Forensic phonetics
Posted: 05 November 2011 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s a little experiment. I don’t want to tell you too much about it as it would contaminate the experiment somewhat.

http://helenfraser.com.au/forensic/index.htm#transcription

Click on the “You can experience a mini-version of the experiment by clicking here “ thing.

Perhaps you can go through this and tell us what you heard and whether what you heard changed as more evidence was introduced.

Once you’ve done that you can check out the broader study: please don’t read this first as again, it will rather mess up the experiment.
http://helenfraser.com.au/downloads/interpretation%20of%20a%20crisis%20call%20SUMMARY.pdf

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Posted: 06 November 2011 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The first several times I listened to the section of interest all I heard was heavy breathing. With the influence of the two interpretations I was able to hear each one very clearly in turn. No doubt there are other interpretations that a little suggestion would make sound as clear.

I don’t find this too surprising.

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Posted: 06 November 2011 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Trying to write this so as not to suggest any prompts that might skew how others hear the call. So this probably sounds rather opaque.

My reaction was similar to Jetty Jim’s. At first I heard no words in the section of interest. As I listened two or three times I heard the first interpretation. As I continued to listen, the innocent expression became clearer and clearer in my mind. Even after I was presented with the second interpretation, the first interpretation was reinforced with each time I listened. Although I began to hear how someone else might make the second interpretation, I became more and more convinced with each repetition that the first interpretation was correct.

The only “surprising” thing in this exercise is how strongly I became more convinced with each hearing. The repetition really reinforced my initial, tentative interpretation.

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Posted: 06 November 2011 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Unfortunately I was somewhat poisoned by the fact that I read a news article on the topic before being directed to this piece.

EDIT: very interesting case, gave me pause for thought.

EDIT2: removed spoiler, I’ll wait until more people have had a crack at it.

[ Edited: 06 November 2011 06:37 AM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 06 November 2011 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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You’ve got to be very careful how you word things. Even saying “breathing” can prompt someone to make a particular interpretation.

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Posted: 06 November 2011 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Already from an early stage, I had written down the second option (even before I read that it was an option) and stuck with it. Actually I heard four syllables instead of the three that are in the way it was rendered in text.

I deliberately didn’t read the other posts here before taking the test (maybe OP should make a suggestion in that respect in the OP (no pun intended)). And I’m convinced there are words being uttered.

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Posted: 06 November 2011 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I thought, before seeing the interpretations, that the second word was a different one from the one given in either version (assuming that there are words, both agree on the first). After being prompted, I wasn’t swayed in either direction. But had I been transcribing - and I’ve done quite a bit - I’d have put nothing but an indication that the tape was unclear and that no text could be made out.

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Posted: 22 March 2012 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This topic raises its head again:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/22/justice/florida-teen-shooting/?hpt=us_c1

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Posted: 22 March 2012 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I didn’t read the above posts before listening. I heard the words the first time, although I disagree on their interpretation of the final word. It sounds like another word to me.

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