Archive for Publications
Transcription, Perception, and Meaning
Jonathan G. Secora Pearl
Linguistics Colloquium, May 18, 2006
University of California—Santa Barbara
Music and language are twin aspects of civilization, found in all known human cultures, across time and place, embracing us from our earliest days until the ends of our lives. Speaking and singing are found everywhere and everywhen. Wherein lies the distinction?
The greatest difficulty in answering this foundational question is that we are often deceived by written forms of music and language into believing our object dwells within them, rather than in the sounds that inspire them. On the page, these materials appear far more distinct than they do in sound. Text without context is a world without air; yet context alone remains the unanalyzable chaos of everyday experience. The trick is to find the balance between too much detail, and too little.
A link has been added (on my CV page) to the target article “In Time with the Music,” by Clayton, Sager, & Will, which includes an invited commentary by me entitled, “Cognitive vs. Physical Entrainment”. The article appeared in the first edition of ESEM CounterPoint, which seems to have since folded. The link above appears on the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts. Please note also, their upcoming workshop, May 11-13 on Music, Rhythm, and the Brain.
Bruce Richman writes:
I’m almost finished writing a textbook book called Songs for Speaking in which I use song lyrics from American folk songs and show tunes and also use rhythmical poetry to help students learn, analyze, and memorize English rhythm, stress, and intonation patterns. Songs and poetry are so easy to memorize that it makes memorizing the prosodic patterns of English relatively easy. Once students memorize these patterns it’s easy to help them extend their use to conversational speech.
I’m uploading several chapters from my book and I’d like people to look them over and make comments. I’d really appreciate your feedback.
Incursões em torno do Ritmo da Fala
by Plínio A. Barbosa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Campinas, Brazil: Pontes Editores.
The book Incursões deals with all components (including their coupling relations) of a dynamical model of speech rhythm, which is named throughout the book the reference model for practical reasons. The computational-mathematical implementation of the model is couched on dynamical systems theory, and presupposes that the rhythmic system underlying speech communication has three levels of coupling at three distinct temporal scales. Read the rest of this entry »
Attached are lecture notes, and the PowerPoint slide show from the talk “Music & Language: Parallels & Divergences” which was presented to the Cognitive and Perceptual Sciences (CaPS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on November 30, 2001.
“Foreign Accent Syndrome: In the ear of the beholder?” Aphasiology V. 20, Nos. 9-11, Sep/Oct/Nov 2006, pp. 951-962, Cinzia Di Dio, Joerg Schulz, and Jennifer M. Gurd.
Background: The identification of accent type in patients with acquired accent change following brain damage (Foreign Accent Syndrome; FAS), may vary depending on the judge.
Aims: This experiment tests the accent identification abilities of naïve judges listening to speech samples from FAS patients versus healthy controls.
Method & Procedures: A total of 52 naive judges listened to speech samples from speakers of British English, which were presented over audio CD. They were asked to identify the accent type, but were blind as to the identity of the participants vis‐à‐vis FAS versus control, and foreign versus native UK. Accuracy, variability, and confidence ratings were assessed as a function of participant and of accent type.
Outcomes & Results: The naïve judges displayed greater accuracy, consistency, and confidence in typing the control versus the FAS accents. There was a positive familiarity effect for the control, but not the FAS accents.
Conclusions: The data provide preliminary support for the view that FAS is not exclusively “in the ear of the beholder”.
Dissertation: Prosodic Processes in Language and Music
Maartje Schreuder <M.J.Schreuder@rug.nl>
This dissertation makes a comparison of language and music. As composer Lerdahl and linguist Jackendoff show in their ‘Generative Theory of Tonal Music’, these two cognitive behaviors share aspects, such as hierarchical structure, in which prominent elements are separated from non-prominent elements by means of preference rules and rhythmic and phrasing phenomena. Recent constraint-based approaches to phonology, such as Optimality Theory, show that the similarities are even more striking for phonological and musical analyses.
This dissertation shows that music theory may help to solve linguistic issues with which linguistic theory alone finds it hard to deal. Three such issues are investigated experimentally. The first issue is whether speech is just shortened and compressed when people speak faster, with the same rhythmic structure, or whether the speech rhythm changes. The second issue is the question whether recursion can be found in phonology. Are phrasing phenomena such as early accent placement applied repeatedly in embedded phonological phrases? The third issue is major and minor modality in intonation contours of cheerful and sad speech.
One of the main findings is that listeners appear sometimes to base their perception on auditory illusions, not always on the sound signal as it is. Listeners hear what they expect to hear. As in music, rhythm is perceived as more regular than it is in reality. The results of this research confirm the assumption that speech and music share many features. Both are ‘made of’ sound, and both kinds of sound signal are structured by the listener in a similar way.
Comments: PhD Dissertation, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-367-2637-9.
Keywords: laboratory phonology, musicology, prosody, rhythm, secondary stress, early accent placement, fast speech, tempo, timing, recursion
Type: PhD Dissertation
Links to the journal Language and mention of the new planned supplement to this journal eLanguage, both published by the Linguistics Society of America, have been added to the Journals page.
The dissertation page has been updated. A text version of the abstract can be found there, as well as a download link for the complete dissertation (The Music of Language: the notebooks of Leoš Janáček) in .pdf format.