Lisp (speech)

From Academic Kids

A lisp is a speech impediment. Stereotypically, people with a lisp are unable to pronounce sibilants (like the sound "s"), and replace them with interdentals (like the sound "th"), though there are actually several kinds of lisp. It is somewhat ironic that this handicap is called a "lisp," as this word is difficult to pronounce for some with the condition. Because of this, the condition is sometimes jokingly called a "lithp".

Some social or ethnic groups are thought to lisp. In particular, homosexual men are sometimes portrayed as having a gay lisp. While not all gay men speak this way, and while not all men who speak this way are gay, there is a segment of English-speaking homosexual society that consciously self-identifies through this particular speech trait. What most people fail to realize is that this "gay lisp" is not a simple substitution of interdentals (like "th") for alveolars; rather, it is the substitution of dentals for alveolars. In other words, a different kind of "s" is used, not "th." This different kind of "s" sounds like interdental "th" to the untrained ear. This subsitution affects not just "s" but all the coronal consonants.

Speakers of Latin American Spanish often think that speakers of Castilian Spanish speak with a Castillian lisp.


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