Here is a selection of reversals from the first 5 minutes of Isaac’s interview.
RS: Yeah unreliable. Someone near/there, getting(?) life or
Yeah unreliable. Someone near get/need a knife
There is uncertainty over some words. It is important to investigate the alternatives. Isaac is responding to a question about his impression of Jessica and Vernal when he gives this reversal. In the first version, it is ‘getting’, or ‘giving’ or ‘needing’. In the second version, it is ‘get a knife’ or ‘need a knife’. You need to weigh up what it sounds like in the overall utterance, and what it sounds like as a single word. Of course, in forward speech, when listening to an isolated word, you can find it doesn’t quite sound like what you know the person is saying, which you have gathered from a macro listening using grammar, syntactic, and contextual clues. Yet, at the same time, you can’t always trust a macro listening, as what you initially thought something was, turns out to be something else. When there is uncertainty, you need to look at its grammatic and syntactic suitability, and its contextual appropriacy, yet at the same time, guard against accepting what you want to hear, or expect to hear. If it were ‘giving’ or ‘needing’, it remains vague. ‘Getting life’ as in life in prison is less vague and more contextually appropriate. However, once again, one needs to guard against wanting to hear something. If is were ‘get a knife’ or ‘need a knife’, it could reveal:
- someone near an unreliable person should protect themselves, or alternatively, ought to use it,
- someone actually got knifed or will get knifed by an unreliable person, or
- someone near and the unreliable person is one and the same, and ought to be knifed.
There are other reversals that indicate Isaac is critical of someone in the group.
Immediately after giving the reversal as he was describing them as an average family, he stated that he ‘trusted Bob though’, and gave what could be another reversal which sounds something like:
You were involved, destruct shit
The [b] sounds in ‘Bob’ take on enough of a fricative quality to accept the possibility of [v] sounds in ‘involved’. [d] at the end of ‘involved’ quite naturally disappears to a certain extent before consonants in following words, and of course, does so with the [d] in ‘destruct’. I initially thought that it might have been ‘destruction’ with a loss of the [n]; however, there is a [t], and I have documented it as it sounds – ‘destruct shit’. This, of course, can be coincidental-sounding gibberish. One does not have to, nor shouldn’t just accept everything that may sounds like language. If this section was valid (and remember, that is not necessarily so), who is Isaac referring to then? Vernal or Bob, or someone else?
RS: The fun’s over, I’ve said it; I do not tell him the fun’s over
Isaac was saying that Vernal Deorr and Jessica Mitchell decided to go down to the store to get gas, but when they got there it was closed. At that point, he gives the reversal. This appears to be what is going through his subconscious in response to his experiences or beliefs regarding what he is speaking about. There is a conflicting statement. One voice states the fun’s over and claims it has been said, and another denies saying anything. What ‘fun’ refers to here, is open to interpretation. For example, something said in response to deciding to get gas, drive all the way down, then finding out it was to no avail (as in fun and games). Alternatively, when one states ‘the fun’s over, they are saying that someone is caught out.
‘over’ lacks an obvious [v] in both times.The first one is really “oh’ra”, while the second is a bit closer with [w]. Nevertheless, I conclude that they are intended to be the word in question.
RS: Lies they grow; he’s dick satan
Isaac says that when he got up, Jessica, Deorr and Vernal were planning to go and get gas. At the point where he mentions the three names he gives the reversal. It’s possible it may not be ‘lies’. The initial consonant is open to interpretation. It is a reasonable possibility. As often occurs in RS, [t] is glottalised rather than alveolar, and this occurs in ‘satan’. Who is he referring to as dick satan? Vernal? It is also possible that a subconscious aspect may be referring to the speaker himself. If so, it would be an aspect of Isaac that has dislike for Isaac. The pronoun may prove important in this regard in deciding this (such as ‘he’ rather than ‘you’).
RS: No, I don’t need tremors (driver seen no-one)
Isaac is talking about getting up and using the restroom then going back to bed (until midday). He spoke about Bob having whiskey, but said Bob doesn’t drink it; he brought it for others. One would surmise that Isaac was drinking heavily, so he went back to bed and slept the morning.
‘I’ is connected to ‘no’ by [w] which is normal linguistically. Perception of [d] in ‘don’t’ occurs, however sound is more like [n].
No, I don’t need tremors
Immediately following the reversal, he appears to say a word like ‘driver’, although, once again, the [v] is not evident, and then ‘seen no-one’, with [s] sounding like [z]. Of course, one can’t expect RS sounds to be perfectly articulated – they aren’t in forward speech. If ‘seen no-one’ is valid, perhaps it simply refers to him going back to bed, and not seeing others for a while.
RS: And there’s Dennille; so we, we get high
A person’s subconscious will respond to triggers and bring up past experiences and internalisations, or it may respond directly to what it happening at the time of speaking. Of course, there was no-one called Dennille (and we do have to be careful when an unknown name arises as it may not be part of a real reversal). If the Dennille section is relevant, it is more likely a trigger to a past experience or something internalised. Alternatively, some of it may be connected (getting high) to what was happening at the time (the night before that morning).
‘high’ is strongly connected to [t] before it, and this reduces [h] initial; however, I conclude that it is more likely ‘get high’ than not.
RS You need my girlfriend
Isaac had just said he went back to bed; when he was asked what time he got up (noon), he gave the reversal. This is likely an example of associated triggering of subconscious thought based on the topic – spending the morning in bed and getting up really late triggered an imaginary why – spending the morning in bed with a girl.
There is a fricative sound between ‘my’ and ‘girlfriend’ from the influence of [b] in the FS. I assume here it is extraneous sound not meant to be part of the reversal.
RS: You said/say Bob
The interviewer asked if Bob Walton had any whiskey, and Isaac first stated he might have had a couple, then immediately changed his mind and said Bob doesn’t drink anymore. At the point where he changed his mind, he gave the reversal. It is like his own subconscious remarked or complained to him about what he said.