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Re: sometimes behave so strangely
At 12:10 AM 12/13/2006, Valter Ciocca wrote:
Dear Diana, Al and list,
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.
I wondered about this, and I asked a Chinese friend how they
reconcile tones and melodies. She said they basically ignore the
tones in song lyrics. However, I would think that might led to some
(perhaps amusing) confusions. I don't know Chinese, would it be
possible to have some lyrics which when put in a particular melody
would have a drastically different meaning?
I also wonder how strong the effect of Diana's repeated phrase would
be if spoken in a flat Midwestern accent rather than a lilting British one :)