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City life can send ducks quackers.

IT'S not just stock market whizz-kids who feel stressed-out in London -the sounds of the city even make ducks go quackers.

While Cornish ducks prefer a more languid, quieter quack, their London counterparts are getting in a raucous flap.

Research by Middlesex university principal lecturer English lecturer Victoria de Rijke has described the Cockney quack as ``raucous and loud'' while the Cornish one was ``quieter, appearing more chilled and laid back''.

Ms de Rijke said: ``In humans,both dialects are rich in humorous, rhythmic, poetic vocabularies.

``But for the Cornish, initial consonants are mutated (soft) and vowel sounds long and slow, whereas Cockney includes short, rapid nasal vowel sounds and abbreviated or dropped consonants.

``Can we hear this in the quacks?

``It seems there are definite differences between them, with the Cockney ducks `noisier',`laughing raucously' and the Cornish ones `soft', and `chilledout'.''

The research involved recording Cockney ducks that live within 45 decibels' distance of St Mary-le-Bow church bells at Spitalfields city farm, east London, and Cornish ducks on Trerieve farm in Downderry, close to the coast.

The Cockney ducks could hear planes, trains, sirens and traffic sounds from their tiny pond, as well as living in close proximity to other animals.

The lucky Cornish ducks were able to waddle and swim on a large farm in open countryside.

As part of the exhibition, the Quack project CD Rom will be distributed free to primary schools.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2004
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