Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Mar 7 19:19:18 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 2:03 PM, Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:
> I remember the voice students at UConn, when I worked in the music
> library, using "phonetically" this way when referring to learning to
> sing a libretto in a language that they didn't know. Now, they would use
> the phrase "learn <it> phonetically," so I could easily see someone
> rephrasing it as "speak <it> phonetically" to indicate a change in
> direction, if you will.
> And don't actors use this phrase "learn/speak phonetically" as well,
> when they're reciting foreign language lines? It's indicating just a
> rote memorization and production of sound without necessarily
> corresponding comprehension of what they're saying.

Opera singers learn to sing foreign-language libretti using IPA...
which comes in handy when you need a stable of well-enunciating
freelancers to record pronunciations of English lexical items:



Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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