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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.) -- Pat


Hanuman Zhang <zhang@...>