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An Acoustical Approach to the Vowels of the Whistling Language of the Village Antias in the Greek Island of Evia

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The study of the whistling language of the village Antias on the southern end of the Greek island of Evia (part of the cultural heritage of the Greek nation has been absent until today, mainly due to the difficulty in finding the proper spectral corpus).

In this paper we have made an acoustical analysis of the vowels [a, ε, i, o, u| of this whistling language. What was found for the first time, which probably concerns all the whistling languages all over the world, is the fact thai the vowel triangle degenerates to a straight line. This degeneration leads to an acoustical reduction of the number of the vowels. In our case the five vowels [a, ε, i, o, u) of the Greek natural language are reduced to three [(a, o), (ε, u), i] in die whistling language. Apart from this vowel reduction, similarities between the natural and whistling languages of the village Antias are preserved with only a shifting of the formants to higher frequencies.


Eine Untersuchung der Pfeifsprache des Dorfes Autias am Südende der griechischen Insel Evia (einem Teil des Kulturerbes der griechischen Nation) fehlte bislang, hauptsächlich wegen der Schwierigkeit, deren spektralen Gehalt aufzufinden. In dieser Arbeit wurde eine akustische Untersuchung der Vokale (a, e, i, o, u) dieser Pfeifsprache durchgeführt. Dabei wurde erstmalig eine wahrscheinlich alle Pfeifsprachen betreffende Tatsache entdeckt, nämlich daβ das Vokaldreieck zu einer geraden Linie entartet. Diese Entartung fiihrt zu einer verminderten Anzahl von Vokalen. Im vorliegenden Fall reduzieren sich die ftinf Vokale (a, e, i. o, u) der griechischen Nationalsprache auf drei [(a, o), (e, u), (i)] der Pfeifsprache. Abgesehen von dieser Vokalreduktion bleiben Ähnlichkeiten zwischen der natiirlichen und der Pfeifsprache von Autias erhalten, bis auf eine Verschiebung der Formanten nach höheren Frequenzen.


Jusqu'à ce jour, aucune etude n'avait été faite de la langue sifflée du village d'Antias, situeaée à l'extrémité sud de l'ile grecque d'Evia à cause de la difficulté de définir un corpus de sons pertinent. Cette langue fait pourtant partie de l'héritage culturel de la Grèce.

Dans cet article nous présentons une analyse acoustique des voyelles [a, ε, i, o, u] de la langue sifflée. Ce que 'on montre pour la première fois, et qui concerne probablement toutes les langues sifflées du monde, e'est que le triangle des voyelles dégènere en une ligne droite. Ceci a pour consequence, du point de vue de l'acoustique, une réduction du nombre des voyelles. Dans notre cas, les cinq voyelles de la langue grecque parlée [a, ε, i, o, u] se ramènent à trois, [(a, o), (ε, u), i] dans la langue sifflée. A part cette réduction des voyelles, la langue sifflée du village d'Antias préserve les traits de la langue parlée, avec toutefois un glissement vers l'aigu des formants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1994

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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