Thursday, July 30, 2015

Talking About Talking

Remember my post last year, Filler Up!? It was all about those sounds we make when we're talking that aren't really words, more like interjections, sounds that fill the void brought on by pauses in speech, vocalized pauses or filled pauses, fillers for short. That post included my commentary along with the text of an interview that was not otherwise published. But the reporter had used some quotes from the interview in an International Business Times article published on January 29 2014, entitled Like, Uh, You Know: Why Do Americans Say 'You Know' And Use Other Verbal Fillers So Often?

Now then, that article was reprinted in Vocable, a French magazine whose content is mostly in English, published for readers who are learning English as a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) language, many of them young professionals in France. The piece was published in the March 6-19, 2014 issue of the magazine. And that issue, like every other issue, was packaged together with a CD supplement. That makes a great deal of sense, since it's one thing to learn how to read text written in a foreign language, but another thing entirely to learn how to understand a foreign language as it's spoken.

So, for the CD supplement, I was contacted by Shelly De Vito and asked if she could conduct a telephone interview with me, based on the article. Shelly turned out to be an utterly charming interviewer, and what resulted from our interchange was a wide-ranging conversation about speech, talking about talking. And while I am by no means as well spoken as she is, my own speech I freely admit is full of fillers and other kinds of paralinguistic tics and nonfluencies, I think the interview wound up being quite interesting. 

Well, anyway, I think so, you may not agree. But if you're willing to give it a go, here is A Conversation About Speech, courtesy of YouTube:

And in case  you'd like a better look at the magazine and the article therein, voila:

C'est tres jolie, n'est-ce pas?  Ummm, like, you know, yeah!

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