CHAT: Blandness (was: Uusisuom's influences)
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, April 1, 2001, 17:24|
Raymond Brown scripsit:
> Some find Finnish bland, rather than beautiful - others, probably most, are
> indifferent to it.
I haven't heard enough Finnish to comment, but this reminds me of the experience
I had in a doctor's office a few months ago. I had to wait for several hours
(I was being "squeezed in" to a busy appointment schedule), and for about
half an hour I was an involuntary listener to a monologue in Polish,
of which I understood nothing. A younger woman was speaking to an older
woman at great length and with much emotion.
I found myself being excruciatingly bored by this monologue, and I began
to wonder why. I routinely listen to talk in other languages, and
I'm usually quite intererested in picking out features even when (as is
generally the case) I understand nothing. A memorable case of this
was a long conversation on a cab radio, which seemed to be in French,
but clearly contained much non-French phonology -- fascinating!
(I afterwards found out that it was a language mixture: French and
I finally concluded that the feature that made the monologue
so boring was the unvarying rhythm. Polish has uniform penultimate
stress, and (at least in this case) so-called "syllable-timed" rhythm.
Spanish, of which I hear a good deal more than Polish, is likewise
syllable-timed, but the location of the stress does vary considerably.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore