An examination of language-like clusters of words in a Reverse Speech seminar participant

Audio soon

I have taken clusters of language-like words from the reversed speech of a participant at a Reverse Speech seminar and presented them here with an examination of the linguistics and discussion of possible meaning. That I have documented reversals, does not mean I believe that they are real. Some of them could be heard in different ways, and some are not sound enough phonemically. It is look at what someone might hear, document and present as Reverse Speech, and an exploration of what may ‘pass the grade’ as Reverse Speech. 

RS: in/and that fuck the raper

FS: I get moved how um people can so down and they (,,,?) just becomes ah joyful and happy and they see different their skin changes and they become [happy and confident ‘n] it it just moves me to see when ….

The raper is from [happy an]. Articulation of [y a] produces /r/ before articulation of /n/ occurs in the FS. /n/ produces an approximation of the. Fuck comes from [conf]ident where /n/ is greatly decayed. A northern English vowel (note: speaker is originally from Yorkshire). In/and that comes from confi[dent ‘n i]t.


This is fairly sound linguistically. Obviously the reversal is negative. Whether there was a raper is something that needs to be determined (and whether it has something to do with the potential words nigga/Muhammed, looked at below). Her positive words are almost like a defence against something negative in her psyche.


RS: Watch me kill one day

FS: [Yeah, I work in Tro]pic and I’m the senior manager in Tropics.

[o]ne comes from [I w]ork, and a sense of a possible /n/ comes at the onset of I in the FS where the energy ramps up. /d/ can be heard but it is uncertain whether there is some influence from David Oates’ words. Kill comes at [work]. The i[n] lacks any clarity and so [m]e is assumed here. Watch comes from [tro]. The rounded vowel combined with the mouth moving towards /p/ produces /w/. tro[pic] produces pek, but we can assume the reversal begins after this.


Interestingly, David Oates says in reverse after this “Oh, right”. The statement is quite clear, but considerations are: 1) accepting the ambiguity at [m]e 2) there is a syllable – kep (tro[pic]) – at the beginning, and has been removed; however, it does not seem to be the start of the reversal 3) that the /d/ in day is from the speaker and not David Oates.


RS: I have/had this attack

FS: It’s not about money it’s not about possessions it’s not about anything li[ke that, it’s abou]t changing people’s being

The speaker’s emotions produced the /h/, allowing for perception of [I ha]. One can hear hab as the FS sound is also /b/. Internal grammar construction makes one hear have or had. One can get a sense of [th] from the constriction at the release of /a/ and onset of /b/ in [ab]out probably combined with the hiss noise of the audio. Attack comes from li[ke that i]t’s. The [th] is decayed and /k/ is heard.


It’s a short reversal, and /b/ does occur at have/had. A very light [th] is not an issue as this can occur in FS.  Otherwise, the stress pattern is appropriate. Based on this, one will need to decide if there is enough that is right about it. Assuming accuracy, one would have to consider whether it is a negative emotional/psychological event that occurs or occurred to her, or if it is a physical one, and in this one may tie it into other reversals documented here.


RS: I kiss Noah. See a loss, some deliverer I want …

FS: Um what’s stopping me from be[ing who I really my soul is I want to ge]t everything you know I just …

I kiss – t[o get]  /o/ gives sense of I; /k/ from /g/ and /s/ from sibilance of /t/ is reverse.

Noah – [I want] /n/ from /n/; [oa] comes from [I wa]

See a loss – [soul is] [see] from [is]; [a] from release of /l/ moving towards [i]; [loss] from [soul].

some – [my s]oul

deliverer – [I really] /d/ is perceived the release of [y]; sense of /v/ comes from release of I and onset of /r/; sense of an extended [er] comes from including enough of I

I want – [ing who I] The remaining part of I (not utilised in the [er] above goes toward producing RS I. /w/ comes from the rounded vowel in who, and /n/ comes from [ng].


There is a sense of all of the words documented. Interestingly, there is kiss Noah and deliverer. This indicates a strong desire for someone to help her and guide her. The reversal would then be a response to the consultation with David Oates.


RS: You had me head swimming – that’s true/two –then head him off – Australian on eggs will beat my egg through 

FS: I work in Tropic, and I’m a senior manager in Tropics and sell (vegan) skin care and make up which I just [love getting on people’s skin and they learnt it from me (?) it just and it moves me when I] can see them change and transform.

(a) RS: you had me head swimming 

FS: and it moves me when I]

You had – whe[n I]  The emotionality and duration of I creates an aspirated /h/ and sense of /y/ allowing perception of the two words.

me – m[e wh] The /w/ produces perception of /m/

head – [me] The speaker’s emotionality creates the /h/. Sense of unreleased /d/ occurs at the onset of FS /e/.

swimming – [an’ it moves]  swim comes from moves with /v/ allowing perception of /w/ (but also /l/).  ing comes from a[n’i]t.

(b) RS: That’s true/two  

FS: it just

The articulation and release of /t/ in jus[t] in the FS allows a sense of [th] and the ju[st] allows a sense of tha[t’s]. The [j] permits a sense of [tr]ue, however, there is no /r/,  and therefore this is uncertain. It may just be gibberish.

(c) RS: then head him off 

FS: from me (?)

then head comes from the unknown words. But what the sounds can be perceived to be in the FS naturally produce the RS words.

him off comes from [from me]

(d) S: Australian on eggs will beat my egg though 

FS: [getting on people’s skin and they learnt i]t

Aus – learn[t i]t /t/ produces /s/

tra – l[earn t]o – however there is an /n/ in the RS rather than /t/ and /r/ is not evident on closer listening. This is not accurate for the sounds.

lian  – [nd they l]earn [th] disappears; /a/ is pronounced rather than a schwa (unpronounced vowel) usual in the word.


on eggs – [skin a]nd  The vowel is indicative of eggs, however the softness of the consonant could make it ex or even aches. 

will beat – [people]’s  /t/ can be perceived at /p/. /w/ can be perceived at [le].

my egg – [getting on] /m/ is perceived at /n/; [y] comes from /o/ + /i/ ) [ng] disappears and /t/ is glottal like and cannot be heard in the RS); egg is from [ge]tting. 

through – [love] – frication from /v/ gives sense of [th]. 


Of course, this is one way to hear it. It is clear the first statement comes at “You had me head swimming”, then there is a quiet comment which can sound like That’s t(r)ue without the /r/, but could be something else or nothing.  This is followed by Australian, which is not precise being more like Ausnalian, and the rest may start with this word, but then again may not. You had me head swimming may be a reaction to the situation she has found herself in, speaking to David Oates about herself in front of people; the fact that Oates is Australian make the closeness to ‘Australian’ interesting. Perhaps there could be a connection between head swimming and beating her eggs through, signalling the perceived effect of the therapeutic demonstration with Oates. But, it is easy to find meaning in things, isn’t it!


RS: Yeah, this is (zh) the end of my bills. Soul wake up

FS: I want to be able to just not [to worry about money and just to be] financially free again [like I was].

this is (zh) the – mon[ey and just t]o  this – sense of [th] in this comes from release of t[o] in the FS and /s/ from [t]o; sense of the comes from part of [ey] and [an’]; sense of is comes from ju[st]; there is a noise syllable (zh) at [j]ust.

end of my – [about money] /b/ disappears in the RS as does /t/ which had assimilated to /m/ anyway in the FS, therefore m[y] occurs at [about] and  /m/ comes from /m/.

bills – [to worry] an indeterminant sound occurs at the FS release of /y/ allowing some impression of a possible /b/; /ll/ comes from [worr] and /s/ comes from [t]o.

Soul – [was] /w/ creates sense of /l/

wake – li[ke I] Movement of I towards /w/ in the FS produces /w/

up – [li]ke This sounds like ‘out’ rather than ‘up’.


There is a syllable of noise (zh). If the reversal was started later, it may still be heard as This is the end …. where (zh) represents is. ‘up’ on closer listening is like ‘out’, which in the phrase does not make sense. One would have to decide whether it is meant to be ‘up’.


RS: We’re ready Edward, look you for (the) Alice, Alison

FS: an’ to let, to let (other?) people would be a real gift

We’re – [real]  soft /l/ produces /w/ in RS

ready – b[e a r]eal /d/ comes from transition of FS /e/ to /a/ where the tongue is high and forward.

Edward – [would be]  /d/ can be perceived at [d b]; /w/ comes from the rounded vowel w[oul]d; /d/ can be perceived at [w]ould. [w]ould can even be perceived as hard /l/ in the FS, so this is probably why /d/ can be perceived.

look – peo[ple]  A stop /k/ can be perceived at /p/.

you – p[eo]ple high front vowel allows perception of /y/, and movement of vowel toward /p/ in the FS allows for y[ou].

for (the) the strong frication allows /p/ to be heard as /f/. There is a strong frication occurring at the, so I have just made an assumption that it represents the.

Alice – [to le]t There is a pause between Alice and Alison where an unreleased /t/ occurs. Although nothing can be heard, one could also make an assumption that it is Alison.

Alison – [an’ to le]t


Of course this is one way to hear it, and most likely incorrect at that. What else could it be? If /l/ in look is /b/ (which is easy to project into it as) it would be book. The reversal could also be heard as We’re ready. It will/would book you for the Alice … In this case one may claim that the speaker has been thinking about going to Australia, and in light of being interviewed by David Oates, an Australian, the desire has come up.


RS: Put the self-pride, souls in there, Earls and it numb it, nurse, she/you can’t (there she can’t) solve the wrecker

FS: I was very abundant and then um [I kind of lost my passion and lost and went into a dark place (laughter)]. And um I want people to be walking around happy and joyful.

put the – [laughter] this comes at the laughter, could be heard as with the, also. If this is ignored, the reversal begins at self-pride

self pride – [dark place] /p/ can be perceived at FS /k/. /r/ is not really there, so it is assumed. The /f/ is not particularly evident, and it can sound like sell.

Earls – [to a] /t/ provides the sibilant as is typical in RS.

an’ it – wen[t in]

numb it – [an’ wen)t a[n] gives a sense of /m/.

the soul – [lost] /t/ produces sense of the.

in there – [and]

nurse you/she can’t/there she can’t – los[t my passion] – this gives an approximation of nurse. Continuation of /sh/ + vowel allows for some sense of she, but perceived rounded can give impression of you with the sibilant fully part of nurse. Alternatively, nur is meant to be there. With can’t, [c] may be perceived from release of m[y], although this could also be /p/; /m/ may be heard as /n/, and natural ending of can’t can be heard with FS /t/.

solve – o[f lost]

wrecker – [I kind o]f  [nd] decays to /r/; rounded [o] produces /w/.


Where there is /n/ for [th] in there, it can be acceptable (within reason). Most of the words are reasonable, though /f/ and /r/ is a problem for self-pride, there is some issue around nurse she/there she occurs, so we can’t rely on those being there. If there is anything in this, we see aspects of her psychology – self-pride, souls, Earls, numb it (self pride or souls?), solve the wrecker. Earls only makes sense if it is accepted as a metaphor for a leading aspect of the Self.


RS: an’ if it’s (a) certain nigga, Muhammed

FS: I’d be singing down the street singing (?) [with my handbag and just skippin’ a]long

an’ if it’s comes behind [skippin’a]long. The stop effect of the FS /p/ disappears, allowing perception of /f/. /k/ can be heard in i[t]’s, however, similar acoustic cues allow for some perception of /t/. The sibilant /s/ is longer than normal. It is possible to perceive [a] following. The reason for this is between the /s/ of it’[s] and [c]ertain at jus[t] skipping -though it continues to be a sibilant, intensity drops, emulating someone who doesn’t bother releasing /s/ in order to articulate /a/. certain comes from a[nd just]. The stop component of the affricate [j] allows for /t/ perception. Nigga comes from handb[ag an]d, where the extended /n/ in the FS allows for a separate perception of /n/ from certai[n]. The vowel tends to fall into a diphthong /ei/ and the final syllable [ga] tends to have higher stress, so the word may sound a little odd. The stress pattern is interesting, however. The extended /s/ in it’s can occur when someone is hesitating for a moment. Certain drops in intensity as if the speaker knows they could be saying something wrong. The higher stress on ni[gga] could be an intonation pattern to indicate the speaker is saying something important and you should listen. Muhammed comes at [with my handb]ag. The [nd] assimilates to the [b], and in reverse sounds like /m/. Muhamm[ed] occurs at [with]. Close listening will give a perception of thid, where the /d/ occurs at the ramping energy for w[i[th so that perception of a stop alveolar occurs. A general listening glosses over the wi[th].which occurs straight after the mid /m/, however, it is still there.


In it’s, /t/ could be /k/. Nigga, although phonemes are there, is articulated a little strangely, and there is a [th] after the mid /m/ in Muhammed, which can get ignored quite easily. These are the issues with it. That known, one would then need to decide whether there is a reversal occurring or just coincidental sounds.


RS: Slip I hang a (spirit/skirt?), and/in lightning

FS: I’d be just si[nging down the street singing (hapils??)] with my handbag and just skippin’ along ….

Slip is behind the unknown FS words which sounds like ‘pils’. I hang a is behind s[inging ha]pils. RS ng is at FS ng. I comes from h[a]. What I noted as skirt/spirit is behind streets. The final ts in streets produces the /s/. There is sense of an ambiguous stop consonant from the release of the vowel str[ee]ts; one could hear it as /k/, /p/, /t/, or even a /y/ with a hard onset. The final /t/ is produced by the [st]reets, and the /r/ comes from FS . One could project different things into this. Sense of and/in comes from dow[n the]. Sense of lightning comes from si[nging down]. However, it is actually like the sounds for nightding; it is just easy to project the required sounds into it.

There are sounds that follow this, but occur at a different tempo. If they were included it would sound something like an’ nigh ding a slipper with sl a bit distorted.


This is clearly messy and quite inane, and should go into the gibberish bin.


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