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Re: (why is high high)

Dear Pawel and list,

I was following the discussion on the list with great interest, though I
have to admit that I was not able to read every remark made by the
participants. Now that Chinese was explicitly called upon, I feel I have to
throw in my token, whether it is inane or not. :-)

Indeed, it is referred to "high" or "low" also in Chinese for high or low
pitch, respectively, as far I as know. First I thought this could be
borrowed from one of the western languages, as modern science terminology
in China is introduced from Western. Last night I consulted some references
in Classical Chinese and found the same thing.

As for the association of pitch with physical phenomena, has anybody
listened to the sound when filling up a thermos, a routine activity in
China and one which I now do occasionally when making coffee for the lab?
As the water level rises in the thermos, the pitch also rises continuously.
It is well-known that people in China used a type of water clock to mark
time; the same phenomena can be observed here: as the water container is
filling up, the pitch of the sound also rises higher and higher when the
dripping water hits the surface.

Biao Tian PhD
Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences
Georgetown University Medical Center
The Research Building WP24B
3970 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC 20007
ph: (202) 687-6438
fax: (202) 687-0617
email: biao@giccs.georgetown.edu

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