A question on "I dunno"
August 8, 2017 7:59 PM Subscribe
I am a frequent user of the "I dunno" sound, where you slur together the three syllables until it is one elongated vowel going from low tone to high tone to rising tone - like Homer Simpson, but not quite - I'm talking about when the utterance is characterized entirely by the rising and falling tones, and the mouth doesn't articulate at all. The vowel can be nasal (mm-MM-mM) or not (uu-UU-uH). Is the meaning of this utterance immediately apparent to non-anglophones hearing it for the first time? Are there equivalents in other languages, where the entire phrase gets reduced to a single aspect of variation, not just truncating/shortening the words?