How does a ventriloquist manage to pronounce the sounds of certain consonants,

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image95
    DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years ago

    How does a ventriloquist manage to pronounce the sounds of certain consonants,

    such as "B" "F" "M" "P" "V" "W"  without moving the lips?

    Each of those sounds involves the lips to produce the sound of that letter.

  2. The Examiner-1 profile image72
    The Examiner-1posted 3 years ago

    Practice. I tried ventriloquism because I used to watch them and wanted to do it. For the letter "B", I remember keeping my teeth closed and curling my tounge way back to touch the roof of my mouth near the back. Each letter just takes time to make sounds until you make the one which sounds nearest to the real one. You simply have to know where to begin - buy a ventriliquist book.

  3. bravewarrior profile image91
    bravewarriorposted 3 years ago

    You have asked the question of the decade, Lizzy! I've often wondered that myself. You have to close you lips to form most consonants.

    I had a Jerry Mahoney doll when I was a little girl. I tried my hand at speaking without moving my mouth. When it came to consonants, I sort of had to whistle them through my teeth, but that's hard to do with B, M, P.

    I'm curious to see who can answer your question.

    1. The Examiner-1 profile image72
      The Examiner-1posted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Did you try that? You cannot seem to make any sound but "mmm, mmmm" when you do that. I could not make the different sounds of consonants.

    2. bravewarrior profile image91
      bravewarriorposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Examiner, your lips come together when you pronounce, B, M, and P.

  4. Billie Kelpin profile image86
    Billie Kelpinposted 3 years ago

    As a former teacher of the deaf in the 60s, we had to learn how each sound is produced in the mouth whether with a wide tongue, a narrow tongue, the tongue on the alveolar ridge, air through the mouth, nose, etc. ASL hadn't been analyzed and respected as a legitimate language as yet back then and was used mainly in residential schools for the deaf.  The philosophy in the public schools throughout the US was that a person needed to speak and hear to function in the hearing world; thus, teaching a deaf child to speak and lipread was the main focus in the training of teachers of the deaf in those days. For our classes at the U, each student majoring in Deaf Ed. had to go to the dentist and get a plate made for the roof of our mouth.  We then had to put tooth powder (there was such a thing) on the plate, put it in our mouth, make a sound, and then draw on a diagram where the tongue hit and add a lengthly description of how each sound was made.   

    Re: ventriloquism, I imagine, it is possible to train your articulators, lips, teeth, tongue, uvula, etc. to produce an approximation of a sound a different way than most people produce that sound.  The reason we, as English speakers can't roll the Spanish "r" is because our tongues aren't used to it. 
    Also, in "running" speech, it's the inflection that helps our minds fill in the sounds that might not be articulated exactly "right on".  The example our Phonetics professor game was the sentence.  "Did you eat yet?" This turns out in normal speech to actually be: "Jeet yet?" and the answer might be: "No, ju?"
    However, training your articulators to produce sounds without "articulating" is long and arduous work.  Seeing people do it in person, I imagine, is much more rewarding than watching it on TV.  Fascinating ability - speech ! Fascinating topic and question

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