Re: Music-conlangs & music
|From:||Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 5, 2006, 17:27|
On 7/5/06, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
> > OTOH, if everyone in the society
> > had absolute pitch, (and the same vocal range...), your group of
> > phonemes
> > would be quite a bit larger, assuming a vocal range of two and a half
> > octaves.
> This would work in a fictitious setting where we have creatures all
> endowed with absolute pitch; but I agree with you that most of us
> earthlings are not so endowed.
Of course, you can train yourself to have absolute pitch... it's quite
difficult, but if this training began *in babyhood*, as part of the normal
language acquisition process, it would be a reasonable requirement. I
figure if some community actually spoke a language with absolute pitch,
children would grow up speaking it (singing it) with no problems at all.
(You'd probably still have a minority of tone-deaf people perhaps -- it'd
make a good story, maybe.)
Still a thing of fiction, but they could at least be earthlings.
On a slightly different topic, has anyone put together a purely rhythmic
language? For beings, earthling or otherwise, that communicate by drumming
on things? (Not just a drum-version of a spoken language, but one designed
from the ground up to be purely percussive?)
When we were having our discussion, maybe a year ago, on the possibility of
non-tree-structured languages, one of the thought-experiments I came up with
(but didn't share) involved beings that communicated by drumming on the
semi-hollow shells on their backs. (Their natural sense of rhythm being
determined by their circulatory system, each cycle of which takes 15
"measures". With a 60-beat limit to each utterance, there is a limit to the
possible recursion of each utterance, and thus their grammar *could*
described by a data structure of less complexity than a tree.)