⇘ORder (.) ⇘ORder

The Speaker of the House of Commons (John Bercow) delivers some interesting articulations of “order order!” – the phrase which is most commonly used to bring members to order. Here are five examples all with different stress, intonation, length and loudness. The first one (01) is the normal rendition.

You can listen to the samples here. Each sample is described in more detail below.

01 SP: ⇘ORder ((/ˈɔːdə/))
02 SP: mister Jacob- ⇘ORde::r (.) mister Ja-
03 SP: ⇘ORder (.) ⇘ORder
04 SP: ⇘ORde::r (.) ⇗orDER
05 SP: I was ORde:::r


Bercow really should be on the stage with a voice like this! Here’s a link to a poem written in honour of him.


01 SP: ⇘ORder ((/ˈɔːdə/))

A typical delivery by the Speaker when calling the house to order. Tonic stress is on the first syllable. Intonation is falling. No elongation of syllables.


02 SP: mister Jacob- ⇘ORde::r (.) mister Ja-

Tonic syllable is first syllable but second syllable gets elongated and delivered at low pitch (less than 100 Hz) with a gravelly (creaky) voice. Note also the longer hold of the alveolar stop /d/ to separate syllables.


03 SP: ⇘ORder (.) ⇘ORder

Falling intonation on both articulations but a much great fall from a higher starting pitch than in 01.


04 SP: ⇘ORde::r (.) ⇗orDER

Falling intonation on first articulation and elongation of second syllable. But then an interesting reversal in the second articulation where the second syllable becomes the tonic and we have rising intonation.


05 SP: I was ORde:::r

Extra elongation of second syllable by up to three beats. Loudness and high pitch.

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