PRELIMINARY NOTES TOWARDS A PHONETIC ANALYSIS OF THE SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS OF OPHIDEAN IDEOLOGICAL EXPRESSION
this brief study is dedicated to Ariadna Theokopoulos and Jay Knott, who have pioneered the application of scientific method to deLiberation. the author would also like pro-actively to thank Naomi Wimbourne-Idrissi of JBIG for permission (pending) to use the extract discussed.
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from You-Tube: In the following short recording, JBIG’s (Jews Boycotting Israeli Goods) leader presents her criticism of Gilad Atzmon. She also confirms that as far as ‘Jews within the movement’ are concerned Israel “should” and “needs” to exist as a “Jewish State”. This audio segment is taken from Gilad And All That Jazz, a documentary film about Gilad Atzmon, music, ideas and controversy:
the second part of the JBIG supremo’s argument is transcribed below. it breaks easily and naturally into five short sections referred to as A, B, C, D & E. for each section the starting point in time and the number of syllables are estimated. naturally, the extremely subtle stress-patterns used by such a skilful and experienced presenter can only be rather crudely expressed in print, but the upper-case words in the extract are more highly stressed – this rough-and-ready emphasis should at least serve as a moderately useful aide-memoire. the agogic information is supplemented by estimates of emotional intensity derived from significant pauses and the variation in syllables emitted per minute.
the italic and bold emphases do not relate to speech stress, but are intended to facilitate the reader’s navigation of the text in relation to the questions that have been added at the end to assist anyone who wishes to deepen their study of the JBIG philosophy. they are, naturally, only meant as suggestions.
A 0:42 (13)
i know that there are many people
in the movement
B 0:45 (14)
who share the opinion,
which is GENERAL
throughout the WEST,
C 0:49 (21)
NEEDS to exist
as a Jewish state
as a Jewish state
D 0:52 (13)
and there are many JEWS …….pause…….
in the movement
E 0:56 (13)
who don’t want to criticize
that fundamental FACT.
0:59 *** END
Section speech-rates in syllables per minute
A 270 B 210 C 420 D 195 E 260
-1. in section A, is the use of the term many, whilst technically permissible, nevertheless disturbingly ambiguous? there are, for example, many Jews in the world, yet they make up only 0.18% of the human population of planet Earth.
0. in section B does the use of the term share (in place of a more value-neutral term such as hold) serve as a rhetorical device to intensify an impression of consensus?
1. with reference to the phrase don’t want to criticize in section E, give your own view on to what extent criticism or non-criticism of any X should be determined by the expediency of individual emotional attachment to X, rather than by the results of an attempt to objectively assess the nature of X in the light of its relevance to significant events etc.
2. again concerning section E, in what circumstances could anyone reasonably be expected to criticize something acknowledged as a fundamental fact? what arguments are offered as to the factuality or fundamentality of what it is claimed many people do not want to criticize?
3. assess the speaker’s use of the term ‘movement’. if you believe that there is a genuine movement, what would you say are its goals?
4. give a brief definition of the phrase general throughout the WEST which occurs in section B.
5. what is the West?
6. discuss the referential inter-relation between the word opinion in section B and the word FACT in section E. is it reasonable to assume that the opinion (section B) and the FACT (section E) are both referring to what is asserted in section C?
7. examine the arguments for and against the idea that an opinion can also be a FACT.
8. in section C, the two modal verbs needs and should are used:
(a) explain in what sense Israel needs to exist as a Jewish state
(b) do you consider your answer to (a) suggests that should exist is a logical consequence of needs to exist, or is this connection better viewed as a deliberate or accidental rhetorical sleight of tongue?
9. suggest possible reasons for the very heavy emphasis placed on the phrase and OTHERS in section D. how would the meaning of the whole be affected by simply omitting this phrase from the text?
10. attempting to discount the superfluous post-alveolar fricative after the terminal dental stop of the word movement (sections A and D), do you think this statement is phonetically and semantically characteristic of an anthropic or of an ophidian* creature? if you believe it to be an anthropo-ophidian hybrid, give a rough estimate of the proportion of the creature’s genetic material you think comes from each source.
an ophidian is a snake-like spirit from Middle-Eastern (primarily Persian) mythology. Ophidians were said to come to a person as they woke up and steal their memories, especially the memories of what had happened to them while they were in the world ruled by Morpheus.
11. in the light of your answers to the preceding questions, can you suggest any explanation for the extremely rapid speech-rate observed in section C.