Just after the 3-minute mark in this video, the chef tells us to give the pot “the o-o-o-ol’ shakuh-shakuh“. I think the pronunciation is in imitation of a stereotypical elderly man.

I would like to know if there is a name or IPA symbol for that extended “o” sound, if it is in fact considered one sound and not a series of sounds. How would we describe it linguistically?

  • I would transcribe it as [oːːː] though it might be even more closed [o̝ːːː] instead. Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


The IPA is not designed to represent all possible sounds, even ones made by humans when speaking, so what you can hope for is a “hint” about a particular sound. Mainly, what you have to figure out is how to do this (listen and practice!), then see if that lines up with any linguistic category. The thing is, this does not correspond to a linguistically-governed parameter – it is not creaky voice, though it sorta sounds like it. I suppose I would transcribe it as a some number of occurrences of the sequence [ɔ̆ʔɔ̆…]. There is no harm in writing this as [ɔ̰:::]

The idea of counting "sounds" presupposes a phonological analysis of a particular language. In English, "o" is... well, either one sound or two, depending on your theory. The physical extent of a realization of "o" doesn't increase or decrease the number of phonological units.

  • Is it not related to ululation or trilling?
    – Guest
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 18:53
  • In a sense. Ululation is tongue-wagging, trilling is aerodynamic. The acoustic output is similar, though.
    – user6726
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 20:45

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