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Re: sometimes behave so strangely

>You also raise the point that the transformation of the phrase from
>speech to song endures - so that when people listen again to the
>full sentence, I appear to burst into song. This , to my mind, is a
>particularly  puzzling aspect of the effect. People have told me
>that the effect is still present, unattenuated, even months  later -
>and this was certainly my experience. As you point out, perhaps the
>most important question raised by this demonstration is why people
>don't always hear speech as song. After all,  the vowel components
>of words are harmonic complexes - yet  the pitch characteristics of
>speech are usually suppressed in perception.

true, unless you speak a tonal language, in which case you will focus
on pitch patterns in order to figure out the meaning of words. In
fact, I wonder whether speakers of tonal languages might be more
resistant to transforming pitch into singing since for them focusing
on pitch patterns has become part of the speech schema.

Dear Valter,

You've raised an interesting question regarding speakers of tonal languages.

I am a native Madarin and Southern Min speaker (Southern Min is spoken
by about 45 million people and it has 7 tones).  I translated
"sometimes behaves so strangely" into both languages, and repeated 10
times each.

After 10 repetitions, I could hardly perceive any melody in either case.

On the contrary, I was able to recognize a melody out of the original
English sentence after 4 to 5 repetitions, at Diana's talk in ASA/ASJ
joint meeting.

I am a musician but do not have absolute pitch.

For those of you who know Mandarin, my translation is
"You3-shi2-hou4-zhen1-qi2-guai4".  Can anybody sing with it, if
repeating 10 times?

best regards,
Yi-Wen Liu, Ph.D.
Postdoc and Research Engineer
Boys Town National Research Hospital