A phonetic analysis of glossolalia

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Janet MacLeod Clenseur (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Mariana Newton

Abstract: Glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, has been evidenced since Biblical times. Some writers have interpreted glossolalic speech as known foreign languages; other writers have suggested that glossolalic speech utilized the speaker's native language. In the literature, more emphasis is placed on the religious aspects of glossolalia than on the linguistic or phonetic aspects. In recent years, a few linguistic studies have been conducted; however the results of these studies are meager and generally inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to analyze glossolalia phonetically, which would provide information regarding the nature of glossolalia. Sixteen tape recorded samples of glossolalic speech from 16 speakers, 13 to 63 years of age, were phonetically transcribed independently and reliably by two listeners. The investigator's transcription was found to be reliable and was the one used for further analysis. In order to analyze glossolalic speech, consonant data was grouped into general production features: manner of articulation, place of articulation, and voicing. Vowel data was grouped according to place of articulation and dipthongs. The frequency of phonemes in these categories were compared to the relative frequency of these phonemes in general English.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1972

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