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citymouse
07-06-2008, 08:41 PM
I have no idea how to express this so please bear with me.

Most of us, if not all, have at one time or another seen or heard Native American or Middle Eastern women trill, warble, or yodel a particular sound that indicates the greeting of an important person, or a celebration of victory, as in a conflict.
My question is, what is this vocalization called? Is there a particular term to describe this sound other than those I have mentioned?

I'm writing a scene where a Native American mother sees her son as he returns to his village of from his "vision quest". She announces his return to the village with this vocalization.

I know there are members here who are either Native Americans or who are familiar with this form of celebratory greeting. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
C

Kitty Pryde
07-07-2008, 02:30 AM
Ululate! And the noun is ululation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ululation

citymouse
07-07-2008, 03:00 AM
Oh super! Now I have a word I can't possibly use! It's soooo obscure no one or almost no one, will know it. My first rule of novel writing is, write nothing that causes the reader to stop reading, even if it's to look up a word. However, thanks for the word search. I certainly have learned something. I guess I'll say something like "high pitched warble".

Thanks again,
C


Ululate! And the noun is ululation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ululation

johnnysannie
07-07-2008, 03:19 AM
Oh super! Now I have a word I can't possibly use! It's soooo obscure no one or almost no one, will know it. My first rule of novel writing is, write nothing that causes the reader to stop reading, even if it's to look up a word. However, thanks for the word search. I certainly have learned something. I guess I'll say something like "high pitched warble".

Thanks again,
C

I know it. It would be familiar to be and even for those who are not familiar, if the word was used in the right context, it wouldn't be too difficult to determine what the meaning of the word was.

Personally, I would actually prefer "ululate" to "high pitched warble" but that's just me.

citymouse
07-07-2008, 04:02 AM
The high pitched warble is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I dunno, I'l think of something.
C


I know it. It would be familiar to be and even for those who are not familiar, if the word was used in the right context, it wouldn't be too difficult to determine what the meaning of the word was.

Personally, I would actually prefer "ululate" to "high pitched warble" but that's just me.

Fern
07-07-2008, 04:04 AM
Like johnnysannie suggested, I'd use the word and use it in a way the reader can easily pick up on the meaning.

Another word for it is wail, although that usage might more readily bring to mind funerals rather than homecoming.

Kitty Pryde
07-07-2008, 04:12 AM
it's not so obscure. I think people can totally pick up on the meaning from context if done right. it's onomatopoeic!

Ravenlocks
07-07-2008, 05:03 AM
In the context of mourning that kind of sound is sometimes called keening. I doubt she'd be keening when her son returns safe and sound from his vision quest, though.

:)

Puma
07-07-2008, 06:00 AM
Another vote for ululate. Puma

citymouse
07-07-2008, 06:30 AM
If this book tanks because I use ululate it will be on your heads! LOL
Okay, I'll see how it reads with my beta readers. That's if I ever get this story off the ground.
Thanks to you all.
C

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-08-2008, 01:02 AM
In a book by Charles Doughty, about his travels in the Arabian Deserts, he calls it "lilli-looing" most of the time