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Re: sometimes behave so strangely

Hello all:

Andrea said just the right thing. I believe the principles being discussed can be summarized
as follows: Speech and music have in common the variation of pitch (melody) and
durations (rhythm). The more a speech utterance resembles music on these
dimensions (stepwise pitch changes, fairly regular rhythm), the more likely it will
be perceived "as music" when it is repeated, and vice versa for music perceived
"as speech". In fact, the repetition of a speech utterance may simply draw attention
to its prosodic features and away from its semantic content. Deliberate attention
to prosody (without repetition) may be sufficient to appreciate the "musical" qualities
of an utterance. No real change in processing mode is required because processing
of prosody is part and parcel of speech perception. To hear music as
speech, on the other hand, may require a true change in processing mode because
the speech lexicon is being engaged, which is normally inactive when listening to music.

Bruno H. Repp
Haskins Laboratories
300 George Street
New Haven, CT 06511-6624
Tel. (203) 865-6163, ext. 236
Fax (203) 865-8963

NOTE: I am at Rutgers University, Newark, two days each week,
usually Tuesday and Friday, and don't read my
Haskins e-mail on those days. To reach me at Rutgers, send
e-mail to <repp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>.