A speech reversal from Kate McCann, the mother of missing Madeleine McCann, was played on a radio show recently and declared as being a ‘nice and clear’ reversal. The reversal accuses Kate McCann of beating Madeleine and killing her. However, the reversal is incorrect.
The documented reversal is:
Slay with fists Madeleine
Here is the audio
Although Madeleine is imperfect, I will assume that her name is there. I wish to address [slay with fists].
- There is an /f/ in the FS; however, the sound largely disappears and there is mild frication in its place and also a velar quality of a [k + h] type. Rather than [fist], it is more like [kissed]. There is no concise /k/; however, the frication and aspiration combined with the ramping up of the vowel lends perception of /k/.
- It is not [with], but [we] as the mild frication at the FS /f/ fails to produce [th] perception.
- Slay is [slow] articulated with a very English vowel sound.
Therefore, we would have [slow we kissed Madeleine], clearly a very different meaning to the documented version.