Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Phonetics in the news, but ...

I've been wondering about the new claims about Neil Armstrong having had an 'a' in his famous moon statement ("step for A man"), with recent confirmation by acoustic analysis. Leave it to Language Log to provide the goods ... in the form of pretty decent quality spectrograms of the recording in question. Mark Liberman is surely right that there's no schwa visible or audible in there (besides, who is Mr. Verb to contest such a point), although I can still easily imagine that Armstrong was producing a very reduced form, even if we can't see it on the screen.

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