When is a speech reversal a speech reversal? Donald Trump example

In the first Trump/Clinton debate, Trump says ‘African American’ a number of times. In reverse it can sound like he is producing language.

Each of these reversals contain ‘crime’, which occurs when ‘America’ is reversed. One must be careful to accept reversals with this word, even if there appears to be words with it that can make up a sentence or phrase. However, that said, if the subconscious is influencing what is said and how it is said, then that is likely at both sound and word level. But, the word America/American is going to be used in a variety of verbal interactions and communications, and the Trump/Clinton debate was certainly one of them.  Therefore the choice of this word is less likely to be influenced by the subconscious then other words where there is more flexibility in choice.

The section in brackets, [African A]mericans, also produces what seems language. Let’s have a listen to the first one. A general listening can make it sound like

Seen that in the crime. I think you’re fat

FS: We need law and order and we need law and order in the inner cities, and the people that are most affected by what’s happening are (African American and His)panic people.

Note: Ɂ will be used to denote a type of glottalisation– where the vocal tract is constricted instead of an alveolar articulation of [t]. ɾ will be used to denote an alveolar flap – where the tongue tip hits the alveolar ridge quickly rather than produce an n/t/d/l, as in how ‘water’ is often pronounced by an American or Australian.

A closer listening reveals something like “SinaɁnicrime-aɾikyerfaɁ

I have selected the word ‘think’ to represent the sounds at that point in the reversal. It is uncertain to know what it could be, and I have chosen ‘think’ as the closest possibility. One can project into it ‘make you fat’, but I think this is even less likely than ‘think’.

One has to assume that there is meant to be a /t/ ending in ‘fat’. There is nothing more than a mild constriction of the upper throat. That said, even in forward speech, final /t/ is not always articulated adequately and can seem to almost disappear. Nevertheless, this further weakens the soundness of the reversal. It is not until the final reversal below that we can really entertain that there is an allophone of /t/.

[th] does not occur in ‘that’ and ‘the’; of course, [th] in normal speech can assimilate to the [n], but there is no perception of [th] or alveolar stop (t/d) in either word, and there is no grey area here.

I think you’re fat occurs again behind the following FS. This time there is nothing before ‘crime’ that can be perceived as language-like. 

FS: We have to protect our inner cities because [African A]merican communities are being decimated by crime.

In the next occurrence, it can be heard as either ‘I think you’re fat’, or ‘A nigger fight’. This is so because [y] in ‘you’re’ is weaker than in the other examples, allowing perception of ‘er’ instead. Also, the vowel in the last word is longer, more like a double vowel.

Sits in the crime. I think your fat/A nigger fight 

FS: … our inner cities, [African Americans, His]panics are living in hell …

There is a sense of ‘sits in the crime’ first – sits’nicrime.

In the last one, ‘African Americans’ is uttered two times, and in both, it is more like ‘nigger fight’. The stronger force of [y] following the velar [k] in the FS, helps to give a sense of [g] where the [y] is masked. Before ‘crime’ is what sounds like ‘making the’ (makini).

¹Making the crime, a nigger fight           ²But nigger fight  

FS: ¹[The African American community has been let down by our politicians. They talk good around election time like right now, and after the election they said, see you later I’ll see you in 4 years. ²[The African A]merican commu, ah, b, me look, the community within the inner cities has been so badly treated, they’ve been abused and used in order to get votes by democratic poli ….

Can anything be genuine here? Saying that someone is fat again and again behind the same FS words is a big stretch, and there do not appear to be any triggers from the speaking. ‘Think’ is highly suspect, and anything else in its place would be contentious.   That said, something a little peculiar occurred after the first two reversals listed above. Straight after, he seems to say ‘pasta’. In the first one ‘need a pasta’, in the second just ‘pasta’ (well, actually ‘pasta with vayue’, but the last word is too much like gibberish). The final vowel in this reversal is a little different, but I am taking it as a possibility, particularly because of the following reason: ‘pasta’ was formed by completely different words from the FS. If indeed, there was anything in ‘fat’ and ‘pasta’, the section with ‘crime’ may be unrelated and coincidental.

The final example, although not perfect, is sounder overall. It is the only place where ‘nigger fight’ can be heard easily (although the second has a tremolo effect). It occurs two times in the same section of speech, seconds apart. Final /t/ is closest to being perceivable in this reversal, as well; unlike the ones above. Also, ‘nigger’ and ‘African Americans’ is directly associated. Once again, language-like words before ‘crime’ behind ‘American” in the FS, should not be trusted. But, including it, an easy interpretation can be given – these problems/crimes are the fault of African Americans, and this points a finger at them for the problems they experience. However, it is fairly easy applying meanings to what we hear, and we need to be careful about using it as a justification for genuineness of language. Some weight can be given to it in evidence, but the question is how much?

Do I think the last example is genuine? I’m sceptical.

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