Putting words into dogs’ mouths – ventriloquistically

Dog-TalkProfessor Sirpa Leppänen of the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, has a paper in Discourse, Context & Media (Volume 8, June 2015) about the ventriloquistic authentication of the human voice, as found in dog blogs.

“It approaches dog blogs as an example of the strategic use of pervasive but contentious anthropomorphic western discourses about animals and discusses how dog bloggers use anthropomorphism as a discursive means for crafting and collectively ratifying authenticity in a translocal, interest-driven and informal social media context in which traditional territorial and demographic parameters of authenticity are not easily available or relevant.”

That’s to say, investigating the ways in which bloggers might put words into their dog’s mouth (so to speak). Given, as an example, is the ventriloquised voice of a US-based Tibetan Spaniel:

“Momma and I started obedience class last night. I am sorry to say that it was not our best showing. I am really scared of dogs I don’t know… and my cute little tail that is usually curled up on my back was tuck, tuck, tucked between my legs! Yikes! Those other dogs, even the little ones were FRIGHTENING! I did a lot of growling and made ‘wookie’ noises as momma calls them. (I guess I sound a lot like Chewbacca.)
Anyway, another dog had the audacity to lunge at me – well, I tell ya, I snapped at him!! I nearly bit his nose. Ha! That’ll show him!”

See: ‘Dog blogs as ventriloquism: Authentication of the human voice’ (a full copy of which may be found here:)

Bonus question [optional] Does your dog ‘speak’ – if so what does it say?






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