 and 0.12 percent; this is slightly above the legal driving limit of 0.08. She then had them read words that contained the consonants "p" and "b" between vowels, like in the words "epic" and "cabin." Favored linguistic models predict that this produces a sort of oral gymnastics, forcing the speaker to break stride in mid word and interject an abrupt sound in the midst of a more flowing sound. Kaplan's assumption was that this and other easy-for-hard substitutions would become more and more prevalent when the speaker was intoxicated. Not so, according to her study. In fact, some assumed "easy" sounds morphed into sounds that linguists assumed required more effort to pronounce accurately. Presentation 2aSC33, "Compression of the acoustics space in intoxicated speech" is in the morning session on Tuesday, May 24 in Metropolitan room B. Abstract: http://asa.aip.org/web2/asa/abstracts/search.may11/asa414.html

Bones Conduction May Herald Ultrasonic Hearing

Human hearing is remarkable in its subtle ability to distinguish a wide range of sounds across a wide range of frequencies. Recent research suggests, however, that humans naturally tap into the body's skeletal structure to extend hearing well into the normally ultrasonic range. Experiments conducted by Dr. Michael Qin and his colleagues at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) systematically documented that human divers can detect underwater sounds up to 100 kHz, well above accepted normal hearing frequencies (approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz). According to Qin, "Although human bone-conducted hearing at ultra-high frequencies has been documen
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Contact: Charles E. Blue
cblue@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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