• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Four is Not Fourteen: Tongue Twister Patterns and the Unmastery of Language

Western Folklore. 2014. No. 73:2/3. P. 195-215.
Somoff V.

By using tongue twisters from a variety of folk traditions, the article demonstrates how the inevitable failure to perform a tongue twister flawlessly consists of the performer's inability to differentiate between phonemic, semantic, morphological and syntactic homonyms, thus mirroring the experience of a child learning his/her native language. The article suggests that tongue twisters serve as an artistic means for the linguistically competent performer to revisit that earlier and forgotten stage in language acquisition.