Into titties like right here in Detroit?

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Matthew Cooper, "Full text of Donald Trump's prepared remarks to the Detroit Economic Club", Newsweek 8/8/2016:

Addressing the Detroit Economic Club is a mainstay for presidential candidates, and Donald Trump put a unique stamp on the event Monday. No Republican nominee in decades has given such a blistering critique of free trade and none has been met by so many protesters. (Trump opponents peppered his speech with shouts.) At one point, the mogul seemed to make a verbal slip, substituting the word "titties" for "cities."

Unfortunately this slip of the tongue seems likely to overshadow the content of his presentation

I wonder whether this could be an artefact of a brief audio dropout (another of which can be heard earlier during his pronunciation of "wealth") during the first part of the [s] noise in "cities" …

Update — indeed that's what happened:



6 Comments

  1. Guy said,

    August 8, 2016 @ 5:11 pm

    Would it be possible on a spectrogram to reliably distinguish whether we're hearing aspiration from a [tʰ] or the end of an [s] after the possible stop/audio dropout?

  2. D.O. said,

    August 8, 2016 @ 6:17 pm

    Tities aside, Prof. Liberman, you've spent so much time documenting Trump's rhetorical style that I want you to increase the scope of the inquiry and include gesticulation. In a very few clips of Trump speeches that I saw (this one and bits and pieces of his acceptance speech at the RNC) he marks every single word by a gesture. What do you think about that?

  3. fev said,

    August 8, 2016 @ 9:15 pm

    The Detroit media don't seem to be paying much heed to titties/cities — no mention so far at either of the dailies, and nothing on a cursory check of a couple of broadcasters.

    I don't see any indication that the NYDN was there (no dateline, and the reporter appears to have four other bylines Monday, which would be kind of a feat given the connectivity at the airport), so I wouldn't be surprised if the audience reaction bits were simply made up. What I hear doesn't sound like it was "waking up many members of the mostly-male audience during his otherwise snoozy speech."

    Who knows what tomorrow may bring, though.

  4. Lazar said,

    August 9, 2016 @ 3:03 am

    I wonder whether this could be an artefact of a brief audio dropout (another of which can be heard earlier during his pronunciation of "wealth") during the first part of the [s] noise in "cities" …

    Indeed it is. Here's a clip of it taken from a different feed, in which he definitely says "cities".

  5. Graeme said,

    August 9, 2016 @ 3:12 am

    'Titties' far too diminutive for the Great Man. 'Boobs' for 'burgs' parapraxis maybe.

  6. Aaron said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

    Tities aside, Prof. Liberman, you've spent so much time documenting Trump's rhetorical style that I want you to increase the scope of the inquiry and include gesticulation. In a very few clips of Trump speeches that I saw (this one and bits and pieces of his acceptance speech at the RNC) he marks every single word by a gesture. What do you think about that?

    I actually wrote a paper about this for my Language and Societies class last semester, even though I only focused on a small subset of gestures that he uses. The term paper's purpose was to demonstrate how Trump uses pragmatic hedges along with co-speech gestures as a face-saving technique. (I'm a linguistics MA student at Wayne State University)

    I'd be willing to e-mail a copy of my paper to anyone who is interested in reading it.

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