aesthetics & subjectivity (was: RE: [CONLANG] Fave Conlangs WAS: Silindion
|From:||And Rosta <a.rosta@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 27, 2002, 3:21|
> Surely the point is that all this stuff on this thread and the
> 'beautifullest phonology' one is a bit pointless in that whether individual
> sounds are 'beautiful', 'aesthetic' or whatever *is* purely subjective.
Yes and no. As I've said before, our aesthetic responses to pretty
much anything show a great deal of intersubjective agreement (e.g.
get people to list favourite songs, films, novels, poems, or whatever,
and the results are highly correlated). Even where people's *favourites*
can't be predicted -- as with, say, favourite colours -- people still
agree in their aesthetic responses to colours (how cool, warm, soothing,
exciting, etc. they are). Our responses to phones are similar, and
people's taste in phones and taste in colour schemes alike are interesting
> In any case, we don't speak in a sequence of discrete sounds; it's the
> overall effect that makes one language sound more or less melifluous than
> another. And that has as much to do with intonation and other
> suprasegmental features as it does with the mere phonemes.
Definitely true. I love Vietnamese on the page, but find it ghastly
in actuality on the ears. And the exquisite pleasure of French is
entirely in the prosody.