This strange sound can mean ‘yes’ in the Swedish language.

I actually grew up using a somewhat similar form for “yes” — a short “yeah” or “yep” said on an inhaled breath. I learned in a phonetics class many years later that ingressive “yeah/yep” is considered a unique feature of the Canadian Maritimes, especially more rural areas. The rest of the class was pretty baffled but it seems totally natural to me! I think I use it less now but it might also be subconscious sometimes. (Of course, you don’t have to say yeah/yep as ingressive, it’s just an option. And it’s generally only found when they’re said in isolation, not as the beginning of a longer sentence.) 

You also occasionally get ingressive “no/nope” but it’s less common, and I think lots of dialects do ingressive numbers occasionally if you’re counting aloud and don’t want to pause to breathe in. And it’s possible to say a whole sentence or two on an in-breath with practice, although I don’t know of any language that uses it robustly, as more than just a trick. 

Anyone know any other languages or dialects with ingressives? Is there something about affirmatives that make them particularly likely to be ingressive, even if nothing else is? It seems likely that if you’re going to get ingressives with just one set of words, interjections would probably be a good class. 

(Of course there’s also the nasal ingressive voiceless velar trill.)

omg this is so cute


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s