Re: Languages and Timbre

Subject: Re: Languages and Timbre
From: Louis Dufort (
Date: Sun Nov 07 2004 - 00:30:44 EST

> I know that timbre is sort of hard to define, but I guess what I am
> asking is: Can a person who speaks two languages perfectly(without a
> trace of accent) actually be defined as a person who speaks with two
> different timbres?

Timbre is a big word, I would rather say articulation....

 Is there more at play then just the way the lips
> and tongue form the different words from different languages?

IMO. Yes, by imitation, greatly influence by TV. You can notice also
imitation between groups of friends. Also I believe that our articulation
changes thru life, not just because we are physically changing but also
because some of us change their "imitation patterns". A good example of
that is when quebecois goes to France and start naturally speaking with a
French accent (scary!). Does North Americans start using the English accent
when their in great Britain? If not, then one could also conclude that it
can also be a culture factor. Some cultures may change more easily than

Do the
> vocal chords actually change the (I think their called) formants to
> achieve different languages?

That's a good one. My guest is that our formants patterns are pretty stable
(their is limits in changing the physicality of our mouth). Changing
drastically formant pattern is the art form of an imitator. I do believe we
change our articulation, and very superficially our timbre.

> Blah blah blah....


Au plaisir


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