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11 JULY 2014

The Adventure of English: the evolution of the English language

"The Adventure of English is a British television series (ITV) on the history of the English presented by Melvyn Bragg as well as a companion book, also written by Bragg. The series ran in 2003.

The series and the book are cast as an adventure story, or the biography of English as if it were a living being, covering the history of the language from its modest beginnings around 500 AD as a minor Germanic dialect to its rise as a truly established global language.

In the television series, Bragg explains the origins and spelling of many words based on the times in which they were introduced into the growing language that would eventually become modern English."

[Complete eight part series available on YouTube distributed by Maxwell's collection Pty Limited, Australia]

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TAGS

2002 • A Dictionary of the English Language • American English • American Spelling Book • Anglo-SaxonArabicaristocracyAustraliaAustralian Aborigineauthoritative historyBible • Blue Backed Speller • British televisionCaribbean • Catherine of Aragon • Celtic language • Celts • Church of England • cockney rhyming slang • colonisationcommon languagecommunication • Convicts land • dialectdictionaryDutch • educated people • English languageEsperantoFrenchFrench languageFrisian • Frisian language • Gaelic • Germanic rootsgrammarGreek • Gullah language • Hebrew • Henry V of England • Henry VIII of England • historical eventshistoryhistory of ideas • History of the English language • history of useimmigrationIndiaindustrial revolutioninvasionIsaac NewtonITVJamaicanJane Austen • John Cheke • John WycliffeJonathan Swift • Joseph McCoy • Katherine Duncan-Jones • King James I • languagelanguage developmentLatin wordlinguisticsmedieval churchMelvyn Braggmini-series • modern English • Netherlands • Noah Webster • North America • Old English • peasant • Philip Sidne • pidgin • pronunciation • Queen Elizabeth I • Robert Burns • Rural Rides • Samuel JohnsonSanskritScotland • Scottish language • scripture • spelling • Squanto • television series • The Adventure of English (2002) • theologian • Thomas Sheridan • United Statesuse of wordsvikingvocabulary • Websters Dictionary • West Africa • William Cobbett • William Jones • William Shakespeare • William the Conqueror • William Tyndale • William Wordsworth • words

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MARCH 2013

How much of a language is silent? What does it look like when you take the silence out? Can we use code as a tool to answer these questions?

"silenc is a tangible visualization of an interpretation of silent letters within Danish, English and French.

One of the hardest parts about language learning is pronunciation; the less phonetic the alphabet, the harder it is to correctly say the words. A common peculiarity amongst many Western languages is the silent letter. A silent letter is a letter that appears in a particular word, but does not correspond to any sound in the word's pronunciation.

A selection of works by Hans Christian Andersen is used as a common denominator for these 'translations'. All silent letters are set in red text. When viewed with a red light filter, these letters disappear, leaving only the pronounced text.

silenc is based on the concept of the find–and–replace command. This function is applied to a body of text using a database of rules. The silenc database is constructed from hundreds of rules and exceptions composed from known guidelines for 'un'pronunciation. Processing code marks up the silent letters and GREP commands format the text.

silenc is visualized in different ways. In one form of a book, silent letters are marked up in red yet remain in their original position. In another iteration, silent letters are separated from the pronounced text and exhibited on their own pages in the back of the book, the prevalence of silent letters is clearly evident."

(Momo Miyazaki, Manas Karambelkar and Kenneth Aleksander Robertsen)

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TAGS

2012alphabetbookCIIDCopenhagen Institute of Interaction Designcorrelative analogueDanishEnglish • exceptions • find-and-replace • FrenchGREP • GREP command • Hans Christian Andersen • Kenneth Aleksander Robertsen • language • learning language • legibility • Manas Karambelkar • Momo Miyazaki • phonetics • Processing (software)pronunciationredrules • Silenc (project) • silence • silent letter • sound correspondencetangible visualisationtexttranslation • visualisation interpretation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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