ON SOUND AND VOICE

(c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti §

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TABLE OF CONTENTS I. According to Plato. II. According to Aristotle. III. On phone (‘voice’) and psophos (‘sound’) in sum. IV. On language as a systematic means of human communication. V. On articulation. VI. On speech as a species of discrete quantity. VII. On elementary speech sounds. VIII. On the motion of the voice. IX. On the strings of a musical instrument. X. On the overtone series. XI. On tonality as consisting in hierarchy. XII. Definitions of harmony. XIII. On the principal meanings of harmonia. XIV. On composition. §

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I. ACCORDING TO PLATO. Plato, Philebus 17b-e (ed. Perseus; tr. Peter Kalkavage; rev. B.A.M.).
Sôkratês: phônê men hêmin esti pou mia dia tou stomatos iousa, kai apeiros au plêthei, pantôn te kai hekastou. Prôtarchos: ti mên; Sôkratês: kai ouden heterôi ge toutôn esmen pô sophoi, oute hoti to apeiron autês ismen outh’ hoti to hen: all’ hoti posa t’ esti kai hopoia, touto esti to grammatikon hekaston poioun hêmôn. Prôtarchos: alêthestata. Sôkratês: kai mên kai to mousikon ho tunchanei poioun, tout’ esti tauton. Prôtarchos: pôs; Sôkratês: [17c] phônê men pou kai to kat’ ekeinên tên technên esti mia en autêi. Prôtarchos: pôs d’ ou; Voice according to this art is also one in it. How could it not be! Also this same thing makes each of us turn out to be musical. How is that? But voice, which passes through the mouth of each and all of us, is one; and yet again it is indefinite in manyness. Yes, to be sure. And we aren’t ever wise, one man more than another, either because we know its indefiniteness or because we know its unity, but because we know they are so many and what sort —this is what makes each of us grammatical Very true.

Sôkratês: duo de thômen baru kai oxu, kai And we set down two sounds—the low and the triton homotonon. ê pôs; high—and a third which is between them. Or how did we do it? Prôtarchos: houtôs. Just as you said.

Sôkratês: all’ oupô sophos an eiês tên But if you knew these things alone, you would mousikên eidôs tauta mona, not yet be wise with respect to music. mê de eidôs hôs g’ epos eipein eis tauta oudenos axios esêi. Prôtarchos: ou gar oun. Sôkratês: all’, ô phile, epeidan labêis ta diastêmata Though if you didn’t know them, you would be, as the saying goes, worth nothing in these things. Certainly. But, my friend, when you take hold of the intervals—

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hoposa esti ton arithmon tês phônês oxutêtos te peri kai barutêtos, [17d] kai hopoia, kai tous horous tôn diastêmatôn, kai ta ek toutôn hosa sustêmata gegonen— ha katidontes hoi prosthen paredosan hêmin tois hepomenois ekeinois kalein auta harmonias, en te tais kinêsesin au tou sômatos hetera toiauta enonta pathê gignomena, ha dê di’ arithmôn metrêthenta dein au phasi rhuthmous kai metra eponomazein, kai hama ennoein hôs houtô dei peri pantos henos kai pollôn skopein— hotan gar auta [17e] te labêis houtô, tote egenou sophos, hotan te allo tôn hen hotioun tautêi skopoumenos helêis, houtôs emphrôn peri touto gegonas: to d’ apeiron se hekastôn kai en hekastois plêthos apeiron hekastote poiei tou phronein kai ouk ellogimon oud’ enarithmon, hat’ ouk eis arithmon oudena en oudeni pôpote apidonta.

how many of them there are and the number concerning high and low voices, and of what sort, and the boundaries of the intervals, and whatever systems result from these— which those before us investigated and handed down to us who follow them, and which men call harmonies— and again the corresponding effects that come about in the motions of the body, which they say must be measured by numbers and are called rhythms and meters— and at the same time that it is necessary to think in this way and to look at every one and many— when you take hold of these things in this way, then you have become wise, and whatever be the unity you have looked to, that is the way to become thoughtful about it: But this indefinite manyness in things collectively and individually makes you in each case indefinite in thinking and worthy neither of being held in account nor arithmetical, inasmuch as not once did you look away towards any number.

Plato, Philebus 17c-d, e (ed. Perseus; tr. Peter Kalkavage; rev. B.A.M.). But, my friend, when you take hold of the intervals—how many of them there are and the number concerning high and low voices, and of what sort, and the boundaries of the intervals, and whatever systems result from these—which those before us investigated and handed down to us who follow them, and which men call harmonies—1 ...when [e] you take hold of these things in this way, then you have become wise, and whatever be the unity you have looked to, that is the way to become thoughtful about it.... 1. Plato’s teaching on harmonics in sum. Subject genus: Division of ‘voice’ into three:
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phone, ‘voice’2 the high, the low, and the intermediate

hoposa esti ton arithmon tês phônês oxutêtos te peri kai barutêtos, [17d] kai hopoia, kai tous horous tôn diastêmatôn, kai ta ek toutôn hosa sustêmata gegonen—ha katidontes hoi prosthen paredosan hêmin tois hepomenois ekeinois kalein auta harmonias.... 2 N.B. ‘Voice’ is ‘indefinite’ when taken as the matter of speech or song, being understood on the analogy of first matter, which is one insofar as it is considered apart from every determination of form.

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Division of the subject (its parts and passions):

the number of intervals their number with respect to high and low ‘voices’ (= ‘notes’ or ‘tones’) of what sort they are the boundaries of intervals the systems which result from the intervals (= the harmoniai)

Their corresponding effects (pathe) in the motions of the body, which must be measured by number: 2. Note on Plato’s accounts of harmonia.

rhythms and meters

As one may gather from the text of the Philebus (17c-d), Plato understands the harmoniai to be the systemata which result from intervals, which latter consist in high and low ‘voices’ or ‘notes’. But the text from the Laws (665a) defines harmonia as the name for order in the voice, the simultaneous mixture of the high with the low. Plato, Rep. 601 A (tr. B.A.M.). Melos is composed of three things: speech, as well as harmony and rhythm.3 Plato, Laws II (664 E—665 A) (ed. Perseus; tr. B.A.M.). The name for order in movement is rhythm; but the name placed on [the order] in the voice (the simultaneous mixture of the high with the low), is harmony; 4 but both together are called the choral art.5 Plato, Laws II (672 E—673 A) (ed. Perseus; tr. R. B. Bury).
o(/lh me/n pou xorei/a o(/lh pai/deusij h)=n h(mi=n, tou/tou d’ au)= to\ me\n r(uqmoi/ te kai\ a(rmoni/ai, to\ kata\ th\n fwnh/n . . . to\ de/ ge kata\ th\n tou= sw/matoj ki/nhsin r(uqmo\n me\n koino\n th=? th=j fwnh=j ei)=xe kinh/sei, sxh=ma de\ i)/dion. e)kei= de\ me/loj h( th=j fwnh=j ki/nhsij.

Athenian In our view, choristry as a whole is identical with education as a whole; and the part of this concerned with the voice consists of rhythms and harmonies.
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to\ me/loj e)k triw=n e)sti sugkei/menon, lo/gou te kai\ a(rmoniaj kai\ r(uqmou=.

“The movement of the voice…in the order of its high and low sounds”—that is to say, “the order of high and low sounds in the movement of the voice”, which is virtually Aristotle’s definition of melos: t$= tw=n fqo/ggwn ta/cei tw=n o)ce/wn kai\ bare/wn, “the order of its high and low sounds” ( Probl. XIX. 27, 919b 34, tr. B.A.M.).
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th=? dh\ th=j kinh/sewj [665a] ta/cei r(uqmo\j o)/noma ei)/h, th=? de\ au)= th=j fwnh=j, tou= te o)ce/oj a(/ma kai\ bare/oj sugkerannume/nwn, a(rmoni/a o)/noma prosagoreu/oito, xorei/a de\ to\ sunamfo/teron klhqei.

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Clinias Yes. Athenian And the part concerned with bodily motion possesses, in common with vocal motion, rhythm; besides which it possesses gesture as its own peculiar attribute, just as tune is the peculiar attribute of vocal [673a] motion. Plato, Laws II (655a-b) (ed. and tr. R. G. Bury).
Athênaios: all’ en gar mousikêi kai schêmata But though there are figures and tunes in music, men kai melê enestin, peri rhuthmon kai as its subject matter is rhythm and melody, harmonian ousês tês mousikês, hôste euruthmon men kai euarmoston, euchrôn de melos ê schêma ouk estin apeikasanta, hôsper hoi chorodidaskaloi apeikazousin, orthôs phthengesthai: to de tou deilou te kai andreiou schêma ê melos estin te, kai [655b] orthôs prosagoreuein echei ta men tôn andreiôn kala, ta tôn deilôn de aischra. kai hina dê mê makrologia pollê tis gignêtai peri tauth’ hêmin hapanta, haplôs estô ta men aretês echomena psuchês ê sômatos, and we may accordingly speak of a tune or posture as rhythmical or melodious, we cannot properly use the metaphorical expression of the chorus trainers, ‘brilliantly colored’, of either. But the coward and brave man have their characteristic postures and strains, and it is very proper to call those of brave men good, those of cowards bad. In fact, to spare ourselves a great deal of verbal repetition in our treatment of the whole subject, we may take it, once and for all, that universally all postures and melodies connected with goodness of soul or body— whether with such goodness itself or with some image of it— are good, and those connected with badness universally the reverse.

eite autês eite tinos eikonos, sumpanta schêmata te kai melê kala, ta de kakias au, tounantion hapan.

N.B. Order is in the before and after of things; but the before and after in movement gives rise to a number; hence, in bodily movement, rhythm is number; not just any number, but some ratio. Plato, Laws II (655a-b) (ed. Perseus; tr. Thomas Pangle). It should be noted, though, that music includes postures and tunes, since music involves rhythm and harmony; now one can speak of “good rhythm” and “good harmony,” but one cannot correctly apply to either tune or posture and image “good color”—as the chorus teachers, speaking in images, do. On the other hand, with regard to the posture or tune of the coward and the courageous man, it is correct to call what pertains to cowards “ugly.” To avoid our getting involved in a very lengthy discussion of all these things, let’s simply let all the postures and tunes that belong to virtue of the soul or of the body (whether they belong to virtue itself or to an image of it) be beautiful, and those belonging to vice be entirely the opposite. 6

3. A description of the Pythagorean conception of melody. Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica Liber. From Ch. 15. How Pythagoras Cured By Music
(tr. Thomas Taylor) This melody also was the result of dissimilar and variously differing sounds, celerities, magnitudes and intervals, arranged with reference to each other in a certain most musical ratio6 and thus producing a most gentle and, at the same time, variously beautiful motion and convolution. (tr. Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie) This melody was also the result of dissimilar and varying sounds, speeds, magnitudes and intervals arranged with reference to each other in a certain musical ratio, producing a convoluted motion most musical and gentle.

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The arrangement of the sounds etc. = melopoiia or its work.

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4. On the composition of vocal sound. Plato, Philebus (add) (tr. B. Jowett). Soc. Some god or divine man, who in the Egyptian legend is said to have been Theuth, observing that the human voice was infinite, first distinguished in this infinity a certain number of vowels, and then other letters which had sound, but were not pure vowels (i.e., the semivowels); these too exist in a definite number; and lastly, he distinguished a third class of letters which we now call mutes, without voice and without sound, and divided these, and likewise the two other classes of vowels and semivowels, into the individual sounds, told the number of them, and gave to each and all of them the name of letters; and observing that none of us could learn any one of them and not learn them all, and in consideration of this common bond which in a manner united them, he assigned to them all a single art, and this he called the art of grammar or letters. Plato, Cratylus 424 b – 425 b (tr. B. Jowett). Soc. So I should expect. But how shall we further analyse them, and where does the imitator begin? Imitation of the essence is made by syllables and letters; ought we not, therefore, first to separate the letters, just as those who are beginning rhythm [c] first distinguish the powers of elementary, and then of compound sounds, and when they have done so, but not before, they proceed to the consideration of rhythms? Her. Yes. Soc. Must we not begin in the same way with letters; first separating the vowels, and then the consonants and mutes, into classes, according to the received distinctions of the learned; also the semivowels, which are neither vowels, nor yet mutes; and distinguishing into classes the vowels themselves? And when we have perfected [d] the classification of things, we shall give their names, and see whether, as in the case of letters, there are any classes to which they may be all referred; hence we shall see their natures, and see, too, whether they have in them classes as there are in the letters; and when we have well considered all this, we shall know how to apply them to what they resemble- whether one letter is used to denote one thing, or whether there is to be an admixture of several of them; just, as in painting, the painter who wants to depict anything sometimes uses purple only, or any other colour, and sometimes mixes up several [e] colours, as his method is when he has to paint flesh colour or anything of that kind- he uses his colours as his figures appear to require them; and so, too, we shall apply letters to the expression of objects, either single letters when required, or several letters; and so we shall form syllables, as they are called, and from syllables make nouns and verbs; and thus, at last, from the combinations of nouns and verbs arrive at [425] language, large and fair and whole; and as the painter made a figure, even so shall we make speech by the art of the namer or the rhetorician, or by some other art. 8

Not that I am literally speaking of ourselves, but I was carried away—meaning to say that this was the way in which (not we but) the ancients formed language, and what they put together we must take to pieces in like manner, if we are to attain a scientific view of the whole subject, and we must see whether the [b] primary, and also whether the secondary elements are rightly given or not, for if they are not, the composition of them, my dear Hermogenes, will be a sorry piece of work, and in the wrong direction. Her. That, Socrates, I can quite believe. Plato, Theaetetus 202 e – 204 b (tr. B. Jowett). And yet there is one point in what has been said which does not quite satisfy me. Theaet. What was it? Soc. What might seem to be the most ingenious notion of all: That the elements or letters are unknown, but the combination or syllables known. [e] Theaet. And was that wrong? Soc. We shall soon know; for we have as hostages the instances which the author of the argument himself used. Theaet. What hostages? Soc. The letters, which are the elements; and the syllables, which are the combinations;-he reasoned, did he not, from the letters of the alphabet? Theaet. Yes; he did. [203] Soc. Let us take them and put them to the test, or rather, test ourselves: What was the way in which we learned letters? and, first of all, are we right in saying that syllables have a definition, but that letters have no definition? Theaet. I think so. [b] Soc. I think so too; for, suppose that some one asks you to spell the first syllable of my name: Theaetetus, he says, what is SO? Theaet. I should reply S and O. Soc. That is the definition which you would give of the syllable? Theaet. I should. Soc. I wish that you would give me a similar definition of the S. Theaet. But how can any one, Socrates, tell the elements of an element? I can only reply, that S is a consonant, a mere noise, as of the tongue hissing; B, and most other 9

letters, again, are neither vowel-sounds nor noises. Thus letters may be most truly said to be undefined; for even the most distinct of them, which are the seven vowels, have a sound only, but no definition at all. Soc. Then, I suppose, my friend, that we have been so far right in our idea about knowledge? Theaet. Yes; I think that we have. [c] Soc. Well, but have we been right in maintaining that the syllables can be known, but not the letters? Theaet. I think so. Soc. And do we mean by a syllable two letters, or if there are more, all of them, or a single idea which arises out of the combination of them? Theaet. I should say that we mean all the letters. Soc. Take the case of the two letters S and O, which form the first syllable of my own name; must not he who knows the syllable, know both of them? [d] Theaet. Certainly. Soc. He knows, that is, the S and O? Theaet. Yes. Soc. But can he be ignorant of either singly and yet know both together? Theaet. Such a supposition, Socrates, is monstrous and unmeaning. Soc. But if he cannot know both without knowing each, then if he is ever to know the syllable, he must know the letters first; and thus the fine theory has again taken wings and departed. Theaet. Yes, with wonderful celerity. [e] Soc. Yes, we did not keep watch properly. Perhaps we ought to have maintained that a syllable is not the letters, but rather one single idea framed out of them, having a separate form distinct from them. Theaet. Very true; and a more likely notion than the other. Soc. Take care; let us not be cowards and betray a great and imposing theory. Theaet. No, indeed.

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Soc. Let us assume then, as we now say, that the syllable is a simple form arising out of the several combinations of harmonious elements—of letters or of any other elements. [204] Theaet. Very good. Soc. And it must have no parts. Theaet. Why? Soc. Because that which has parts must be a whole of all the parts. Or would you say that a whole, although formed out of the parts, is a single notion different from all the parts? Theaet. I should. Soc. And would you say that all and the whole are the same, or different? Theaet. I am not certain; but, as you like me to answer at once, I shall hazard the reply, that they are different. [b] Plato. Sophist (253 a) (tr. B. Jowett). Stranger: This communion of some with some may be illustrated by the case of letters; for some letters do not fit each other, while others do. Theaetetus: Of course. Stranger: And the vowels, especially, are a sort of bond which pervades all the other letters, so that without a vowel one consonant cannot be joined to another. Theaetetus: True. Stranger: But does every one know what letters will unite with what? Or is art required in order to do so? Theaetetus: Art is required. Stranger: What art? Theaetetus: The art of grammar. Stranger: And is not this also true of sounds high and low? —Is not he who has the art to know what sounds mingle, a musician, and he who is ignorant, not a musician? Theaetetus: Yes. Stranger: And we shall find this to be generally true of art or the absence of art. Theaetetus: Of course. 11

Stranger: And as classes are admitted by us in like manner to be some of them capable and others incapable of intermixture, must not he who would rightly show what kinds will unite and what will not, proceed by the help of science in the path of argument? And will he not ask if the connecting links are universal, and so capable of intermixture with all things; and again, in divisions, whether there are not other universal classes, which make them possible? Theaetetus: To be sure he will require science, and, if I am not mistaken, the very greatest of all sciences. Stranger: How are we to call it? By Zeus, have we not lighted unwittingly upon our free and noble science, and in looking for the Sophist have we not entertained the philosopher unawares? 5. The primary division of vocal sounds according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, De Comp. verborum 14 [In: Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Critical Essays II. On Literary Composition. With an English Translation by Stephen Usher), pp. 91-105, with omissions]. [14] Now in the articulate speech of human beings there are prime units admitting no further division, which we call “elements” and “letters”: “letters” (gra/mmata), because they are signified by certain [91-92]
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Underlying the following discussion is the theory, which probably originated with the Sophists of the fifth century, and was later adopted by the Stoic grammarians, that the letters or elements of speech bore a natural relationship, through the words formed from them, to the objects which those words described; and that hence letters might be thought to possess innately pleasant or unpleasant characteristics through such associations. Plato examines this theory in the Cratylus 424 A ff.

lines (grammai/),1 and “elements”, because every vocal sound originates in these in the first place,2 and is ultimately resolved into them. The elements and letters are not all of the same nature. The first of the differences between them, as the musical theorist Aristoxenus3 indicates, is that some represent vocal sounds, and others noise: the former being those which are called “vowels”,4 the latter being all the other letters. A second difference is that some of the non-vowels by their own nature produce some kind of sound—a whirring, a hissing, a murmur, or suggestions of other sounds of these kinds;5 while others are devoid of any voice or sound and cannot be sounded by themselves. Consequently some theorists have called the latter “voiceless” and the others “semi-voiced”. Those who divide the primary and the elementary powers of the voice into three give the name “vowels” to all the letters which can be made to produce sound on their own or together with others, and are self-sufficient; “semivowels” to all which are pronounced more effectively in combination with vowels, worse and imperfectly on their own; “voiceless”6 to all which have no sound on their own, whether perfect or imperfect, but are pronounced in combination with others. It is not easy to say precisely what the number of these letters is, for the subject has caused our pre- [93-94]

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1 2

Cf. Dionysius Thrax, Ars Grammatica 6 (p. 9 Uhlig). Cf. Aristotle, Poetics 20; Plato, Theaetetus 202E-203C. 3 Of Tarentum. See Demosthenes 48. Cf. Aristotele, De Anima 2. 8. 4 The seven referred to below (p. 95, n. 2) correspond with those in Plato, Theaetetus 203B. Cf. Cratylus 424C; Aristotele, Historia Animalium 4. 9. 1. 5 This intermediate class of semivowels was recognised by the earliest known grammarian, the Egyptian Theuth, according to Plato, Philebus 18B. 6 Or “mute”.

decessors much perplexity. Some have thought that there are only thirteen “elements” of speech altogether and that the other letters are formed from these; while others have thought that there are more even than the twenty-four which we employ today. Now the discussion of these matters belongs more properly to grammar and prosody, or even, if you like, to philosophy. It is enough for us to assume that there are neither more nor less than twenty-four elements of sound,1 and to describe the properties of each, beginning with the vowels. These are seven in number2: two are short, e and o; two long, h and w; and three common, a, i, and u. These latter can be pronounced either long or short, and some call them common, as I have done, others “variable”. All these sounds are produced from the windpipe, which resounds to the breath, while the mouth is formed in a simple shape, the tongue not being busy but remaining at rest.3 But the long vowels, and those common vowels that are pronounced long, take an extended and continuous column of breath, while the short vowels and those which are pronounced short are uttered abruptly, with one burst of breath and only a brief movement of the windpipe. Now the most powerful of these, and those which produce the most attractive sound, are the long vowels, and those common ones which are lengthened in utterance, and this is because they are sounded for a long time, and do not arrest the strong [95-96]
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So Dionysius Thrax, Ars Grammatica 6 (p. 9 Uhlig). See note 4, p. 93. 3 For a rather different account of the part played by the tongue, see W.S. Allen, Vox Graeca, p. 3. A.J. Ellis, in his book English, Dionysian and Hellenic Pronunciation of Greek , goes some way towards reconciling the two points of view by observing that ou)de\n pragmateuomenhj may mean that the tongue “does not move about, though it directs the breath.”

flow of the breath. The short vowels, or those which are pronounced short, are inferior, because they lack volume and restrict the sound. Again, of the long vowels, the one with the best sound is a, when lengthened,1 for it is pronounced with the mouth open to the fullest extent and the breath forced upwards to the palate.2 Second comes h, because it presses the sound down around the base of the tongue and not upwards, and the mouth is only moderately open. 3 In the third place is w, for in pronouncing it the mouth is rounded, the lips are contracted and the breath makes its impact on the edge of the lips.4 Still lower on the scale is u, for here, since a considerable contraction takes place around the lips themselves, the sound is choked and comes out thin.5 Last of all comes i: with this the impact of the breath is on the teeth, while the mouth is slightly open and the lips do not amplify the sound.6

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Of the short vowels neither is beautiful, but o is less ugly that e: for the former causes the mouth to open wider than the latter, and receives the impact more in the region of the windpipe. Such, then, is the nature of the vowels. The semivowels are as follows. They are eight in number, five being simple, l, m, n, r, j, and s, and three double, z, c and y. They are called double either [97-98]
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The danger of applying such rigid aesthetic values to letters is nowhere better illustrated that in the case of vowels. For example, a is used in tragedy to depict pain (e.g. in Sophocles, Philoctetes 732, 739). 2 Cf. Allen, op cit. pp. 59-60; Dionysius Thrax, p. 10 Uhlig. 3 Cf. Allen, op cit. pp. 66-7; Dionysius Thrax, ibid. 4 Cf. Allen, op cit. pp. 71-5; Dionysius Thrax, ibid. 5 Cf. Allen, op cit. pp. 62-6; Dionysius Thrax, ibid; Aristophanes, Plutus 895 and Rogers note ad loc. 6 Cf. Allen, op cit. pp. 61-2; Dionysius Thrax, ibid.

because they are composite, receiving their individual sound through the amalgamation of s and d into z,1 of k and s into c, and of p and s into y; or because they each occupy the space of two letters in the syllables where they occur.2 Of these semivowels the double are superior o the simple because they are ampler than the others and seem nearer to perfect letters.3 The simpler letters are inferior because their sounds are confined within a narrower compass. They are severally pronounced somewhat in the following manner.... The sound [99-100]
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Not ds, and hence the reverse of the English z. Thus rendering them metrically long. 3 This judgement is difficult to reconcile with the unfavorable verdict on s below. By “perfect” letters (te//leia gra/mmata) Dionysius seems to mean combinations of consonants closing a syllable, and lengthening it. See Ch. 20, and Roberts’s note on p. 205.

assumed by the three remaining semivowels is of a mixed character, being formed from one of the semi-voiced letters, s, and three voiceless letters, d, k and p. ...Of the letters that are called “voiceless”, of which there are nine, three are smooth, three rough,1 and three intermediate. The smooth letters are k, p and t, the rough q, f, and x2; the intermediate b, g, and d.3
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The metaphor, as before, is derived from the different kinds of animal skin: “hairy” and “smooth”. See Dionysius Thrax, p. 12. 2 On the aspirated plosives, see Allen, pp. 16-23. 3 On the intermediates, or voiced plosives, see Allen, pp. 15-23; Dionysius Thrax, pp. 12-3.

<> [104-105] It is from this number of letters, with the properties described, that are formed what we call syllables. Of these the ones which are made from long vowels, or from variable vowels when pronounced long, are long, as are those which end in a long letter or a letter pronounced long,3 or in one of the semivowels and on the voiceless letters. 4 Those which are made from a short vowel, or from one taken as short, are short. There is 14

more than one kind of length and shortness of syllables; some are actually longer than the long and some shorter than the short.
“Long letters” would include double consonants, z, c, y. The existence in metrical practice, if not in theory, of a provision that any letter might be “pronounced long” would account for the licence that is apparent in Homeric verse, and which reflects an oral tradition. The rules of quantity were much more strictly observed in drama.
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Consonant (Wikipedia). Origin of the term The word consonant comes from Latin cōnsonantem, accusative of cōnsonāns (littera) “sounding-together (letter)”, a loan translation of Greek σύμφωνον sýmphōnon.[1] As originally conceived by Plato,[2] sýmphōna were specifically the stop consonants, described as “not being pronounceable without an adjacent vowel sound”. [3] Thus the term did not cover continuant consonants, which occur without vowels in a large minority of languages, for example at the ends of the English words bottle and button. (The final vowel letters e and o in these words are only a product of orthography; Plato was concerned with pronunciation.) However, even Plato’s original conception of consonant is inadequate for the universal description of human language, since in some languages, such as the Salishan languages, stop consonants may also occur without vowels (see Nuxálk), and the modern conception of consonant does not require cooccurrence with vowels. References
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Robert K. Barnhart, ed., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, Previously published as The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, originally ©1988 The H.W. Wilson Company; Edinburgh, reprinted 2001: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd., p. 210. 2 Plato, Cratylus 424 C; Theaetetus 203 B. 3 R.H. Robins, A Short History of Linguistics, 2nd Ed.; ©1967 R.H. Robins, ©1979 Longman Group Ltd.; paper edition, 5th printing 1985, p. 23.

<...> Consonants and vowels Consonants and vowels correspond to distinct parts of a syllable: The most sonorous part of the syllable (that is, the part that is easiest to sing), called the syllabic peak or nucleus, is typically a vowel, while the less sonorous margins (called the onset and coda) are typically consonants. Such syllables may be abbreviated CV, V, and CVC, where C stands for consonant and V stands for vowel. This can be argued to be the only pattern found in most of the world’s languages, and perhaps the primary pattern in all of them. However, the distinction between consonant and vowel is not always clear cut: there are syllabic consonants and non-syllabic vowels in many of the world’s languages. One blurry area is in segments variously called semivowels, semiconsonants, or glides. On the one side, there are vowel-like segments which are not in themselves syllabic, but which form diphthongs as part of the syllable nucleus, as the i in English boil [ˈbɔɪ̯l]. On the other, there are approximants which behave like consonants in forming onsets, but are articulated very much like vowels, as the y in English yes [ˈjɛs]. Some phonologists model

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these as both being the vowel /i/, so that the English word bit would phonemically be /bit/, beet would be /bii̯t/, and yield would be phonemically /i̯ii̯ld/. Similarly, foot would be /fut/, food would be /fuu̯d/, wood would be /u̯ud/, and wooed would be /u̯uu̯d/. However, there is a (perhaps allophonic) difference in articulation between these segments, with the [j] in [ˈjɛs] yes and [ˈjiʲld] yield and the [w] of [ˈwuʷd] wooed having more constriction and a more definite place of articulation than the [ɪ] in [ˈbɔɪ̯l] boil or [ˈbɪt] bit or the [ʊ] of [ˈfʊt]. The other problematic area is that of syllabic consonants, that is, segments which are articulated as consonants but which occupy the nucleus of a syllable. This may be the case for words such as church in rhotic dialects of English, although phoneticians differ in whether they consider this to be a syllabic consonant, /ˈtʃɹ̩tʃ/, or a rhotic vowel, /ˈtʃɝtʃ/: Some distinguish an approximant /ɹ/ that corresponds to a vowel /ɝ/, for rural as /ˈɹɝl/ or [ˈɹʷɝːl̩]; others see these as the a single phoneme, /ˈɹɹ̩l/. Other languages utilize fricative and often trilled segments as syllabic nuclei, as in Czech and several languages in Congo and China, including Mandarin Chinese. In Mandarin, they are historically allophones of /i/, and spelled that way in Pinyin. Ladefoged and Maddieson[4] call these “fricative vowels” and say that “they can usually be thought of as syllabic fricatives that are allophones of vowels.” That is, phonetically they are consonants, but phonemically they behave as vowels. Many Slavic languages allow the trill [r̩] and the lateral [l̩] as syllabic nuclei (see Words without vowels), and in languages like Nuxalk, it is difficult to know what the nucleus of a syllable is (it may be that not all syllables have nuclei), though if the concept of ‘syllable’ applies, there are syllabic consonants in words like /sx̩s/ ‘seal fat’. §

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II. ACCORDING TO ARISTOTLE. Aristotle, De Anima ii. 8 (419b 4—421a 6) (tr. J. A. Smith). Now let us, to begin with, make certain distinctions about sound and hearing. [5] Sound may mean either of two things (a) actual, and (b) potential, sound. There are certain things which, as we say, ‘have no sound’, e.g. sponges or wool, others which have, e.g. bronze and in general all things which are smooth and solid – the latter are said to have a sound because they can make a sound, i.e. can generate actual sound between themselves and the organ of hearing. Actual sound requires for its occurrence (i, ii) two such bodies and [10] (iii) a space between them; for it is generated by an impact. Hence it is impossible for one body only to generate a sound – there must be a body impinging and a body impinged upon; what sounds does so by striking against something else, and this is impossible without a movement from place to place. As we have said, not all bodies can by impact on one another produce sound; impact on wool makes no sound, while the impact on [15] bronze or any body which is smooth and hollow does. Bronze gives out a sound when struck because it is smooth; bodies which are hollow owing to reflection repeat the original impact over and over again, the body originally set in movement being unable to escape from the concavity. Further, we must remark that sound is heard both in air and in water, though less distinctly in the latter. Yet neither air nor water [20] is the principal cause of sound. What is required for the production of sound is an impact of two solids against one another and against the air. The latter condition is satisfied when the air impinged upon does not retreat before the blow, i.e. is not dissipated by it. That is why it must be struck with a sudden sharp blow, if it is to sound – the movement of the whip must outrun the dispersion of the air, just as one might get in a stroke at a heap or whirl of sand as it was traveling rapidly past. [25] An echo occurs, when, a mass of air having been unified, bounded, and prevented from dissipation by the containing walls of a vessel, the air originally struck by the impinging body and set in movement by it rebounds from this mass of air like a ball from a wall. It is probable that in all generation of sound echo takes place, though it is frequently only indistinctly heard. What happens here must be analogous to what happens in the case of light; light is always reflected – otherwise it would not be diffused and outside what was [30] directly illuminated by the sun there would be blank darkness; but this reflected light is not always strong enough, as it is when it is reflected from water, bronze, and other smooth bodies, to cast a shadow, which is the distinguishing mark by which we recognize light. It is rightly said that an empty space plays the chief part in the production of hearing, for what people mean by ‘the vacuum’ is the air, which is what causes hearing, when that air is set in movement as one continuous mass; but owing to its friability it emits no [35] sound, being dissipated by impinging upon any surface which is not smooth. [420a] When the surface on which it impinges is quite smooth, what is produced by the original impact is a united mass, a result due to the smoothness of the surface with which the air is in contact at the other end. What has the power of producing sound is what has the power of setting in movement a single mass of air which is continuous from the impinging body up to the organ of hearing. The organ of hearing is physically united with air, 34 and because it is in air, the air inside is moved concurrently with the air outside. 17

Hence animals do not hear [5] with all parts of their bodies, nor do all parts admit of the entrance of air; for even the part which can be moved and can sound has not air everywhere in it. Air in itself is, owing to its friability, quite soundless; only when its dissipation is prevented is its movement sound. The air in the ear is built into a chamber just to prevent this dissipating movement, in order that the animal may accurately [10] apprehend all varieties of the movements of the air outside. That is why we hear also in water, viz. because the water cannot get into the air chamber or even, owing to the spirals, into the outer ear. If this does happen, hearing ceases, as it also does if the tympanic membrane is damaged, just as sight ceases if the membrane covering the pupil is damaged. It is also a test of deafness whether the [15] ear does or does not reverberate like a horn; the air inside the ear has always a movement of its own, but the sound we hear is always the sounding of something else, not of the organ itself. That is why we say that we hear with what is empty and echoes, viz. because what we hear with is a chamber which contains a bounded mass of air. Which is it that ‘sounds’, the striking body or the struck? Is not the answer ‘it is both, but each in a different way’? Sound is a [20]
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i.e. it has air incorporated in its structure.

movement of what can rebound from a smooth surface when struck against it. As we have explained35 not everything sounds when it strikes or is struck, e.g. if one needle is struck against another, [25] neither emits any sound. In order, therefore, that sound may be generated, what is struck must be smooth, to enable the air to rebound and be shaken off from it in one piece. The distinctions between different sounding bodies show themselves only in actual sound;36 as without the help of light colours remain invisible, so without the help of actual sound the distinctions between acute and grave sounds remain inaudible. Acute and grave are here metaphors, transferred from their proper sphere, viz. that of [30] touch, where they mean respectively (a) what moves the sense much in a short time, (b) what moves the sense little in a long time. Not that what is sharp really moves fast, and what is grave, slowly, but that the difference in the qualities of the one and the other movement [420b] is due to their respective speeds. There seems to be a sort of parallelism between what is acute or grave to hearing and what is sharp or blunt to touch; what is sharp as it were stabs, while what is blunt pushes, the one producing its effect in a short, the other in a long time, so that the one is quick, the other slow. [5] Let the foregoing suffice as an analysis of sound. Voice is a kind of sound characteristic of what has soul in it; nothing that is without soul utters voice, it being only by a metaphor that we speak of the voice of the flute or the lyre or generally of what (being without soul) possesses the power of producing a succession of notes which differ in length and pitch and timbre. The metaphor is based on the fact that all these differences are found also in voice. Many animals are voiceless, e.g. all non-sanguineous animals and among [10] sanguineous animals fish. This is just what we should expect, since voice is a certain movement of air. The fish, like those in the Achelous, which are said to have voice, really make the sounds with their gills or some similar organ. Voice is the sound made by an animal, and that with a special organ. As we saw, everything that makes a sound does so by the impact of something (a) against something else, (b) [15] across a space, (c) filled with air; hence it is only to be expected that no animals utter voice except those which take in air. 18

Once air is inbreathed, Nature uses it for two different purposes, as the tongue is used both for tasting and for articulating; in that case of the two functions tasting is necessary for the animal’s existence (hence it is found more widely distributed), while articulate speech is a luxury
35 36

419b 6, 13. i.e. when these bodies, e.g. the strings of a lyre, are actually sounding.

subserving its possessor’s well-being; similarly in the former case [20] Nature employs the breath both as an indispensable means to the regulation of the inner temperature of the living body and also as the matter of articulate voice, in the interests of its possessor’s well-being. Why its former use is indispensable must be discussed elsewhere.37 The organ of respiration is the windpipe, and the organ to which this is related as means to end is the lungs. The latter is the part of the body by which the temperature of land animals is raised above that of all others. But what primarily requires the air drawn in by [25] respiration is not only this but the region surrounding the heart. That is why when animals breathe the air must penetrate inwards. Voice then is the impact of the inbreathed air against the ‘windpipe’, and the agent that produces the impact is the soul resident in these parts of the body. Not every sound, as we said, made by an [30] animal is voice (even with the tongue we may merely make a sound which is not voice, or without the tongue as in coughing); what produces the impact must have soul in it and must be accompanied by an act of imagination, for voice is a sound with a meaning, and is not merely the result of any impact of the breath as in coughing; in voice the breath in the windpipe is used as an instrument to knock with against the walls of the windpipe. This is confirmed by our [421a] inability to speak when we are breathing either out or in – we can only do so by holding our breath; we make the movements with the breath so checked. It is clear also why fish are voiceless; they have no windpipe. And they have no windpipe because they do not breathe [5] or take in air. Why they do not is a question belonging to another inquiry.38
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De Resp.478a 28; P.A. 642a 31—b4. Cf. De Resp. 474b 25-9, 476a 6-15; P.A. 669a 2-5.

Aristotle, On the Generation of Animals, IV. 7 (786b 8—788b1) (tr. Arthur Platt). As to the voice, it is deep in some animals, high in others, in others again well-pitched and in due proportion between both extremes. Again, in some it is loud, in others small, and it differs in smoothness and roughness, flexibility and inflexibility. We must inquire then into the causes of each of these distinctions. We must suppose then that the same cause is responsible for high and deep voices as for the change which they undergo in passing from youth to age. The voice is higher in all other animals when younger, but in cattle that of calves is deeper. We find the same thing also in the male and female sexes; in the other kinds of animals the voice of the female is higher than that of the male (this being especially plain in man, for Nature has given this faculty to him in the highest degree because he alone of animals makes use of speech and the voice is the material of speech), but in cattle the opposite obtains, for the voice of cows is deeper than that of bulls. 19

Now the purpose for which animals have a voice, and what is meant by “voice” and by “sound” generally, has been stated partly in the treatise on sensation, partly in that on the soul. But since lowness of voice depends on the movement of the air being slow and its highness on its being quick, there is a difficulty in knowing whether it is that which moves or that which is moved that is the cause of the slowness or quickness. For some say that what is much is moved slowly, what is little quickly, and that the quantity of the air is the cause of some animals having a deep and others a high voice. Up to a certain point this is well said (for it seems to be rightly said in a general way that the depth depends on a certain amount of the air put in motion), but not altogether, for if this were true it would not be easy to speak both soft and deep at once, nor again both loud and high. Again, the depth seems to belong to the nobler nature, and in songs the deep note is better than the high-pitched ones, the better lying in superiority, and depth of tone being a sort of superiority. But then depth and height in the voice are different from loudness and softness, and some high-voiced animals are loud-voiced, and in like manner some softvoiced ones are deep-voiced, and the same applies to the tones lying between these extremes. And by what else can we define these (I mean loudness and softness of voice) except by the large and small amount of the air put in motion? If then height and depth are to be decided in accordance with the distinction postulated, the result will be that the same animals will be deep-and loud-voiced, and the same will be high-and not loud-voiced; but this is false. The reason of the difficulty is that the words “great” and “small”, “much” and “little” are used sometimes absolutely, sometimes relatively to one another. Whether an animal has a great (or loud) voice depends on the air which is moved being much absolutely, whether it has a small voice depends on its being little absolutely; but whether they have a deep or high voice depends on their being thus differentiated in relation to one another. For if that which is moved surpass the strength of that which moves it, the air that is sent forth must go slowly; if the opposite, quickly. The strong, then, on account of their strength, sometimes move much air and make the movement slow, sometimes, having complete command over it, make the movement swift. On the same principle the weak either move too much air for their strength and so make the movement slow, or if they make it swift move but little because of their weakness. These, then, are the reasons of these contrarieties, that neither are all young animals high-voiced nor all deep-voiced, nor are all the older, nor yet are the two sexes thus opposed, and again that not only the sick speak in a high voice but also those in good bodily condition, and, further, that as men verge on old age they become higher-voiced, though this age is opposite to that of youth. Most young animals, then, and most females set but little air in motion because of their want of power, and are consequently high-voiced, for a little air is carried along quickly, and in the voice what is quick is high. But in calves and cows, in the one case because of their age, in the other because of their female nature, the part by which they set the air in motion is not strong; at the same time they set a great quantity in motion and so are deep-voiced; for that which is borne along slowly is heavy, and much air is borne along slowly. And these animals set much in movement whereas the others set but little, because the vessel through which the breath is first borne has in them a large opening and necessarily sets much air in motion, whereas in the rest the air is better dispensed. As their age advances this part which moves the air gains more strength in each animal, so that they change into the opposite condition, the high-voiced becoming deeper-voiced than they were, and the deep-voiced higher-voiced, which is why bulls have a higher voice than calves and cows. Now the strength of all animals is in their sinews, and so those in the 20

prime of life are stronger, the young being weaker in the joints and sinews; moreover, in the young they are not yet tense, and in those now growing old the tension relaxes, wherefore both these ages are weak and powerless for movement. And bulls are particularly sinewy, even their hearts, and therefore that part by which they set the air in motion is in a tense state, like a sinewy string stretched tight. (That the heart of bulls is of such a nature is shown by the fact that a bone is actually found in some of them, and bones are naturally connected with sinew.) All animals when castrated change to the female character, and utter a voice like that of the females because the sinewy strength in the principle of the voice is relaxed. This relaxation is just as if one should stretch a string and make it taut by hanging some weight on to it, as women do who weave at the loom, for they stretch the warp by attaching to it what are called “laiai”. For in this way are the testes attached to the seminal passages, and these again to the blood-vessel which takes its origin in the heart near the organ which sets the voice in motion. Hence as the seminal passages change towards the age at which they are now able to secrete the semen, this part also changes along with them. As this changes, the voice again changes, more indeed in males, but the same thing happens in females too, only not so plainly, the result being what some call “bleating”“ when the voice is uneven. After this it settles into the deep or high voice of the succeeding time of life. If the testes are removed the tension of the passages relaxes, as when the weight is taken off the string or the warp; as this relaxes, the organ which moves the voice is loosened in the same proportion. This, then, is the reason why the voice and the form generally changes to the female character in castrated animals; it is because the principle is relaxed upon which depends the tension of the body; not that, as some suppose, the testes are themselves a ganglion of many principles, but small changes are the causes of great ones, not per se but when it happens that a principle changes with them. For the principles, though small in size, are great in potency; this, indeed, is what is meant by a principle, that it is itself the cause of many things without anything else being higher than it for it to depend upon. The heat or cold also of their habitat contributes to make some animals of such a character as to be deep-voiced, and others high-voiced. For hot breath being thick causes depth, cold breath being thin the opposite. This is clear also in pipe-playing, for if the breath of the performer is hotter, that is to say if it is expelled as by a groan, the note is deeper. The cause of roughness and smoothness in the voice, and of all similar inequality, is that the part or organ through which the voice is conveyed is rough or smooth or generally even or uneven. This is plain when there is any moisture about the trachea or when it is roughened by any affection, for then the voice also becomes uneven. Flexibility depends on the softness or hardness of the organ, for what is soft can be regulated and assume any form, while what is hard cannot; thus the soft organ can utter a loud or a small note, and accordingly a high or a deep one, since it easily regulates the breath, becoming itself easily great or small. But hardness cannot be regulated. Let this be enough on all those points concerning the voice which have not been previously discussed in the treatise on sensation and in that on the soul. Aristotle, Hist. Animal., IV. 9 (534b 29—535a 2) (tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson). Voice [fonh=] and sound [yofoj] are different from one another; and language [dialektoj] differs from voice and sound. The fact is that no animal can give utterance to voice except [30] by the action of the pharynx, and consequently such animals as are devoid of lung have no voice; and language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the 21

tongue. Thus, the voice and larynx can emit vowel sounds; consonantal sounds are made by the tongue and the lips; and out of these language is composed. Consequently, animals that [535a] have no tongue at all or that have a tongue not freely detached, have no language; although they may be enabled to make sounds by other organs than the tongue. Aristotle, Hist. Animal., IV. 9 (536a 2-3) (tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson). For this creature [the dolphin] has a voice, for it is furnished with a lung and a windpipe; but its tongue is not loose, nor has it lips, so as to give utterance to an articulate sound. N.B. To say that the dolphin “has a voice” means that it can therefore utter vowel sounds, “for it is furnished with a lung and a windpipe; but its tongue is not loose, nor has it lips, so as to give utterance to an articulate sound”. But ‘an articulate sound” is a sound of vowel and consonant in combination. [Aristotle], Probl., X. 38 (895a 4-6) (ed. Loeb, tr. W. S. Hett).
Dia\ ti/ ma=llon a)/nqrwpoj polla\j fwna\j a)fi/hsin, ta\ de\ a)/lla mi/an, a)dia/fora o)/nta t%= ei)/dei; <h)\> kai\ tou= a)nqrw/pou mi/a fwnh/, a/)lla dia/lektoi pollai/;

Why does man show great variety of voice, but other animals have only one, unless they are of different species? Or has man only one voice, though many varieties of speech?

[Aristotle], Probl., X. 39 (895a 7-14) (ed. Loeb, tr. W. S. Hett).
Dia\ ti/ de\ au(/th a)/llh, toi=j de\ a)/lloij ou)/; h)\ o(/ti oi( me\n a)/nqrwpoi gra/mmata polla\ fqe/ggonta, tw=n de\ a)/llwn ta\ me\n ou)de/n, e)/nia de\ du/o h)\ tri/a tw=n [10] a)fw/nwn; tau=ta de\ poiei= meta\ tw=n fwnhe/ntwn th\n dia/lekton. e)/sti de\ o( lo/goj ou) to\ t$= fwn$= shmai/nein; a)lla) toi=j pa/qesin au)th=j, kai\ mh\ o(/ti a)lgei= h)\ xai/rei. ta\ de\ fwnh=j. gra/mmata pa/qh e)sti th=j

Why does this speech take different forms, when it does not with other animals? Is it because man can utter a number of letters, but of the other animals some utter none and some only two or three consonants? These consonants combined with vowels make articulate speech. Now speech consists of conveying a meaning not by the voice, but by certain affections of it, and not only shows pain and pleasure. Now the letters are certain affections of the voice. Children and beasts show their meaning in the same way, for children cannot yet pronounce the letters.

o(moi/wj de\ o(/ te pai=dej kai\ ta\ qhri/a dhlou=sin: ou) ga/r pw ou)de\ ta\ paidi/a fqe/ggontai ta\ gra/mmata.

Aristotle, De Part. Animal., II. 17 (660a 15-661a 30) (tr. William Ogle).

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(Greek to be added)

The tongue is placed under the vaulted roof of the mouth. In land animals it presents but little diversity. But in other animals it is variable, and this whether we compare them as a class with such as live on land, or compare their several species with each other. It is in man that the tongue attains its greatest degree of freedom, of softness, and of breadth; the object of this being to render it (20) suitable for its double function. For its softness fits it for the perception of savours, a sense which is more delicate in man than in any other animal, softness being most impressionable by touch, of which sense taste is but a variety. This same softness again, together with its breadth, adapts it for the articulation of letters (= he ton grammaton diarthrosis) and for (25) speech. For these qualities, combined with its freedom from attachment, are those which suit it best for advancing and retiring in every direction. That this is so is plain, if we consider the case of those who are tongue-tied in however slight a degree. For their speech is indistinct and lisping; that is to say there are certain letters which they cannot pronounce. In being broad is comprised the possibility of becoming narrow; for in the great the small is included, but not the great in the small. What has been said explains why, among birds, those that are most capable of pronouncing letters are such as have the broadest tongues; and why the viviparous and sanguineous quadrupeds, where the tongue is hard and thick and not free in its motions, have a very limited vocal articulation. Some birds have a considerable variety of notes.

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These are the smaller kinds. But it is the birds with talons that have the broader tongues. All birds use their tongues to communicate with each other. But some do this in a greater degree than the rest; so that in some cases it even seems as though actual instruction were imparted from one to another by its agency. These, however, are matters which have already been discussed in the Researches concerning Animals. As to those oviparous and sanguineous animals that live not in the air but on the earth, their tongue in most cases is tied down and hard, and is therefore useless for vocal purposes; in the serpents, however, and in the lizards it is long and forked, so as to be suited for the perception of savours. So long indeed is this part in serpents, that though small while in the mouth it can be protruded to a great distance. In these animals it is forked and has a fine and hair-like extremity, because of their great liking for dainty food. For by this arrangement they derive a twofold pleasure from savours, their gustatory sensation being as it were doubled.

Aristotle, De Gen. Animal., V. 7 (787b 10-788a 16) (ed. & tr. Loeb).
e)/sti me\n ou)=n pa=sin h( i)sxuj e)n toi=j neu/roj, dio\ kai\ ta\ a)kma/zonta i)sxu/ei ma=llon. a)/narqra ga\r ta\ ne/a ma=llon kai\ a)/neura. e)/ti de\ toi=j me\n ne/oij ou)/pw e)pite/tai, toi=j de\ geghrako/sin h)/dh a)nei=ta h( suntoni/a. dio\ a)/mfw a)sqenh= kai\ a)du/nata pro\j th\n ki/nhsin.

Now the strength of all animals is in their sinews, and so those in the prime of life are stronger, the young being weaker in the joints and sinews; moreover, in the young they are not yet tense, and in those now growing old the tension relaxes, wherefore both these ages are weak and powerless for movement.

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ma/lista d) oi( tau=roi neurw/deij, kai\ h( kardi/a. dio/per su/ntonon e)/xousi tou=to to\ mo/rion %(= kinou=si to\ pneu=ma, w(/sper xordh\n tetame/nhn neuri/nhn. dhloi= de\ toiau/th th\n fu/sin ou)=sa h( kardi/a tw=n bow=n t%= kai\ o)stou=n e)ggi/nesqai e)n e)ni/aij au)tw=n. ta\ d) o)sta= zhtei= th\n tou= neu/rou fu/sin. )Ektemno/mena de\ pa/nta ei)j to\ qh=lu metaba/llei, kai\ dia\ to\ a)ni/esqai th\n i)sxu\n th\n neurw/dh e)n th= a)/rx$= o(moi/an a)fi/hsi fwmh\n toi=j qh/lesin. h( d) a)/nesij paraplhsi/a gi/netai w(/sper a)\n e)i/ tij xordh\n katatei/naj su/ntonon poi/h/seie t%= e)ca/yai ti bar/oj, oi(=on dh\ poiou=sin ai( tou\j i(stou\j u(fai/nousai. kai\ ga\r au(=tai to\n sth/mona katatei/nousi prosa/ptousai ta\j kaloume/naj laia/j. ou(/tw ga\r kai\ h( tw=n o)/rxewn fu/sij prosh/rthtai pro\j tou)j spermatikou\j po/rouj, ou(=toi d) e)k th=j flebo/j h(=j h( a)rxh\ e)k th=j kardi/aj pro\j au)t%= t %= kinou=nti th\n fwnh/n. dio/per kai\ tw=n spermatikw=n po/rwn metaballo/ntwn pro\j th\n h(liki/an e)n $(= h)/dh du/nantai to\ spe/rma e)kkri/nein, summetaba/llei kai\ tou=to to\ mo/rion. tou/to de\ metaba/llontoj kai\ h( fwnh\ metaba/llei, ma=llon me\n toi=j a)/rresin, sumbai/nei de\ tau)to\ kai\ e)pi\ tw=n qhleiw=n, a)ll) a)dhlo/teron, kai\ gi/netai o(/ kalou=si/ tinej tragi/zein, o(/tan a)nw/maloj $)= h( fwnh/. meta\ de\ tau=ta kaqi/statai ei)j th\n th=j e)piou/shj h(liki/aj baru/thta h)\ o)cufwni/an. a)fairoume/nwn de\ tw=n o)/rxewn a)ni/etai h( ta/sij tw=n po/rwn, w(/sper a)po\ th=j xordh=j kai\ tou= sth/monoj a)fairoume/nou tou= ba/rouj. tou/tou d) a)nieme/nou kai\ h( a)rxh\ h( kinou=sa th\n fwnh\n e)klu/etai kata\ t\n au)to\n lo/gon. dia\ me\n ou)=n tau/thn th\n ai)ti/an ta\ e)ktemno/mena metaba/llei ei)j to\ qh=lu th/n te fwnh\n kai\ th\n a)/llhn morfh/n,

And bulls are particularly sinewy, even their hearts, and therefore that part by which they set the air in motion is in a tense state, like a sinewy string stretched tight. (That the heart of bulls is of such a nature is shown by the fact that a bone is actually found in some of them, and bones are naturally connected with sinew.) All animals when castrated change to the female character, and utter a voice like that of the females because the sinewy strength in the principle of the voice is relaxed. This relaxation is just as if one should stretch a string and make it taut by hanging some weight onto it, as women do who weave at the loom, for they stretch the warp by attaching to it what are called ‘laiai’. For in this way are the testes attached to the seminal passages, and these again to the bloodvessel which takes its origin in the heart near the organ which sets the voice in motion. Hence as the seminal passages change towards the age at which they are now able to secrete the semen, this part also changes along with them. As this changes, the voice again changes, more indeed in males, but the same thing happens in females too, only not so plainly, the result being what some call ‘bleating’ when the voice is uneven. After this it settles into the deep or high voice of the succeeding time of life. If the testes are removed the tension of the passages relaxes, as when the weight is taken off the string or the warp; as this relaxes, the organ which moves the voice is loosened in the same proportion. This, then, is the reason why the voice and the form generally changes to the female character in castrated animals;

25

dia\ to\ sumbai/nein a)ni/esqai th\n a)rxh\n e)c h(=j u(pa/rxei t%= sw/mati h( suntoni/a, a)ll) ou)x w(/sper tine\j u(polama/nousin au)tou\j tou\j o)/rxeij ei)=nai su/namma pollw=n a)rxw=n. a)lla\ mikrai\ metasta/seij mega/lwn ai)ti/ai gi/nontai, ou) di) au(ta/j, a)ll) o(/tan sumbai/n$ a)rxh\n summetaba/llein. ai( ga\r a)rxai\ mege/qei ou)=sai mikrai\ t$= duna/mei megalai ei)si/n. tou=to ga\r e)sti to\ a)rxh\n ei)=nai, to\ au)th\n me\n ai)ti/an ei)=nai pollw=n, tau/thj d) a)/llo a)/nwqen mhqe/n.

it is because the principle is relaxed upon which depends the tension of the body; not that, as some suppose, the testes are themselves a ganglion of many principles, but small changes are the causes of great ones, not per se but when it happens that a principle changes with them. For the principles, though small in size, are great in potency; this, indeed, is what is meant by a principle, that it is itself the cause of many things without anything else being higher than it for it to depend upon.

§

26

1. On the division of voiced sound into elements and their composition into syllables. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 20 (1456b 20-37) (Lat. William of Moerbeke; tr. B.A.M.).
Locutionis autem omnis hee sunt partes: elementum, sillaba, coniunctio, nomen, verbum, articulus, casus, oratio. Elementum quidem igitur vox indivisibilis, non omnis autem sed ex qua nata est fieri intelligibilis vox (et enim bestiarum sunt indivisibiles voces, quarum nullam dico elementum), huius autem partes vocalis et semivocalis et muta. Est autem vocalis quidem sine adiectione habens vocem audibilem; semivocalis autem cum adiectione habens vocem audibilem, velut ‘s’ et ‘b’; muta autem que cum adiectione secundum quidem nullam habet vocem, cum habentibus autem aliquam vocem facta audibilis, velut ‘g’ et ‘d’. Hec autem differunt figurisque oris et locis, et asperitate et lenitate, et longitudine et brevitate, adhuc autem acuitate et grauitate et medio; quibus per singula in metricis congruit speculari. But of language as a whole these are the parts: ‘element’, ‘syllable’, ‘conjunction’, ‘name’, ‘verb’, ‘article’, ‘case’, ‘speech’. An element, therefore, is an indivisible vocal sound, but not every one from which an intelligible vocal sound is naturally apt to result (for there are indivisible vocal sounds belonging to the beasts none of which I call an ‘element’), but the parts of these are vowel and semivowel and mute [= ‘consonant’]. Now a vowel indeed is [an indivisible vocal sound] having an audible sound without application <, such as a and o>; but a semi-vowel one having an audible sound with closure, such as ‘s’ and [‘r’]; but a mute is that which, even with application, has of itself no sound, but is made audible [when sounded together] with things having sound [i.e. vowels], like ‘g’ and ‘d’. But these differ by both the shape and location of the mouth, and by roughness or smoothness [sc. of the breathing], and by length and shortness, but besides by acuteness, lowness and [what is] intermediate [between these]; each of which it is appropriate for those learned in metrics to consider. But a syllable is a non-significant vocal sound composed from a non-vowel [i.e. a mute] and [an element] having sound; for ‘gr’ itself without ‘a’ itself <is not> a syllable, and (is a syllable) with ‘a’, for example, ‘gra’.7 But it pertains to the metrical art to consider the differences of these things.

Sillaba autem est vox non significativa composita ex non vocali et vocem habente; et enim ipsius ‘gr’ sine ipso ‘a’ sillaba et cum ‘a’, puta ‘gra’. Sed horum considerare differentias metrice est.
7

As I argue elsewhere, in order to avoid a manifest contradiction the text should be corrected to read, “For g r without a is NOT itself is a syllable; but with a, as gra IT IS”.

27

2. The division of voiced sound: parallel translations.
(tr. Ingram Bywater) A vowel is a Letter having an audible sound without the addition of another Letter. A semivowel, one having an audible sound by the addition of another Letter; e.g. S and R. A mute, one having no sound at all by itself, but becoming audible by an addition, that of one of the Letters which have a sound of some sort of their own; e.g. D and G. (tr. S. H. Butcher) A vowel is that which without impact of tongue or lip has an audible sound. A semivowel that which with such impact has an audible sound, as S and R. A mute, that which with such impact has by itself no sound, but joined to a vowel sound becomes audible, as G and D.

(tr. Theodore Buckley)

(tr. B.A.M.)

And a vowel, indeed, is that which has an Now a vowel is [an indivisible vocal sound] audible sound, without percussion; such as a having an audible sound without application <, and o. such as a and o>; But a semivowel is that which has an audible sound, with percussion; as s and r. And a mute is that which, even with the concurrence of the tongue, has of itself, indeed, no sound, but becomes audible in conjunction with the things which have a certain sound; as g and d. but a semi-vowel one having an audible sound with application, such as ‘s’ and ‘‘r’; but a mute is that which, even with application, has of itself no sound, but is made audible [when sounded together] with things having sound [i.e. vowels], like ‘g’ and ‘d’.

Aristotle, Hist. Animal., IV. 9 (534b 29-33) (tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson). Voice [fonh=] and sound [yofoj] are different from one another; and language [dia/lektoj] differs from voice and sound. The fact is that no animal can give utterance to voice except [30] by the action of the pharynx, and consequently such animals as are devoid of lung have no voice; and language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the tongue. Thus, the voice and larynx can emit vowel sounds; consonantal sounds are made by the tongue and the lips; and out of these language is composed. Aristotle, De Part. Animal., II. 16 (660a 3-10) (ed. Loeb, tr. A. L. Peck).
o( me\n ga\r lo/goj o( dia\ th=j fwnh=j e)k tw=n gramma/twn su/gkeitai, th=j de\ glw/tthj mh\ toiau/thj ou)/shj mhde\ tw=n xeilw=n u(grw=n ou)k a)\n h)=n fqe/ggesqai ta\ plei=sta tw=n gramma/twn. ta\ me\n ga\r th=j glw/tthj ei)si\ prosbolai/, ta\ de\n sumbolai\ tw=n xeilw=n. poi/aj de\ tau=ta kai\ po/saj kai\ ti/naj e)/xei diafora/j, dei= punqa/nesqai para\ tw=n

Now vocal speech consists of combinations of the various letters or sounds, some of which are produced by an impact of the tongue, others by closing the lips, and if the lips were not supple, or if the tongue were other than it is, the greater part of these could not possibly be pronounced.

28

metrikw=n.

For further particulars about the various differences between these sounds you must consult the authorities on Metre.

3. Comparison of translations.
(tr. Perseus) Now speech through the voice is composed of letters, and most of these letters would be impossible to pronounce were the lips not moist, nor the tongue such as it is. For some are formed by the closure of the lips and others by applications of the tongue. But of what sort and how many such differences these things have, must be sought from those skilled in metrics. (tr. A. L. Peck) Now vocal speech consists of combinations of the various letters or sounds, some of which are produced by an impact of the tongue, others by closing the lips, and if the lips were not supple, or if the tongue were other than it is, the greater part of these could not possibly be pronounced. For further particulars about the various differences between these sounds you must consult the authorities on Metre.

Aristotle, De Part. Animal., II. 16 (660a 3-10) (ed. Perseus; rev. B.A.M.).
o( me\n ga\r lo/goj o( dia\ th=j fwnh=j e)k tw=n gramma/twn su/gkeitai, th=j de\ glw/tthj mh\ toiau/thj ou)/shj mhde\ tw=n xeilw=n u(grw=n ou)k a)\n h)=n fqe/ggesqai ta\ plei=sta tw=n gramma/twn. ta\ me\n ga\r th=j glw/tthj ei)si\ prosbolai/, ta\ de\n sumbolai\ tw=n xeilw=n. poi/aj de\ tau=ta kai\ po/saj kai\ ti/naj e)/xei diafora/j, dei= punqa/nesqai para\ tw=n metrikw=n.

Now speech through the voice is composed of littera, and most of these littera would be impossible to pronounce were the lips not moist, nor the tongue such as it is. For some are formed |by applications of the tongue,| |and others by the closure of the lips|. But of what sort and how many such differences these things have, must be sought from those skilled in metrics.

Aristotle, De Part. Animal., II. 17 (660a 24-25) (tr. William Ogle).
(Greek to be added) This same softness again [sc. of the tongue], together with its breadth, adapts it for the articulation of letters [he ton grammaton diarthrosis] and for (25) speech.

§ 29

4. The division of voiced sound: an analysis. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 20 (1456b 34-37) (tr. B.A.M.).
e)/stin de\ tau=ta fwnh=en me\n <to\> a)/neu prosbolh=j e)/xon fwnh\n a)kousth/n, h(mi/fwnon de\ to\ meta\ prosbolh=j e)/xon fwnh\n a)kousth/n, oi(=on to\ S kai\ to\ R, a)/fwnon de\ to\ meta\ prosbolh=j kaq’ au(to\ me\n ou)demi/an e)/xon fwnh/n, meta\ de\ [ 30] tw=n e)xo/ntwn tina\ fwnh\n gino/menon a)kousto/n, oi(=on to\ G kai\ to\ D.

Now a vowel indeed is [an indivisible vocal sound] having an audible sound without application8 <, such as a and o>; but a semi-vowel one having an audible sound with application, such as ‘s’ and ‘‘r’; but a mute is that which, even with application, has of itself no sound, but is made audible [when sounded together] with things having sound [i.e. vowels], like ‘g’ and ‘d’.

an indivisible vocal sound either has an audible sound per se or not involves prosbole (i.e. an ‘application’) or not needs to be sounded with a vowel in order to be made audible or not • • • has an audible sound per se without prosbole: the vowel has an audible sound with prosbole: the semi-vowel has no audible sound without prosbole, but needs to be sounded with a vowel in order to be made audible: the mute or consonant

Note. As we see from the De Partibus Animalium text cited above, Aristotle understands the pronunciation of elementary speech sounds to involve the prosbole or ‘application’ of the tongue, and the sumbole or ‘closure’ of the lips. But from the Poetics we see that he draws distinctions between elements which have sound of themselves and those which do not. But, as the reader will observe, in the following text the commentator Ingram Bywater mistakenly takes the words meta\ prosbolh=j to mean “with the addition of a vowel”, when the presence or absence of a vowel is manifestly an additional differentia: Ingram Bywater, Aristotle on the Art of Poetry , Commentary. 20. 1456b 26 a)/neu prosbolh=j [= “without addition”], pp. 264-265. …The general [264-265] sense, then, according to this view of prosbolh/, will be that the vowels are audible by themselves (a)/neu prosbolh=j); whereas the semivowels and mutes (the consonants) require the support or addition of a vowel ( meta\ prosbolh=j) to make them audible. 9 This was certainly the distinction in later grammar: Dionysius Thrax p. 11 Uhlig su/mfwna de\ le/gontai o(/ti au)ta\ me\n kaq )e(auta\
fwnh\n ou)k e)/xei, suntasso/mena de\ meta\ tw=n fwnhe/ntwn fwnh\n a)potekei.=—Sextus Emp. Adv. math. 1. 102 a)/fwna de/ e)sti ta\ . . . meta\ tw=n a)/llwn sunekfwnou/mena.—Diomedes 418 P. mutae dictae quod per se sine

adminculo vocalium non possunt enuntiari.
8

Sc. “of the tongue, and closure of the lips”; the additon of which words would bring the text into line with Aristotle’s related observations, cited above. 9 Note that Butcher correctly takes prosbolh to refer to the ‘application’ of the tongue.

30

Dionysius Thrax, Grammar of Dionysios Thrax (tr. Thomas Davidson), p. 328. 7. ...They are called vowels (fwnh/enta) because they form a complete sound ( fwnh/) by themselves.... They are called consonants because by themselves they have no sound, but produce a sound only when combined with vowels. Priscian, Inst. gramm., xvi. 10-11 (pp. 114-115) (ed. Hertz, tr. B.A.M.). Further, just as among the elements, some are vowels, which complete a vocal sound by themselves, but others consonants, which are unable to complete a vocal sound without vowels, so also in words we advert to the fact that certain ones, like vowels, can be spoken by themselves, as is especially the case with imperative verbs and nouns or pronouns often with vocatives or adverbs, which are applied to antecedent actions or speeches, as when we cry “Good! Right! Well said!” to those who do or say something at the right moment. But there are other words which, like consonants, cannot be uttered to complete the sense without the help of the other parts of speech (which imitate vowels in this), like prepositions or conjunctions. For they always consignify—that is, they signify when conjoined to the others—but by themselves they do not.10 St. Thomas Aquinas, In X Meta., lect. 3, n. 10 (tr. B.A.M.). And likewise if all beings were tones, there would be a number of beings because of some subjects [there is] number itself, namely of the elements; that is, of the letters. And consequently the vowel-letter [litera vocalis] which is first among litera, since without them consonants could not give back a sound, would be one.11 Evidence for the pronunciation of Ancient Greek Β (beta) as [b] (from a website).12 Greek grammarians (e.g., Dionysius Thrax) divide consonants into two primary categories: the aphona (beta, gamma, delta, kappa, pi, tau, theta, phi, and chi), and the hemiphona (zeta, ksi, psi, lambda, mu, nu, rho, sigma). In Aristotle’s Poetics (1456b) the aphona (of which beta is a member) are described as “having contact” (= “ meta prosboles”),13 but not being pronounceable without a vowel. In modern parlance we would say that aphona are the plosives, pronounced instantaneously, while hemiphona are fricatives, and those other consonants that can be pronounced continuously, without the need for a following vowel. If beta were fricative, it would be classified as one of the hemiphona.
10

Praeterea, quemadmodum elementorum alia sunt vocalia, quae per se voce perficiunt, alia consonantia, quae sine vocalibus perficere vo- [10] cem nequent, sic etiam in dictionibus animadvertimus quasdam ad similitudinem vocalium per se esse dicendas, ut in verbis maxime imperativis vel nominibus vel pronominibus saepe vocativis vel adverbiis, quae adiciuntur antecedentibus actionibus vel orationibus, cum clamamus ‘bene, recte, diserte’ ad illos, quo oportune aliquid agunt vel dicunt. aliae vero dictio- [15] nes sunt, quae ad similitudinem consonantium sine adiumento aliarum partium orationis, quae imitantur in hoc vocales, proferri ad perfectionem sensus non possunt, ut praepositiones vel coniunctiones. eae etenim semper consignificant, id est coniunctae aliis significant, per se autem non. 11 et similiter si omnia entia essent toni, esset quidem numerus entium, quia aliquorum subiectorum ipsi numero, scilicet elementorum, idest literarum. et per consequens litera vocalis quae est prima inter literas, cum sine ea consonantes sonum reddere non possint, essent unum. 12 (http://www.foundalis.com/lan/betapro.htm [11/23/07]) 13 It should be noted that, were the text to add sumbole to prosbole, its assigning the formation of consonants to the ‘closure’ of the lips would be in perfect agreement with the modern view. See Buck below.

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5. The division of consonants according to the foregoing: • “consonants” properly so called: the aphona (beta, gamma, delta, kappa, pi, tau, theta, phi, and chi): “having contact”: the plosives, which require a following vowel “semi-vowels”: the hemiphona (zeta, ksi, psi, lambda, mu, nu, rho, sigma): “not having contact”: the fricatives, which do not require a following vowel

Carl Darling Buck, Comparative Greek and Latin Grammar. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1933), n. 37, pp. 32-33. SOME GENERAL FEATURES OF LINGUISTIC HISTORY
MECHANISM OF SPEECH AND CLASSIFICATION OF SPEECH SOUNDS

Of the consonants some are formed with complete closure, by which the stream of air is wholly blocked, followed by a sudden release of the breath, as, for example, p with closure of the lips. These are called “stops” (“explosives”, “mutes”). The nasal consonants are stops, so far as concerns the passage of the breath [32-33] through the mouth (the closure is the same for m as for p), but the flow of breath through the nose is continuous. The release may be followed by an added puff of breath, as in uphill. Then we have aspirated stops (aspirates). Our English initial stops in words like pen are distinctly aspirated by comparison with the French. Others are formed with close approximation (not complete closure) and resulting friction, as f with friction between the lower lip and upper teeth. These are called “fricatives” (“spirants”). 6. The division of consonants according to Buck: • The “stops” or “explovises” or “mutes”: “Of the consonants some are formed with complete closure, by which the stream of air is wholly blocked, followed by a sudden release of the breath, as, for example, p with closure of the lips. These are called “stops” (“explosives”, “mutes”). The nasal consonants are stops, so far as concerns the passage of the breath through the mouth (the closure is the same for m as for p), but the flow of breath through the nose is continuous.” The “fricatives” or “spirants”: “Others are formed with close approximation (not complete closure) and resulting friction, as f with friction between the lower lip and upper teeth. These are called “fricatives” (“spirants”).” § See also: Poetics Chapter 20: The Elements of Language (Papers In Poetics 9)

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7. Supplement on the discovery of the consonant: “Roman Law, the Evolution of Ideas, and Writing Technologies.” Thomas Vesting, Frankfurt am Main, pp. 18-20.14 4. Writing technologies (2) These are very intricate and highly contested questions in the specialized literature. However, for various reasons which I try to explore more precisely in my book, I have a lot of sympathy for a position mainly introduced by I. Gelb in his book “A Study of Writing”, first published in 1952 with the subtitle “The Foundations of Grammatology”. (3) If we follow Gelb, the introduction of the Greek vocalic system can and should not be regarded as a new and original creation. Its Semitic origin is beyond any doubt. Even an uninitiated epigrapher, Gelb stated, cannot fail to observe the identity or great similarity of form in the signs of the Greek alphabet and those of the Semitic writings. (4) However, for Gelb the Greek alphabet makes a difference. Compared with its forerunners, it represents an evolutionary jump in the history of writing. It is the first writing system that really isolated and by that step generated the consonant as a single sign of language. The word “sign” here is of great importance. Why? Because, the consonants do not exist in oral speech. 15 The consonants by strict definition are themselves ‘dumb’, ‘mute’, ‘unpronounceable’, aphona, aphtonga, as Plato sometimes said. Or, to put it in another way: They are called “con-sonants’, sum-phona, because they only sound in company with. The consonant therefore has its identity only as a 19 visual sign. Or, to slightly modify an observation Gilbert Ryle made in 1960: While phonemes like b and c are not phonetic atoms, characters like b and x are graphic atoms (57). That is, in a nutshell, why Gelb considers the Greek alphabet to be the first true and full alphabet, while all other so-called alphabets for him actually remained cases of syllabic writing. “If the alphabet is defined as a system of signs expressing single sounds of speech, then the first alphabet which can justifiably be so called is the Greek alphabet.” (I. Gelb, A Study of Writing, 1952/1965, p.166) (5) Because of Gelb’s lucid reconstruction of the history of writing, many scholars like, for example, the classicist Eric Havelock, in dozens of publications traced the capacity for abstract analysis back to the emergence of the Greek alphabet. For Havelock, it was exactly this difference between alphabetic writing and its forerunners that could help us to understand the emergence of epistemic knowledge in Greek philosophy and dialectics. And for Havelock the linkage between the Greek alphabet and abstract thinking was exactly that the writing technology confronted its observers to written abstractions and by that to go beyond the empiricism of orality. “The Greek system got beyond empiricism, by abstracting the nonpronounceable, nonperceptible elements contained in the syllables.
14

(www.jura.uni-frankfurt.de/fb/fb01/ifoer1/vesting/Dokumente/online-pub/Roman_Law-Vortrag. pdf [2/5/08]) 15 That consonants are ‘mute’ follows from the fact that they cannot be pronounced without a following vowel sound, just as one cannot make a ‘b’ sound without saying ‘buh’ or some such thing, a state of affairs presumably underlyying the claim that they “do not exist in oral speech”—that is, in isolation.

33

We now style these elements’”con-sonants’ (sum-phona, …). Their creation separated out an unpronounceable component of linguistic sound and gave it a visual entity.” 11 (6) As I said, I have a lot of sympathy with this standpoint, but I have not fully made up my mind yet. Nevertheless, for me one thing seems to be clear: Gelb’s and Havelock’s theory have very strong force, not at least because they have been and still are proven again and again tenable (for instance, in a newer linguistic publication by Ch. Stetter). These publications especially confirm that alphabetic-writing cannot fully be understood in a concept of representation: The mere consonant, the phoneme as such, is a discovery of script. It does not represent an entity of oral language.
11

E. Havelock, The muse learns to write, 1986, p. 60. [N.B. For the complete excerpt, see below.]

20 (7) If we thus take this path of reconstruction for granted, then it becomes very clear why in Plato’s late dialogues considerations about diaeresis are so often connected with considerations about the division and recombination of letters and syllables, nouns and verbs; and why in Plato considerations about divisions are also connected with that entity Plato calls “something great and fair and complete”: the proposition (Cratylus, 425 c). The paradigm for epistemic knowledge is the study of grammar (téchne grammatiké), but the study of grammar would have never been likely to emerge without the invention of Greek alphabetic writing. So with the adaptation of epistemic knowledge, Roman jurisprudence, for the first time, made sense of a new type of knowledge in the field of law that was invented in Greece. And with the import of epistemic knowledge Roman jurisprudence adapted a type of knowledge that’s emergence was intrinsically tied together with the evolution of a new medium: Greek alphabetic writing. Eric Havelock, The Muse Learns to Write : Reflections on Orality and Literacy From Antiquity to the Present (Yale University Press: 1986), p. 60. It is easy to see why pre-Greek systems never got further than the syllable. This ‘piece’ of linguistic sound is actually pronounceable and so empirically perceptible. The consonants by strict definition are by themselves ‘dumb,’ ‘mute,’ ‘unpronounceable’ (aphona, aphthonga—Plato’s terms, borrowed he says from previous sources). The Greek system got beyond empiricism by abstracting the nonpronounceable, nonperceptible 16 elements contained in the syllables. We now style these elements ‘con-sonants’ ( sumphona, the more accurate Greek term replacing aphona, because the are ‘sounded in company with’). Their creation separated out an unpronounceable component of linguistic sound and gave it visual identity. The Greeks did not ‘add vowels’ (a common misconception: vowel signs had already shown up in Mesopotamian Cuneiform and Linear B) but invented the (pure) consonant. In so doing, they for the first time supplied our species with a visual representation of linguistic noise that was both economical and exhaustive: a table of atomic elements which by grouping themselves in an inexhaustible variety of combinations can with reasonable accuracy represent any actual linguistic noise. The invention also supplied the first and last instrument perfectly constructed to reproduce the range of previous orality.
16

One may presume that a consonant is called ‘nonperceptible’ for the reasons adduced above.

34

8. On Gelb and the systems of writing. Gelb, I J. A Study of Writing. 2nd Ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.17 Gelb began a new phase in the study of writing systems by introducing “Grammatology”, a scientific approach to the study of writing which borrows methodology from linguistics (for a good history of the study of writing systems, see Daniels, “The Study of Writing Systems” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed Peter T Daniels and William Bright. (Oxford, 1996), 3-18). Gelb presents a basic view of the evolution of writing from narrative art to symbol to pictographic system. Next, the leap of phonetization allows the correspondence of symbols with either words or sounds. From this developed syllabic systems and finally the alphabet. Gelb has been criticized for over-systematizing in his principles of uniform development and economy (see Daniels, “Fundamentals of Grammatology”). The principle of uniform development states that writing always develops from logographic to syllabic to alphabetic; thus Gelb argued that the early West-Semitic scripts were not alphabetic but syllabic since the later Ethiopian syllabic script could not have developed from a true alphabetic script. Just as certain cuneiform signs can indicate a consonant plus the full range of vowels (e.g., wi, we, wa, wu), he maintained that the West-Semitic letters actually indicated a consonant plus an unmarked vowel. The matres lectionis then function as phonetic complements to mark the proper vowel. Only when the Greek system developed individual vowel letters was a true alphabet created. DANIELS Peter T. “Fundamentals of Grammatology”, JAOS 110/4, 727-731. In this short article Daniels responds to his teacher IJ Gelb’s suggestion that the early West-Semitic scripts are not alphabets but syllabaries similar to the Ethiopic script (see Gelb, A Study of Writing, 2nd Ed (1963)). He argues that Gelb’s “principal of unidirectional development” (i.e., scripts always progress from logographic to syllabic to alphabetic) was an over-generalization. Instead, he suggests that the standard three-fold typology of writing systems should be expanded to include the “abjad” and the “abugida” which represent the Phoenician and Ethiopic scripts respectively. The “abjad” does not denote syllables, but only the individual consonants, while the “abugida” uses a base symbol to denote the consonant which is appended with a vowel mark. Daniels does not see the great intellectual leap in script development as the creation of vowel letters, but the isolation of the sound stream into phonological segments smaller than the syllable. Richard Sproat, Review of Daniels & Bright, The World’s Writing Systems. LINGUIST List 7.400. Sat Mar 16 1996 (excerpt).18 The book is divided into thirteen main parts. In the first part, Daniels introduces the field of grammatology, giving a brief history, and a broad typology of writing systems. The typology includes some familiar terms:
17

(http://balshanut.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/gelb-ij-a-study-of-writing-2nd-ed-chicago-universityof-chicago-press-1963/ [2/6/08]) 18 (http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/7/7-400.html [2/6/08])

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“logosyllabary” for writing systems like Chinese where the individual characters of the script simultaneously represent both morphemes and syllables; “syllabary”, where the individual characters represent syllables (or at least CV morae, following on Poser’s 1993 LSA presentation, which is lamentably unavailable in written form); and “alphabet”, where the individual characters represent phonemes. Less familiar terms are: “abjad” (“formed from the first letters of the most widespread example, the Arabic script, in their historic order”), where the basic characters of the script denote consonants (and only peripherally, vowels), typical examples being Semitic scripts as used for Semitic languages (adaptations of Semitic scripts to other languages such as Hebrew for Yiddish, Arabic for Uyghur or indeed Phoenician for Greek, often end up functioning as alphabets); and “abugida” (derived from the first four vowels and first four consonants of the traditional order of the Ethiopic script) where the characters denote consonants with a designated inherent vowel, and other vowels are denoted by diacritics on the basic consonant symbols. Examples of abugidas are Indian and Indian-derived scripts; and of course Ethiopic. Finally there is a “featural” script, namely Korean Hankul, where “the shapes of the characters correlate with distinctive features of the segments of the language” (cf. Sampson 1985). It is actually not clear from the above definition in what sense Daniels means that Hankul is featural, and thus constitutes a separate type of script. There is no question that that some of the basic Hankul symbols are derived graphically from aspects of vocal tract shapes, and that they are combined to form the basic letters of the script in a somewhat compositional way. On the other hand it is certainly not the case that Hankul represents features in the same sense as a phonologist represents them in a distinctive feature matrix (DeFrancis 1989). Indeed, Koreans (at least non-linguistically informed Koreans) evidently think of Hankul as being composed of segmental letters (again, DeFrancis 1989), so it may perhaps make the most sense to view Hankul as being an intelligently constructed alphabet. Note that Daniels’ terms “abjad” and “abugida” are only somewhat consistently used in contributions to this volume: the term “alphasyllabary” (which is Bright’s preferred term) is often used instead of “abugida”. 9. Supplement: On the origin of writing. Carl Darling Buck, Comparative Greek and Latin Grammar. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1933), n. 44, pp. 42-43.
WRITING AND ITS RELATION TO SPEECH

44. Writing has its ultimate origin in art, in the crude pictures which spring from the impulse to artistic expression in prehistoric man.19 The use of pictures to convey messages or record events was adventitious, and picture writing arose independently in different parts of the earth. It was extensively employed by the American Indians and was understood by those of different tribes, being quite independent of the spoken language. For in pure picture writing the picture stands for an object or idea, not the word for it in any particular language. So long as the relation holds, whether or not the pictorial form remains obvious, it is an ideogram. But the sign may come to be felt as representing the familiar word for the idea, and the ideogram becomes a phonogram. Thus a crude picture of the sun in the heavens will convey the same idea, no matter whether one’s own word for is sun, sol,, h(/lioj, or what not. It may be conventionalized
19

To this remark one should compare Aristotle’s remarks in the Poetics on the causes of imitation.

36

and lose all resemblance to the object, and still remain an ideogram for the sun. When it comes to be felt as representing the group of sounds making up the word for it in a given language, namely, if we take the English word for illustration, [svn], it is now a phonogram. But as a pure phonogram for [svn] it is ambiguous, as it may represent sun or son. To determine which, one must combine with the phonogram a determinative or classifier, [42-43] for example a “heavenly body” determinative for sun or a “human being” determinative for son.20 Such a combination of phonograms and determinatives is characteristic of Egyptian hieroglyphics, Assyrian cuneiform, and Chinese writing. The evolution of the phonogram from the ideogram is the most significant step in the history of writing, the one which first brings writing into relation to speech. The syllabary and alphabet are successive simplifications of the phonogram (but the imaginary illustration of a phonogram chosen above, [svn] would be already adapted to a syllabary system). The simplified syllabaries like the Cyprian with signs for the single consonant plus vowel, and eventually the alphabets, developed mostly according to the acrophonic principle, as if the phonogram for [svn] became the sign for [sv] and then for [s]. The distinction between ideogram and phonogram, syllabary or alphabet, must not be confused with that of the external form of the writing, namely pictorial or linear (in which the pictorial origin is no longer obvious). The Egyptian hieroglyphics continued pictorial in form, but certain of the pictures constituted an alphabet of 24 letters, which was employed as early as 3000 B.C. Conversely Assyrian and Chinese writing are linear in form, but not alphabetic. §

20

On this matter, compare the following: Porphyry, Commentary on the Categories (In: Porphyry: On Aristotle’s Categories. Translated by Steven K. Strange (Ithaca, New York, 1992), pp. 39-40: “Q. Why does he begin with homonyms {= equivocals}, not with synonyms {= univocals}, if synonyms {univocals} are things that share both the same name and the same account, and something sharing both its account and its name would be a clearer case than something that has only [39-40] its name in common with something else? A. I claim that Aristotle discusses homonyms {equivocals} first because he holds that being is a homonym {equivocal} and because predications ( kategoriai) are homonymously {equivocally} said to be predications of that of which they are predicated. Q. Why does he not discuss homonymy {equivocity} before discussing homonyms {equivocals}, given that ‘homonymy’{equivocity} is a word, whereas homonyms {equivocals} are things, and you claim that he is primarily concerned in this treatise with words, not with things? A. Because what produces homonymy {equivocity} in words is not the character of the expression itself, but rather things are found to be different and in no way have anything in common yet acquire one and the same expression as their name. Until it is recognised that a word applies to a number of things that do not share the same account, there cannot be homonymy {equivocity}”.

37

III. ON PHONE (‘VOICE’) AND PSOPHOS (‘SOUND’) IN SUM. Aristotle, De Anima II. 8 (420a 19-27) (tr. J. A. Smith). Which is it that ‘sounds’, the striking body or the struck? Is not the answer ‘it is both, but each in a different way’? Sound is a [20] movement of what can rebound from a smooth surface when struck against it. As we have explained 35 not everything sounds when it strikes or is struck, e.g. if one needle is struck against another, [25] neither emits any sound. In order, therefore, that sound may be generated, what is struck must be smooth, to enable the air to rebound and be shaken off from it in one piece. Aristotle, De Anima II. 8 (420b 5—421a 5) (tr. J. A. Smith). [5] Let the foregoing suffice as an analysis of sound. Voice is a kind of sound characteristic of what has soul in it; nothing that is without soul utters voice, it being only by a metaphor that we speak of the voice of the flute or the lyre or generally of what (being without soul) possesses the power of producing a succession of notes which differ in length and pitch and timbre. The metaphor is based on the fact that all these differences are found also in voice. Many animals are voiceless, e.g. all non-sanguineous animals and among [10] sanguineous animals fish. This is just what we should expect, since voice is a certain movement of air. The fish, like those in the Achelous, which are said to have voice, really make the sounds with their gills or some similar organ. Voice is the sound made by an animal, and that with a special organ. As we saw, everything that makes a sound does so by the impact of something (a) against something else, (b) [15] across a space, (c) filled with air; hence it is only to be expected that no animals utter voice except those which take in air. Once air is inbreathed, Nature uses it for two different purposes, as the tongue is used both for tasting and for articulating; in that case of the two functions tasting is necessary for the animal’s existence (hence it is found more widely distributed), while articulate speech is a luxury
35 36

419b 6, 13. i.e. when these bodies, e.g. the strings of a lyre, are actually sounding.

subserving its possessor’s well-being; similarly in the former case [20] Nature employs the breath both as an indispensable means to the regulation of the inner temperature of the living body and also as the matter of articulate voice, in the interests of its possessor’s well-being. Why its former use is indispensable must be discussed elsewhere.37
37

De Resp.478a 28; P.A. 642a 31—b4.

The organ of respiration is the windpipe, and the organ to which this is related as means to end is the lungs. The latter is the part of the body by which the temperature of land animals is raised above that of all others. But what primarily requires the air drawn in by [25] respiration is not only this but the region surrounding the heart. That is why when animals breathe the air must penetrate inwards. Voice then is the impact of the inbreathed air against the ‘windpipe’, and the agent that produces the impact is the soul resident in these parts of the body. 38

Not every sound, as we said, made by an [30] animal is voice (even with the tongue we may merely make a sound which is not voice, or without the tongue as in coughing); what produces the impact must have soul in it and must be accompanied by an act of imagination, for voice is a sound with a meaning, and is not merely the result of any impact of the breath as in coughing; in voice the breath in the windpipe is used as an instrument to knock with against the walls of the windpipe. This is confirmed by our [421a] inability to speak when we are breathing either out or in – we can only do so by holding our breath; we make the movements with the breath so checked. It is clear also why fish are voiceless; they have no windpipe. And they have no windpipe because they do not breathe [5] or take in air. Why they do not is a question belonging to another inquiry.38
38

Cf. De Resp. 474b 25-9, 476a 6-15; P.A. 669a 2-5.

Aristotle, Hist. Animal., IV. 9 (534b 29-33) (tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson). Voice [fonh=] and sound [yofoj] are different from one another; and language [dia/lektoj] differs from voice and sound. The fact is that no animal can give utterance to voice except [30] by the action of the pharynx, and consequently such animals as are devoid of lung have no voice; and language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the tongue. Thus, the voice and larynx can emit vowel sounds; consonantal sounds are made by the tongue and the lips; and out of these language is composed. 1. The difference between logos and lexis. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers 7.57 (tr. A. A. Long & D. N. Sedley; rev. B.A.M.; Gr. added from ed. R. D. Hicks). Vocal sound [fwnh\] and language [le/cij] differ, because vocal sound [fwnh\] may be merely noise [h)=xo/j], but only language is articulate [e)/narqron mo/non]. And language is different from speech, because speech is always significant, but language can lack significance [a)/shmoj], such as blituri, whereas speech is not so at all. Furthermore, saying [le/gein] is different from uttering [or ‘pronouncing’, profe/resqai]. For vocal sounds are uttered [or ‘pronounced’], but it is things [ pra/gmata] which are said [le/getai] – they, after all, are actually sayables [lekta\]. The Suda, Lambda 658, s.v. Logos [‘speech’] (ed. The Suda On Line; tr. B.A.M., based on Marcelo Boeri). Speech [lo/goj] is significative vocal sound [fwnh\ shmantikh/], derived from thought [a)po dianoi/aj e)kpempome/nh]. It has two hundred meanings. But language [le/cij] differs from speech. For language can be meaningless, such as ‘blituri’, while speech cannot in any way be meaningless. Saying [le/gein], too, differs from uttering [or ‘pronouncing’, profe/resqai]; for vocal sounds are uttered, but things [ pra/gmata], which are sayable [lekta\], are spoken [le/getai].

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2. Some dictionary definitions taken from Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon. psoph-os , ho, A. noise (prop. of one thing striking against another, Arist. de An.420a21; or of insects, which produce a sound, but not by the larynx, Id. HA535a28; opp. phônê, Id.de An.420b29, HA535b31, al.; psophos monon [to sigma] Pl.Tht.203b, cf. Lg.669d, Aristox. ap. D.H.Comp.14); first in h.Merc.285, ater psophou; glôssês ps. E. HF229; philêmatôn S.Fr.537 ; psophoi anemôn Pl.R.397a; of rolling stones, X.An.4.2.4; of footsteps, psophôi tôi ek tou prosienai autous antipatagountos tou anemou Th.3.22, cf. Hdt.7.218; of knocking at a door, Ar.Ra.604 (lyr.), Pl.Smp.212c; cf. psopheô 11; crash of a falling building, Th.4.115; also of musical instruments, lôtou, kitharas, E.Ba.687, Cyc.443; of a trumpet, Paus.2.21.3. 2. mere sound, noise, tou sou ps. ouk an strapheiên your noise will never turn me, S.Aj.1116; kenos ps. E.Rh.565 ; eudoxia psophos esti mainomenôn anthrôpôn Diog. ap.Arr.Epict.1.24.6; psophoi mere sounds, of high-sounding words or names, ho mê phronôn . . psophois halisketai Men.737 , cf. Alciphr.2.3, Luc. DMeretr.15.3, Arr.Epict.2.6.19; psophou pleôs, of Aeschylus, Ar.Nu. 1367; ho ps. tôn rhêmatôn, of his language, Id.Ra.492. phôn-ê , hê, A. sound, tone, prop., the sound of the voice, whether of men or animals with lungs and throat (hê phônê psophos tis estin empsukhou Arist.de An.420b5 , cf. 29, HA535a27, PA664b1); opp. phthongos (v. phthongos 11): I. mostly of human beings, speech, voice, utterance, ph. arrêktos Il.2.490; ateirea ph. 17.555; ph. de hoi aither’ hikanen, of Ajax‘ battle-cry, 15.686; of the battle-cry of an army, Trôôn kai Akhaiôn . . ph. deinon aüsantôn 14.400: pl., of the cries of market-people, X.Cyr.1.2.3; ho tonos tês ph. Id.Cyn.6.20, D.18.280, Aeschin.3.209; oxeia, barutera, leia, trakheia ph., Pl.Ti.67b; ph. malakê Ar.Nu.979 (anap.); miara, anaidês, Id.Eq.218,638: with Verbs, phônên rhêxai Hdt.1.85, Ar.Nu.357 (anap.); ph. hienai Hdt.2.2, 4.23, Pl.Phdr.259d, etc.; ph. hêsei E.HF1295; proïesthai Aeschin.2.23; arthroun X.Mem.1.4.12; diarthrôsasthai Pl.Prt.322a; enteinasthai Aeschin.2.157; ph. eparei D.19.336; phônêi with his voice, aloud, Il.3.161 , Pi.P.9.29; eipe têi phônêi ta aporrêta Lys.6.51; dia zôsês phônês Anon.Geog.Epit.1p.488M.; miai ph. with one voice, Luc. Nigr.14; apo phônês, c. gen., dictated by . . , Choerob.in Thd.1.103 tit., Marin. in Euc.Dat.p.234 M., Olymp. in Grg.p.1 N., Pall. in Hp.2.1 D.: pl., hai ph. the notes of the voice, Pl.Grg.474e; skhêmasi kai phônais Arist. Rh.1306a32: prov., phônêi horan, of a blind man, S.OC138 (anap.); pasan, to legomenon, ph. hienta, i.e. using every effort, Pl.Lg.890d, cf. Euthd.293a; pasas aphienai phônas Id.R.475a, D.18.195; phônas aprepeis proïento PTeb.802.15 (ii B. C.). 2. the cry of animals, as of swine, dogs, oxen, Od.10.239, 12.86,396; of asses, Hdt.4.129; of the nightingale, song, Od.19.521; anthrôpos pollas phônas aphiêsi, ta de alla mian Arist.Pr.895a4 . 3. any articulate sound, opp. inarticulate noise ( [psophos] ), ph. kôkumatôn S.Ant.1206 ; hôsper phônês ousês kata ton aera pollakis kai logou en têi phônêi Plot.6.4.12: stoikheion esti ph. adiairetos 40

Arist.Po.1456b22; also esp. of vowel sound, opp. to that of consonants, Pl.Tht.203b, Arist.HA535a32; in literary criticism, of sound, opp. meaning, Phld.Po.5.20 (pl.), [p. 1968] 21. 4. of sounds made by inanimate objects, mostly Poet., kerkidos ph. S.Fr.595; suringôn E.Tr.127 (lyr.); aulôn Mnesim.4.56 (anap.); rare in early Prose, organôn phônai Pl.R.397a ; freq. in LXX, hê ph. tês salpingos LXX Ex.20.18 ; ph. brontês ib. Ps.103(104).7; hê ph. autou hôs ph. hudatôn pollôn Apoc.1.15 . 5. generally, sound, defined as aêr peplêgmenos, plêgê aeros, Zeno Stoic.1.21, Chrysipp.ib.2.43. II. faculty of speech, discourse, ei phônên laboi S.El.548 ; pareskhe phônên tois aphônêtois tina Id.OC1283 . 2. language, hdt.4.114, 117; ph. anthrôpêïê Id.2.55 ; agnôta ph. barbaron A.Ag.1051 ; phônên hêsomen Parnêsida Id.Ch.563 , cf. E.Or.1397 (lyr.), Th.6.5, 7.57, X.Cyn.2.3, Pl.Ap.17d, etc.; tôn barbarôn prin mathein tên ph. Id.Tht.163b; kata tên Attikên tên palaian ph. Id.Cra. 398d , cf. 409e. III. phrase, saying, tên Simônidou ph. Id.Prt. 341b ; hê tou Sôkratous ph. Plu.2.106b, cf. 330f, etc.; of formulae, stoikheiômata kai ph. Epicur.Ep.1p.4U., cf. Sent.Vat.41 (= Metrod. Fr.59); hai skeptikai ph. S.E.P.1.14 , cf. Jul.Or.5.162b, etc. IV. report, rumour, LXXGe.45.16. b. message, Sammelb.7252.21 (iii/iv A. D.). V. loud talk, bragging, Epicur.Sent.Vat. 45. phthong-os , ho (both Poet. and Prose), A. any clear, distinct sound, esp. voice of men, Il.5.234, etc.; of the Sirens, Od.12.41,159; phthongôi eperkhomenai 18.199 ; ph. araion oikois A.Ag.237 (lyr.); goôn ouk asêmones ph. S.OC1669 ; ph. oikeiou kakou voice, telling of . . , Id.Ant.1187; ton Haimonos ph. ib.1218, cf. 1214; of birds, alektruonôn ph. Thgn.864 ; agnôta . . ph. ornithôn S.Ant.1001 , cf. 424; phthongos out’ ornithôn oute thalassês E.IA9 (anap.); kunôn kai probatôn kai orneôn Pl.R.397a . 2. speech, Hellados phthongon kheousan A.Th.73; ph. emmetros, opp. peza, poetical speech, Phld.D.3.13; utterance, saying, Trag.Adesp.417. II. generally, sound, anemôn Simon.37.11; daimonos pedarsiou . . pterôtos ph. Ar.Av.1198 (= Trag.Adesp.47); phônês men ou, phthongou de metekhonta tinos, of semi-vowels, Pl.Phlb. 18c, cf. Arist.Aud.801b2, 804b9; aneu phthongou kai êkhês Pl.Ti.37b , cf. Epicur.Ep.1p.32U.; eis tous ph. kai tas sullabas Pl.Cra.389d , cf. Plu.Alex.27, Gal.15.6. 2. of musical sounds, lôtos phthongon keladei E.El.716 (lyr.); luras Pl.Lg.812d, etc., cf. phthongous alurous thrênoumen Alex. 162.6 (anap.). b. pl., notes on a musical instrument; strings of lyre, D.Chr.10.19; stops of flute, Philostr.VA5.21; cf. Corn.ND14. dialekt-os , hê,

41

A. discourse, conversation, Hp.Art.30; theois pros anthrôpous Pl.Smp.203a; discussion, debate, argument, Id.Tht.146b; opp. eris, Id.R.454a. 2. common language, talk, d. hê pros allêlous Arist.Po.1449a26; hê eiôthuia d. Id.Rh. 1404b24 . II. speech, language, Ar.Fr.685; kainên d. lalôn Antiph. 171; d. amniou, opp. ta endon drakontos, Hermipp.3; articulate speech, language, opp. phônê, Arist.HA535a28; tou anthrôpou mia phônê, alla dialektoi pollai Id.Pr.895a6 ; but also, spoken, opp. written language, D.H.Comp.11. 2. the language of a country, Plb.1.80.6, D.S.5.6, etc.: esp. dialect, as Ionic, Attic, etc., Diog.Bab.Stoic.3.213, D.H.Comp.3, S.E.M.1.59, Hdn.Gr.2.932; also, local word or expression, Plu.Alex.31. III. way of speaking, accent, D.37.55. 2. pl., modes of expression, Epicur.Ep.1p.24U. IV. style, panêgurikê, poiêtikê d., D.H.Comp.23,21: esp. poetical diction, Phld.Po. 2 Fr.33, al. V. of musical instruments, quality, ‘idiom’, Arist. de An.420b8. dialekt-ikos , ê, on, A. conversational, khoros Demetr.Eloc.167 . 2. d. organa organs of articulate speech, opp. phônêtika, Gal.16.204. II. skilled in dialectic, ho erôtan kai apokrinesthai epistamenos Pl.Cra.390c ; ê kai d. kaleis ton logon hekastou lambanonta tês ousias; Id.R.534b ; dialectical, Arist. Metaph.995b23; d. sullogismos Id.Top.100a22 ; pros tous d., title of work by Metrodorus, D.L.10.24, cf. Phld.Rh.1.279 S., al. III. hê dialektikê (sc. tekhnê) dialectic, discussion by question and answer, invented by Zeno of Elea, Arist.Fr.65; philosophical method, hôsper thrinkos tois mathêmasin hê d. epanô keitai Pl.R.534e: to -kon Id.Sph. 253e; peri -kês, title of work by Cleanthes, D.L.7.174. 2. the logic of probabilities, hê d. peirastikê peri hôn hê philosophia gnôristikê Arist.Metaph.1004b25, cf. Rh.1354a1. IV. Adv. -kôs dialectically, Pl.Phlb.17a, etc.; for the sake of argument, opp. kat’ alêtheian, Arist. Top.105b31, cf. de An.403a2; by argument on general principles, opp. scientifically, Phld.Rh.2.134 S., Mus.p.89 K.: Comp. -ôteron Pl.Men. 75d ; more logically, Dam.Pr.97. This text is based on the following book(s): Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940. ISBN: 0198642261 §

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3. Supplement: Aristotle’s teaching on sound and voice according to John Philoponus, as excerpted by the Suda. (a) The Suda, s.v. Phônê [‘voice’; ‘vocal sound’] Adler number: phi,653 (In. The Suda Online, tr. Marcelo Boeri; slightly rev. B.A.M.).
Phônê: hoti eidos hê phônê tou psophou. esti de phônê plêxis aeros, ê aêr peplêgmenos. ou gar pas psophos phônê, hôsper oude ho ek tôn apsuchôn hoion kumatôn ê anemôn ginomenos: all’ empsuchou tinos psophos estin hê phônê. ou mên de pas psophos empsuchou phônê: oude ho dia cheirôn krotos chrempsasthai oude to bêxai: oude [Voice:] Voice [is] a form of sound. Voice is a stroke of air or air stricken. For not every sound is voice, such as it is not voice a sound coming from unanimated things, either; for instance, waves or winds.[1] By contrast, voice is a sound of something animated, even though not every sound of something animated is voice.

to Neither the noise produced through the hands nor clearing one’s throat or coughing are voice. For voice is a sound of something animated coming through parts endowed with voiced speech,[2] such as the sounds coming through parts of lung as well as parts designed for respiration: a rough artery and windpipe.[3] But voice does not come through any of these things when a sound is produced. That is why it is said that the one who is coughing does not give voice. However, when these things are set in motion accompanied by a bodily impression,[4] then, the sound produced by these is named voice. The following three things are taken into account with regard to human voice: (i) rhythm, (ii) harmony, (iii) language. (i) Rhythm is concerned with time (long or short) of pronunciation.[5]

phônê gar estin empsuchou psophos, dia tôn phônêtikôn ginomenos moriôn, hoion pneumonos te kai tôn anapneustikôn moriôn, kai tês tracheias artêrias kai tês pharungos. kai oude dia toutôn hopôsoun tou psophou ginomenou, dioper oude ho bêttôn legetai phônein: all’ hotan meta phantasias sômatikês tauta kinêthêi, tote ho ginomenos hupo toutôn psophos phônê kaleitai. tria de tauta theôreitai peri tên tou anthrôpou phônên, rhuthmos, harmonia, lexis. echei de ho men rhuthmos peri ton chronon tês ekphônêseôs ton makron kai ton brachun:

dio kai tôn phônêentôn ta men en pleioni For this reason, among uttered things, those that chronôi ekphônoumena makra ônomasan, ta de are voiced in much time are also denominated en elattoni brachea. long, while those that are voiced in less time are called short. ek de tês toutôn pros allêla suntheseôs to euruthmon tôn epôn ginetai. And the appropriate rhythm of words arises from the mutual composition of these things.

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hê de harmonia peri tên tou oxeos kai bareos summetrian echei, hê de lexis peri tên diatupôsin tôn sullabôn, ex hês hê tôn legomenôn sêmainetai ennoia.

(ii) Harmony is concerned with the due disposition of the acute and the grave. (iii) language is concerned with the perfect formation of the syllables, from which the concept of the spoken things is meant [or ‘by which the thought of the things said is signified’ (B.A.M.)]. Now since the human voice is strictly these things, and such things in a certain sense also imitate the musical instruments, because of this it is said by analogy that they also utter.[6] They distinguish voice from sound in two manners: by the mode of its generation and by the mode of its end. Now by the mode of its generation because voice arises when the inhaled air is squeezed out by a contraction of the chest according to the psychic power inherent in it; and when the air falls upon a rough artery, is reduced in such an artery by the air [itself]. Such air, in rebounding a stroke at once and in being unbroken, is beating the proximate air all the time up the hearing. For the empty of the mouth up to the root of the tongue is the windpipe. From that place two cavities are set in motion: the one, which is also called artery, toward the chest; the other in the sinew, which is called gullet, as well. And the breath’s passing occurs through the rough artery, and such a passing happens both in inhaling and exhalation, which produces, according to the already mentioned mode, a breathed out sound that is called voice when such a sound arises accompanied by a significant impression. Thus by the mode of its generation voice differs from sounds in this fashion. By the mode of its end [voice differs from sound] because voice arises and connotes something in accordance with a certain impulse of the animal.

epei oun tauta men echei kuriôs hê tou anthrôpou phônê, mimountai de pôs tauta kai ta mousika organa, dia touto kat’ analogian legontai kai auta phônein. hoti diakrinousi tên phônên apo tou psophou dichôs, ek te tou tropou tês geneseôs kai ek tou telous. ek men oun tou tropou tês geneseôs, hoti hê phônê ginetai tou eispneusthentos aeros ekthlibomenou têi sustolêi tou thôrakos kata tên enuparchousan autôi psuchikên dunamin kai prospiptontos têi tracheiai artêriai kai tôi enapeilêmmenôi en autêi aeri, hos têi athroai plêgêi athruptos apopallomenos aei tuptei ton prosechê aera heôs tês akoês. esti gar to men achanes tou stomatos to mechri tês rhizês tês glôttês pharunx: ekeithen duo angeia pherontai, to men epi ton thôraka, kai kaleitai artêria, to de heteron pros tôi tenonti, kai kaleitai oisophagos. ginetai de dia tês tracheias artêrias hê parodos tou pneumatos, hê te kata tên eispompên kai tên ekpompên, hoper tôi eirêmenôi tropôi ekpneomenon poiei psophon, hos kaleitai phônê, hotan meta tinos sêmantikês phantasias ginêtai. ek men oun tou tropou tês geneseôs tautêi diapherei hê phônê tôn psophôn. ek de tou telous, hoti hê phônê kath’ hormên tina tou zôiou ginetai kai prossêmainei ti:

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dio kai meta phantasias. dio kai hoi tôn alogôn psophoi phônai. kai gar ho kuôn, hopênika phantasian echei tou allotriou, hulaktei: hotan de tou oikeiou, sainei. kai epi tôn allôn zôiôn hôsautôs sêmantikai eisin hai phônai tôn psuchikôn dunameôn kai diatheseôn. kai gar trophês oregomena ê allou tinos kechrêtai phônêi.

For that reason such a voice is accompanied by an impression as well. Therefore, the sounds of the irrational animals are also voices. For a dog, when it has an impression of someone alien to it, barks, and when it has an impression of someone familiar to it, fawns. In the other animals voices of the psychic faculties and dispositions are also meaningful in the same way. For while desiring food or any other thing, they make use of voice.

Notes. Source (with slight changes): John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle‘s de anima 375.9-376.1 and 378.29-379.15.
[1] The distinction between utterance or voice ( phone) and sound (psophos) is extremely subtle and was widely discussed by different philosophers. We find a similar discrimination in the Stoic sources where utterance is said to be different from “expression” or “speech” ( le/cij) on the ground that a vocal sound is also an utterance but only articulated speech ( to\ e)/narqron) is an expression (le/cij; see Diogenes Laertius 7.57). The more or less systematic study of fwnh/ in Stoic philosophy was considered under dialectic and le/cij was regarded as a kind of fwnh/ (Diogenes Laertius 7.44). According to the Stoic Posidonius, a poi/hma is a le/cij in metre or rhythm, i.e. a le/cij going outside of prose in its structure (Diogenes Laertius 7.60). Diogenes of Babylon, for example, took the human fwnh/ to be all articulate and sent forth in a deliberate way (DL 7.55). But this specific passage belongs to Philoponus‘ Commentary on Aristotle‘s de an. (420b5ff.), where Aristotle, after having explained some issues concerning sound and hearing, starts distinguishing utterance from sound. In Aristotle‘s view, utterance is a type of sound proper to what is animated or has soul in it (e)/myuxon). So for him a name is an utterance (or voice) significant by convention but without time (Int. 16a19-20). With the expression ‘by convention’ Aristotle refers to the fact that, in his view, no name is a name naturally but only when it has become a symbol (Int. 16, 27-28). [2] That is to say, phonetic parts. All animals endowed with such phonetic parts are able to produce some utterance or voice, but human beings are the only ones capable of producing articulated discourse. For, as Aristotle observes, inarticulate noises of beasts reveal something but they don’t qualify as names and thereby as a significant utterance (see again Int. 16a28-29). [3] Or fa/rugx which, according to Aristotle, is the organ of respiration (de An. 420b22-23). [4] This assertion is clarified by Aristotle himself: what causes the impact must be also animated (following the MSS that give e)/myuxon)) and must be accompanied by a certain impression (or representative image; phantasia), for utterance is indeed a significant sound (de An. 420b31-33). [5] The Greek is e)kfw/nhsij, a cognate of fwnh/, and its meaning is almost the same: uttered sound, pronunciation. [6] What now follows here is a quotation of Philoponus 378.29-379.15.*

*N.B. Note that Philoponus’ remark is based on De Anima; cf. II. 8, 420b 6-8 (tr. B.A.M.):

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h( de\ fonh\ yo/foj ti/j e)stin e)my/xou. tw=n ga\r a)yu/xwn ou)qe\n fwnei=, a)lla\ kaq) o(moio/thta le/getai fwnei=n, oi(=on au)lo\j kai\ lu/ra kai\ o(/sa a)/lla tw=n a)yu/xwn a)po/tasin e)/xei kai\ me/loj kai\ dia/lekton.

But voice is the sound belonging to a thing with soul. For no inanimate thing has a voice, though they are said to give voice by a likeness, as the aulos, the lyre, and other inanimate things that have prolongation, melody, and idiom.

(b) According to Boethius: Boethius, In Librum Aristotelis De Interpretatione Libri Sex Editio Secunda, Seu Majora Commentaria (ed. Migne, PL, tr. B.A.M.).
Prius ergo quid vox sit diffiniendum est. Hoc enim perspicuo et manifesto omnis libri hujus patefiet intentio. Vox est aeris per linguam percussio, quae per quasdam gutturis partes, quae arteriae vocantur, ab animali profertur. First of all then, what voice is must be defined. For when this is made clear, the intention of the whole of this book will be evident. Voice is a percussion of the air by the tongue, which is uttered by an animal through certain parts of the throat called arteries [i.e. the windpipe].

Sunt enim quidam alii soni qui eodem There are also certain other sounds which are perficiuntur flatu, quos lingua non percutit, ut produced by the same breath which the tongue est tussis. does not strike, such as a cough. Haec enim flatu fit quodam per arterias egrediente, sed nulla linguae impressione formatur, atque ideo nec illis subjacet elementis, scribi enim nullo modo potest. Quocirca vox haec non dicitur, sed tantum sonus. Illa quoque potest esse diffinitio vocis, ut eam dicamus sonum esse cum quadam imaginatione significandi. Vox namque cum emittitur, significationis alicujus causa profertur. Tussus vero cum sonus sit, nullius significationis causa, surrepit potius quam profertur. Quare quoniam flatus noster ita sese habet, ut si ita percutiatur atque formetur, ut eum lingua percutiat, vox sit. For this results from a breath coming out of the windpipe, but is formed by no impression of the tongue, and therefore neither is placed under the elements, for in no way can it be written. Therefore this is not called ‘voice’, but only sound. And so let us say that the definition of voice can be that it is a sound accompanied by a certain imagination of signifying. For when the voice is emitted, it is uttered for the sake of some signification [or ‘meaning’]. But a cough, though it is a sound, (is not emitted) for the sake of any signification; it just comes out rather than is uttered. So when our breath so has itself that if it is struck and formed in such a way that the tongue strikes it, it is voice [or ‘vocal sound’].

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Si enim lingua ita percutiat, ut terminato quodam et circumscriptio sono vox exeat, locutio fit quae Graece dicitur le/xij. Locutio enim est articulata vox, neque enim hunc sermonem, id est le/xin, dictionem dicemus, idcirco quid fa/sin dictionem interpretamur, le/xin, locutionem.

For if the tongue so strikes it that the voice comes forth in a certain finite and distinct sound, it becomes ‘locution’ [or ‘an utterance’], which is called le/xij in Greek. For locution is articulate vocal sound; for we do not call this word le/xij a dictio [‘word’], because we translate fa/sin by dictio, but le/xij by locutio.

Cujus locutionis partes sunt litterae, quae cum The parts of locution are the ‘letters’* which, conjunctae fuerint, unam efficiunt vocem when they have been conjoined, effect one conjunctam compositamque, quae locutio conjoint and composite vocal sound, which is praedicatur. called ‘locution’. * I.e. indivisible vocal sounds, nowadays called phonemes. Sive autem aliquid quaecunque vox significet, ut est hic sermo, homo, sive omnino nihil, sive positum alicui nomen significare possit, ut est blictiri; haec enim vox cum per se nihil significet, posita tamen ut alicui nomen sit, significabit, sive per se quidem nihil significet, cum aliis vero juncta designet, ut sunt, conjunctiones, haec omnia locutiones vocantur, ut si propria locutionis forma vox composita quae litteris describatur. Ut igitur sit locutio, voce opus est, id est eo sono quem percutit lingua, et ut vox ipsa sit per linguam determinata in eum sonum qui inscribi litteris possit, similiter opus est eo sono quem percutit lingua. Now whether a vocal sound signify something, as this word ‘man’, or nothing at all, or can signify if given as a name to something, as does ‘blictiri’—for this vocal sound, although it does not signify anything by itself, given as a name to something, will signify— or whether it signify nothing by itself, but might designate [something] when joined with other [words], like conjunctions, they are all called ‘locutions’, as if the proper form of locution [were to be] composite vocal sound which can be written out in letters. In order for there to be locution, therefore, there is need for a vocal sound; that is, that sound which the tongue strikes, and that the vocal sound itself be determined by the tongue into the kind of sound which can be written in letters, likewise there is need for the sound which the tongue strikes. But in order for a locution to be significative, it is necessary to add that there be a certain imagination of signifying by which what is in the voice or in the locution is uttered. And so it can certainly be said that if in the breath we emit through the windpipe there be only a percussion of the tongue, it is vocal sound. But if the percussion is such that the sound can be rendered in letters, it is locution. But if a certain power of imagination be added,

Sed ut haec locutio significativa sit, illud quoque addi oportet ut sit aliqua significandi imaginatio, per quam id quod in voce vel in locutione est proferatur. Aut certe ita dicendum est si in hoc flatu quem per arterias emittimus, sit linguae sola percussio, vox est. Si vero talis percussio sit, ut in litteras redigat sonum, locutio est. Quod si vis quoque quaedam imaginationis

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addatur, illa significativa vox redditur. Concurrentibus igitur his tribus, linguae percussione, articulato vocis sonitu, imaginatione aliqua proferendi, fit interpretatio. Interpretatio namque est vox articulata per seipsam signifcans. Quocirca non omnis vox interpretatio est, sunt enim caeterorum animalium voces, quae interpretationis vocabulo non tenentur. Nec omnis locutio interpretatio est, idcirco quia (ut dictum est) sunt locutiones quaedam, quae significatione carent et cum per se quaedam non significent, juncta tamen cum aliis significant, ut conjunctiones. Interpretatio autem in solis per se significativis et articulatis vocibus permanent (?).

that vocal sound is rendered significative. And so when these three things come together, the percussion of the tongue, the articulate sound of voice, and the uttering of it with a certain imagination, interpretation results. For interpretation is articulate vocal sound signifying by itself. But not every vocal sound is ‘interpretation’, for there are vocal sounds belonging to the rest of the animals which are not included under the word ‘interpretation’. Neither is every locution interpretation because, as has been said, there are certain utterances which lack meaning and although they do not signify anything by themselves, nevertheless when they are joined with other [words] do signify, like conjunctions. Interpretation, however, consists solely in articulate vocal sounds signifying by themselves.

Quare convertitur, ut quidquid sit intepretatio, Wherefore the following conversion of illud significet. Et quidquid significat, statements holds good, that whatever is an interpretationis vocabulo nuncupetur. interpretation, that signifies—and whatever signifies is named by the word ‘interpretation’. Unde etiam ipse quoque Aristoteles in libris quos de Arte poetica scripsit, locutionis partes esse syllabas et conjunctiones etiam tradit, quarum syllabae, in eo quod sunt syllabae, nihil omnino significant. Conjunctiones vero consignificare possunt, per se vero nihil designant. quidem That is why Aristotle in the books which he wrote about the poetic art [cf. Poetics ch. 20, 1456b 20ff.] also taught that syllables and conjunctions are parts of locution, of which the syllables as syllables signify nothing at all. But conjunctions in fact can consignify, but designate nothing by themselves. In this book, however, he has established the name and verb as parts of an interpretation, which, of course, signify by themselves. And nevertheless it cannot be denied that speech is interpretation which, since it is vocal sound joined from parts which are significative, does not lack signification.

Interpretationis vero partes hoc libro constituit nomen et verbum, quae scilicet per seipsa significant. Nihilominus quoque orationem interpretationem esse constat, quae et ipsa cum vox sit et significativis partibus juncta, significatione non caret.

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Quare quoniam non de oratione sola, sed etiam de nomine et verbo, nec vero de sola locutione, sed etiam de significativa locutione, quae est interpretatio, in hoc libro ab Aristotele tractatur, idcirco quoniam verbis atque nominibus, et significativis locutionibus nomen interpretationis aptatur, a communi nomine eorum de quibus in hoc libro tractatur, id est interpretatione, ipse quoque de Interpretatione liber inscriptus est….

Wherefore not of speech alone, but also of the name and the verb, and not of locution alone, but also of significative locution, which is interpretation, are treated by Aristotle in this book, and as the name ‘interpretation’ designates verbs, names, and significative utterances as well, this book is entitled On Interpretation from the common name of the things which are treated in this book; that is, interpretation….

Boethius, Commentarium In Librum Aristotelis Perihermeneias Primae Editionis . Liber Primus. [Introductio] (ed. Migne, PL 64, tr. B.A.M.).

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/3l/ ...Et prius quae sit huius operis intentio breuiter demonstrandum est. Inscribitur etenim liber Graece PERIHERMENEIAS quod Latine “De interpretatione” significat. Quid ergo sit interpretatio paucis absoluam. Interpretatio est uox significatiua per se ipsam aliquid significans. Siue enim nomen sit, quod per se significat, ut est “homo”; siue uerbum, ut est “curro”; siue quod grammatici participium uocant, siue pronomen est, siue ex his iuncta oratio, ut est “Homo currit”, siue quolibet alio modo uel nomen uel uerbum uel ex his oratio iuncta per se aliquid significet, interpretatio nominatur. Quare cum sint quaedam in orationis partibus quae per se nihil significant, aliis tamen iuncta designant, ut sunt coniunctiones uel praepositiones, haec interpretationes esse non dicimus. Interpretatio enim siue simplex est, ut nomen et uerbum, siue composita, ut ex his iuncta copulataque oratio, uel per se ipsam significare debet, si simplex est, uel ex his quae per se significant iuncta esse, si composita est. Quare interpretatio est uox aliquid per se ipsam significans. Sed quoniam uerba nominaque interpretationes / 33/ sunt, oratio quoque omnis quae ex significantibus per se praedicamentis iungitur interpretatio nuncupatur, et sunt plurimae interpretationes, inter quas illa quoque est oratio, in qua uerum falsumue
21 22

But the intention of the work we have before us must be briefly explained: for in Greek the book is entitled PERHERMENEIAS, which in Latin means “On Interpretation”. What “interpretation” is must therefore be cleared up. ‘Interpretation’ is significative vocal sound signifying something by itself. For whether it be a name, which signifies by itself, as is ‘man’—or whether a verb, as is ‘[I] run’— or whether what the grammarians call the participle [,as is ‘running’]—or whether it is a pronoun [,as is ‘I’]— or whether [it is] speech conjoined from these, as is ‘Man runs’— or whether in any other way either a name or a verb or speech conjoined from these might signify something by itself, it is named interpretation. Wherefore, since among the parts of speech 21 there are certain ones which signify nothing by themselves, yet do convey a meaning when joined to the others, as do conjunctions or prepositions, these things we do not call ‘interpretations’. For interpretation is either simple, like the name and verb, or complex, like speech conjoined and coupled from these, or should signify by itself, if it is simple, or being conjoined from these [words] which signify by themselves, if it is composed. Wherefore ‘interpretation’ is vocal sound signifying something by itself. But since verbs and names are interpretations, so also every [instance of] speech joined from things signifying predicaments by themselves is named ‘interpretation’,22 and there are many interpretations, among which are those speeches in which the true and

Notice how Boethius speaks of “parts of speech” rather than of “language” in this earlier commentary. That is, the sort of terms logicians call categorematic are called ‘interpretations’.

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inueniri potest, id est enuntiatiua, de qua hoc libro tractandum est: idcirco igitur Aristoteles de communi nomine et continenti libro titulum scripsit.

the false may be found, that is, the enunciative, which is to be treated in this book: for that reason Aristotle entitled the book under the common and comprehensive name.

(c) According to St. Thomas Aquinas: St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Peri Herm., lect. 4, n. 3 (tr. B.A.M.).
et ideo quinque ponit in definitione nominis. primo, ponitur vox per modum generis, per quod distinguitur nomen ab omnibus sonis, qui non sunt voces. nam vox est sonus ab ore animalis prolatus, cum imaginatione quadam, ut dicitur in ii de anima. additur autem prima differentia, scilicet significativa, ad differentiam quarumcumque vocum non significantium, sive sit vox litterata et articulata, sicut biltris, sive non litterata et non articulata, sicut sibilus pro nihilo factus. et quia de significatione vocum in superioribus actum est, ideo ex praemissis concludit quod nomen est vox significativa. And so he puts down five things in the definition of a name. First, ‘vocal sound’ [or ‘voice’] is put down by way of a genus, by which the name is distinguished from other sounds which are not voices. For ‘voice’ is a sound uttered by the mouth of an animal, as is said in the second book of the De Anima (ch. 8, 420b 6ff.). But the first difference, namely, ‘significative’, is added to differentiate it from whatever vocal sounds are not significant, whether the voice be formed in letters and articulate, like ‘biltris’, 23 or not formed in letters and not articulate, like a hiss made for no reason. And because the signification of vocal sounds was treated above, he therefore concludes from the things premised that a name is a significative vocal sound.

23

Cf. Boethius’ In Librum Aristotelis De Interpretatione, Editio Secunda seu Majora Commentaria , ed. J. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. LXIV, p. 13, col. b.

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IV. ON LANGUAGE AS A SYSTEMATIC MEANS OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION. 1. Some definitions of language.24 Human speech; the expression of ideas by words or significant articulate sounds, for the communication of thoughts. Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (New York, 1828), “Language” Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts. Henry Sweet Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols. Edward Sapir Language is most often defined as an organized system of speech that allows humans to communicate with each other. Encyclozine.com The institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oral-auditory arbitrary symbols. R. A. Hall A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group cooperates. Bernard Bloch and George L. Trager language, a system of conventional spoken or written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, communicate. Encyclopaedia Britannica A system of vocal sounds and combinations of such sounds to which meaning is attributed, used for the expression or communication of thoughts and feelings. Webster’s New World Dictionary (Third College Edition) The systematic, conventional use of sounds, signs, or written symbols in a human society for communication and self-expression. David Crystal William Wallace, O.P., The Elements of Philosophy, Ch. 9: Philosophy of the Humanities. Sec. 75. Philosophy of Language, p. 179 (cf. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. ‘Language’). 1. Language (8:365c) is a systematic means of human communication, particularly by arrangement of vocal sounds conventionally representing concepts, feelings, objects, etc. Like eating and sleeping it is common to all mankind; unlike them it is not instinctive but must be learned by every individual from other members of the social group to which he belongs. It is a kind of behavior that is man’s alone, that he shares with no other living creature. Without it, man’s uniquely complex knowledge and control of his environment would be inconceivable.
24

Excerpted from a Web Site.

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2. Some characteristics of language. Francis P. Dineen, S.J. An Introduction to General Linguistics. Ch. 1. Linguistics as a Scientific Study of Language. Some Characteristics of Language (New York, 1967), p. 10. (bold by B.A.M.) Linguists have found by experience that there are several characteristics of language that provide a basis for accurate description. The first is that all languages are sound and, as a consequence, can be represented as linear.25 Second, all languages are systematic, both in the permissible combinations of language sounds 26 and in the combination of meaningful elements of the language .27 Third, language is meaningful, since the sounds speakers make are connected with factors other than language itself. When the relation between the sounds the speakers make and their meanings is investigated we find that the relation is both arbitrary and conventional. Ibid., p. 11. The units and relations that the linguist discusses when describing a language are generally selected as a consequence of the nature of spoken language. Since language is sound, all the units will be stated basically in terms of sounds or sound differences. Since language is meaningful, all the units will be established according to the meanings or meaning differences that they signal. Since language is arbitrary, the connection between sounds and meanings will always be indirect. All sounds will, therefore, at least make a difference in meaning, and some sounds and sound sequences will have a constant, conventional connection with some feature of the nonlinguistic environment. Since the primary focus of the description is on the patterns of sounds and sound sequences of a language, the description is called formal; since another primary focus of the description is on the contrasts among units and patterns of units, the description is called structural. In brief, each linguistic unit will be definable in terms of its characteristic composition, distribution, and function. Ibid., p. 12. The units of which a language is composed can also be defined in terms of their function—that is, in terms of what they do or in terms of the use made of them. It is the over-all function of language to communicate meanings, and this is done through sounds and sound differences. Every unit of language will, therefore, have at least a differential function. It will distinguish one message from another, even though it does not have a meaning itself. This is the usual function of the individual sounds. Other units of language, in addition to their differential function, will have a referential function. That is, there will be a conventional connection between the unit and some aspect of the nonlinguistic environment. An obvious example of this would be the name for anything, which can be said to have a referential function when it is used to point to some subject of discussion and a differential function, because it makes clear that we are discussing what it name and not something else.
25 26

Cf. speech considered as a species of discrete quantity. Cf. the discussion of dialektos as meaning ‘idiom’ below. 27 I discuss this matter in my paper “Poetics Chapter 20”.

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Francis P. Dineen, S.J. An Introduction to General Linguistics. Ch. 2. The Study of Language As Sound. (New York, 1967), p. 20. One aspect of both traditional grammar and linguistics is talking about language, and any efficient system of communication requires shared experience as its basis. The most universal experience all of us have of language is speaking it and hearing it. We have already seen that most writing systems do not conform exactly to the sounds people make in speaking, so that it is easy to appreciate the need for some accurate method of transcribing the sounds of languages. Phonetics provides us with an accurate means of describing language sounds, and phonemics with an efficient system of writing the sounds. Since the linguist takes sound to be the basic manifestation of language, it will be useful to give a brief sketch of how the sounds of English can be described phonetically and phonemically. We will then be able to appreciate the shortcomings of earlier work and the progress that has been made in language study in recent years. The sounds of a language can be described in three principal ways: according to (1) their composition, (2) their distribution, and (3) their function. Phonetics is primarily concerned with the composition of sounds, while phonemics treats the distribution and function of sounds. Ibid., pp. 20-21. The sounds of a language can be studied in terms of the articulatory movements required to produce them or as disturbances in the air in the form of sound waves or according to the manner in which they strike [20-21] our ears. Articulatory phonetics is concerned with the first sort of study while acoustic phonetics deals with the second. The third type of investigation is often called impressionistic phonetics. Ibid., p. 22. Sounds in languages are generally produced when air which has been taken into the lungs is expelled through the two exits open to it, the mouth, the nose, or both. In Figure 1 [not reproduced here] it can be seen that the air from the lungs passes through the trachea. The air in normal breathing takes the same route, but since breathing is a constant factor and is not generally used for conventional language functions, its audible sound and its wave form are usually ignored in phonetics. Francis P. Dineen, S.J. An Introduction to General Linguistics. Ch. 2. The Study of Language As Sound. The Production of Language Sounds (New York, 1967), pp. 2223. In the channel above the trachea is the larynx, a cartilaginous enclosure in which are contained the vocal chords. From the outside the larynx is called the Adam’s apple. If we look down into the throat with a laryngoscope or a mirror properly placed, we can see that the vocal cords resemble two lips hinged together at the front. When they are completely closed air cannot pass through them from the lungs. 54

The liplike closure is called the glottis, and the stoppage it effects is called a glottal stop. In normal breathing the lips are spread open, resembling the sides of a printed capital A; in whispering the cords close down to about the middle of the A opening. When engaged in the production of the [22-23] vowels, the vocal cords open and close at very high rates of speed, often hundreds of times per second. The vibration causes the air stream coming from the lungs through the trachea and the vocal cords to pulsate in the typical fashion called voice, and a sound produced in such a manner is called voiced sound. The vibration of the larynx can be readily felt by putting a finger on or near the Adam’s apple and humming; it is also noticeable when holding the hand on the top of the head. The wave form of the air after passing through the vocal cords can be differentiated in many ways, depending on the shape of the cavities through which it passes (for example, the pharyngeal, oral, and nasal cavities) or on an overlay of friction imparted to it by narrowing the passage of exit. If the velum is lowered, there is no velic closure of the nasal cavity and the voiced sounds passing through the nasal cavity acquire a quality called nasality. Many other important modifications can be introduced, depending on the contacts made by the various movable and immovable parts of the mouth. V. ON ARTICULATION. Francis P. Dineen, S.J. An Introduction to General Linguistics. Ch. 2. The Study of Language As Sound. The Points of Articulation in English (New York, 1967), p. 23. To articulate something is to break it down into segments, links, or joints. Language sounds are said to be articulated with respect to each other through interruption or change of quality. While “change of quality” is not an articulatory description, it is possible to detect the correspondence between the organic adjustments that give rise to qualitative differences and the wave forms caused by such sounds by means of electronic analysis. Devices such as the sound spectrograph show that speech is generally a continuous passage from one type of articulation to another, but the ear appears to discriminate centers or peaks in this continuous flow. It is these centers that the phonetician principally attempts to describe and symbolize. Transitions from one such state of the articulatory organs to the next are often difficult to analyze and describe. Francis P. Dineen, S.J. An Introduction to General Linguistics. Ch. 2. The Study of Language As Sound. Manners of Articulation: Consonants (New York, 1967), p. 24. Because it is fairly easy to feel the approach of a movable organ to an immovable one, or their contact, consonantal articulations are easier to describe than vocalic. If we define a vowel as a sound resulting from the unrestricted passage of the air stream through the mouth or nasal cavity without audible friction or stoppage, we can define a consonant as the opposite—a sound that involves stoppage, preventing the air stream from escaping through the mouth, or a constriction of the air stream that results in audible friction. Since no stream of air through the passages is wholly without friction, this is a relative matter. While vowel sounds are generally voiced, they need not be, as whispering shows. Some languages regularly employ both voiced and whispered vowels. 55

James Craig La Drière, “Prosody” (from Preminger, ed. Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, bold added by B.A.M.). Vocal sound is the result of vibration produced by constriction of the current of air projected from the lungs (by movements of the diaphragm and other muscles of abdomen and chest) through the larynx, throat, and mouth, with resonance in chest and head and modification of the current and vibrations by varying articulation of the parts of organs in these passages, especially in the mouth. Continuity and interruption or remission of sound depend upon and correspond to the muscular actions and pressures of expiration (during which normal speech-sound occurs) and inspiration of air and the pauses between them (which though considerable in breathing at rest are neither frequent nor lengthy in continuous speech, in which inspiration normally follows expiration with no interval of rest); it is therefore primarily to the mechanisms of respiratory pressure that most of the massing and grouping of sounds, and in general their quantitative acoustic effects (especially of intensity and duration, but also largely of pitch) are due. Larger and intermediate groupings are determined by action of the diaphragm supported by the muscles of the abdominal and thoracic walls; the smallest aggregatory (and rhythmic) unit, the syllable, as it occurs in polysyllabic utterance in most languages, appears to be the product of a single pressure (“chest-pulse”) of the smaller intercostal muscles. (Uttered in isolation the syllable, like all whole-utterance units, is produced by pressure from the abdomen. In polysyllabic utterances it is a slighter pulsation within a larger stretch of sound produced by sustained abdominal pressure. This is the physiological foundation of the “rhythmic group,” for which see below). Obstruction of the current of air and articulatory modification of vibration and resonance produce qualitative differentiation of sounds, upon which phonemic discrimination of segments of sound is based. Qualitative differences among sounds are usually described and classified in terms of the articulations involved in their production; but the foundation of phonemic distinctions is a generalizing discrimination of acoustic differences which corresponds at times only loosely to articulatory, or to very sensitive auditory, differentiation. (The phonemes of a language are roughly represented by the letters of an alphabet; hence the name alliteration for repetitive figuration of qualitative similarities in sounds). Quality in vocal sound may be generally described as the acoustic effect of articulatory action, broadly including all varieties of constriction and obstruction (vocalic, consonantal, liquid, etc.) or of vibration and resonance (voiced, voiceless; oral, nasal, etc.) as well as distinction of organ, part, or place (glottal, palatal, dental, labial, etc.; dorsal, lateral, apical, etc.; front, back, high, low, etc.) or mode (open, closed, rounded, unrounded; plosive, spirant, affricate, etc.) of articulation. Each vowel or consonant is a composite “bundle” of several such qualitative properties or (subphonemic) component “features” (now being systematically classified by Jakobson and others), and the relations upon which qualitative structure of sounds depends are relations among these properties or features rather than among the composite sounds or segments (phonemes) as such. 56

Some qualitative differences, e.g., that between voiced and unvoiced sounds, involve accompanying difference in quantity. But qualitative differentiation of sounds, though its figuration (alliteration, assonance, rhyme) may be combined with and even assimilated to rhythmic structure, is never directly a factor in the production of rhythm, since rhythm is a structure of quantitative relations. The properties of sound directly relevant to rhythmic structure are the quantitative or quantifiable properties of intensity, duration, and pitch. Intensity (loudness or volume) and duration are obviously quantitative in perceptual effect as well as physically measurable. Pitch (corresponding roughly to frequency of vibration and thus easily quantified, though not subject to extensive or intensive measurement) has an ambiguous perceptual effect, in part quantitative, in part qualitative. As it is used in language, variation of pitch is normally associated with other variation that is quantitative and, whether independently or because pitch is easily conflated in perception with associated features, its effect is quantitative, increasing the prominence of the sound altered by its variation. The quantitative or prosodic properties of sound are used in language not for their absolute or “inherent” characters (as pitch is used in music) but, in contrasting juxtaposition with other variants of the same property in adjacent sounds within an utterance, to provide “relational” oppositions which have semantic effects or syntactic functions. The prosodic features are therefore often distinguished as “relational” from the “inherent” features by which segmental phonemes are characterized, because the phonologically functional characteristics of the individual phonemic segments are discernible in isolated utterance of single phonemes, whereas it is only in continuous successive utterance of sounds that prosodic contrasts can be observed. A similar distinction now in common use opposes prosodic features as “suprasegmental” to the (qualitative) features of the phonemic “segments” of sound upon which they are imposed; phonologically regulated occurrences of prosodic entities (“prosodic phonemes”) may then be called “suprasegmental phonemes,” patterns of these called “superfixes,” and prosodic superfixes called “suprasegmental morphemes” when they have a fixed “morphological” function in the syntax of a language. (British linguists who follow J.R. Firth make different distinctions, otherwise grounded, among prosodic and “phonematic” entities: cf. R. H. Robins, “Aspects of prosodic analysis,” Univ. of Durham Philosophical Society, Proc. I, ser. B, no. 1, 1957). The various contrasts provided by the prosodic features are used in some languages for lexical distinctions, between words or functional classes of words (e.g., English contrast, n. = ó o, vb. = o ó), but their most general linguistic use is that of ordering and grouping sounds to produce phonological units that function syntactically. The mechanisms of this ordering and aggregation of sounds are those of “accent” (of intensity, “dynamic”; or of pitch, “tonic”), of “intonation” (systematic successive arrangement of pitch-values) and of “pause” and “timing” (dilation or holding, contraction, and interruption of sound; transition with “juncture” of various degrees of “openness” between sounds); these mechanisms and their effects (fusion, reduction or promotion, elision of sounds) may involve accompanying qualitative changes. One of their effects is the production of what is usually called (rhythmic) “cadence,” i.e., pattern of successive or positional relation of prominent (“strong” or “emphatic”) elements to less prominent (“weak” or “unemphatic”) elements. The prominence and weakness relevant for cadence may be of intensity, of duration, or of pitch; these factors may operate singly and distinctly or in combinations; and the phonological patterns of a single language (e.g., ancient Gr. and L., modern Czech, Chinese) may produce distinct “natural” cadences of more than one kind. [= dialektos] 57

Cadence involves the two aspects of “span” (the number of elements over which a unitary pattern extends) and “direction”(the positional or successional order of the elements). Direction is usually classified as “rising” (o ó, o o ó), “falling” (ó o, ó o o), “mixed” or “undulating” or “rocking” (o ó o, ó o ó), and “level” or “even” (ó ó, o o); these last and other cadence-units (as ó) exhibiting neither “rise” nor “fall,” and often the undulating cadences which include both, are also called “neutral”; cadence is called “alternating” when “emphatic” and “unemphatic” elements of equal span succeed each other in a series (especially when the series begins and ends with the same value) and more loosely when equivalence of span is only approximated. James Craig La Drière, “Prosody” (from Preminger, ed. Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, emphasis added by B.A.M. Sounds are differentiated in quality (discriminable character or kind) and in quantity (measurable degree or amount of sonority or of general or specific acoustic magnitude, including that of duration in time; temporal duration is the only common property of sound and silence, and the only positive attribute of silence, which is thus essentially quantitative). Carl Darling Buck, Comparative Greek and Latin Grammar. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1933), nn. 36-37, pp. 31-35. SOME GENERAL FEATURES OF LINGUISTIC HISTORY
MECHANISM OF SPEECH AND CLASSIFICATION OF SPEECH SOUNDS

36. Speech sounds (hereafter called simply “sounds”) are vibrations of air produced by the organs of speech (their genetic aspect) and perceived by the organs of hearing (their acoustic aspect). The production and perception are co-ordinated through the motor and auditory centers in the brain, and it is this combined mental image which is the element of continuity in the history of a sound. For the sound once uttered vanishes. When we speak of the change of a given sound, as of a_ to o_, as if it had an independent life of its own, we are merely employing a convenient figure of speech. It is the genetic aspect that is the main basis of the classification of sounds and will be considered in the following. The number of distinct sounds that can be produced by the organs of speech is infinite, and those actually employed in language would run to many hundreds. But in any one language there is only a limited number, usually between the limits of thirty and sixty. These are the pattern sounds or “phonemes” of the particular language. 37. The lungs, controlled by the chest and abdominal muscles, act like bellows and furnish the stream of air. This passes up through the windpipe to the chamber at the top, the larynx, in which are situated the vocal cords, and hence to the mouth and nose, which act as resonance chambers of variable shape.

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The vocal cords are not like violin strings, but are the edges of two folds of membrane, more like the edges of flaps of rubber. They may be drawn together and made tense by muscular action, so that they are set in vibration. In breathing they are left open, and in the production of some sounds they are equally inactive, while in others they vibrate. According as there is or is not vibration of the vocal cords, sounds are classified as “voiced” (“sonant”) or “voiceless” (“breathed”, “surd”). The vowels are voiced, and so usually the liquids and nasals. The stops and fricatives (cf. below), including the sibilants, occur in pairs, voiceless (also with stronger aspiration) and voiced (also with [31-32] weaker aspiration), as English p:b, t:d, f:v, s:z, etc. The vibration can be felt by putting one’s finger on the “Adam’s apple”, or more clearly through the skull when the ears are covered tight by the hands. Contrast the s of sin with the z of zero, each pronounced by itself without [the] following vowel. The vocal cords are also subject to alterations in length and tensity, with consequent variation in the frequency of vibrations. These constitute differences in pitch (tone, intonation), which in our own current speech (as distinguished from song) are observed mainly in sentence modulation, as in the rising tone of interrogation, but in some languages as ancient Greek and Sanskrit are the dominant elements of word-accent. Apart from the action of the vocal cords, the distinguishing characteristics of our sounds are the result of overtones produced in the resonance chambers of the mouth or nose. Of these two the less important and the simpler is the nose. This functions only in the nasal sounds produced when the nasal passage is left open. If the stream of air is cut off in the mouth and issues only through the nose and mouth we have nasal vowels as in French. The nose is a rigid chamber, not subject to alteration in shape, and the difference between the various nasal sounds is caused by different mouth positions. In distinction from the nasals, all other vowel sounds are “oral”. The nasal passage, open in breathing, is cut off by raising the velum or soft palate, and the mouth alone acts as the resonance chamber. Owing to the mobility of the jaws, lips, and especially the tongue, the chamber of the mouth may assume a great variety of shapes, resulting in as many different sounds. Of the consonants some are formed with complete closure, by which the stream of air is wholly blocked, followed by a sudden release of the breath, as, for example, p with closure of the lips. These are called “stops” (“explosives”, “mutes”). The nasal consonants are stops, so far as concerns the passage of the breath [32-33] through the mouth (the closure is the same for m as for p), but the flow of breath through the nose is continuous. The release may be followed by an added puff of breath, as in uphill. Then we have aspirated stops (aspirates). Our English initial stops in words like pen are distinctly aspirated by comparison with the French. Others are formed with close approximation (not complete closure) and resulting friction, as f with friction between the lower lip and upper teeth. These are called “fricatives” (“spirants”). The distinctions so far made, as stop, fricative, nasal, voiceless, or voiced, may be conventionally called “orders”, as contrasted with the “series” (or “classes”) depending upon the position where the closure or friction takes place. Between lips and throat there is a continuous range of possible points of contact. A rough division of this into three main areas and the recognition of three series, labial, dental, and guttural (palatal), is the general basis of classification, and sufficient for some languages. But labials include bilabials, as p, b, m, and labiodentals, as f, v. The dental stops, t, d, differ considerably in different languages, as the French, which are pure dentals, 59

from the English in which the tongue touches the gums back of the teeth; and sometimes there are two distinct series in the same language, as in Sanskrit. The area back of the dental is the most extensive, and “guttural”, used here as the general term, covers the greatest diversity. There is some difference between the gutturals of English card and kin, much more between those of German kann and Kind or doch and ich, and frequently one must recognize two distinct guttural series, a front (“palatal”, “prae-palatal”) and back (“velar”). The series represented in English are then: Labials.—The bilabial stops, voiceless p, voiced b; the labio-dental fricatives, voiceless f, voiced v; the nasal m. Dentals.—The stops, voiceless t, voiced d; the (interdental) fricatives, written th, voiceless in thin, voiced in then; the nasal n. Gutturals.—The stops, voiceless k, c (as in cat), voiced g, (as in [33-34] get); the guttural nasal [ŋ],1 as in ink [iŋk],1 finger [fiŋgɘ(r)], ring [riŋ]. There is no guttural fricative, of which German ch is an example. The “sibilants” from a special class of fricatives and are so named from their acoustic character, rather than from the manner of production. In the voiceless s of sin and the voiced z of zero (often written s as in rose) the tongue forms a narrow channel through which the breath is projected onto the teeth, with a resulting hissing sound. In the voiceless [š] of shake, sure and the voiced [Z] of azure, the channel is broader and the stream of air more spread out. The “liquids”, as the term is now applied (it has no precise descriptive value), are l and r. The l is produced by touching the tip of the tongue to the palate, leaving openings at the sides through which the breath passes. For the r the sides of the tongue form the contact, leaving a channel down the middle through which the breath passes over the tip of the tongue. But in both there are several variable factors, and there is the greatest variety among the l- and r- sounds of different languages. The vowels are produced without closure or friction. Their differences depend upon the various shapes of the resonance chamber caused by the position of the lips and tongue. The lips may be rounded or unrounded. The tongue may be raised high in the front of the mouth or in the back, or it may lie flat; its position may be intermediate. Hence vowels are distinguished as rounded or unrounded, and by extremes as front or back and as close (high) and open (low). Thus the u of pull is a close (high) back rounded vowel, while the i of pit is a close (high) front unrounded vowel. The French u and the German U are front rounded vowels, Open and close are relative terms and one speaks of an open or close o or an open or close e. [34-35]
1

Here and in the following square brackets are sometimes used to enclose phonetic transcriptions (in accordance with a current practice), but the brackets are omitted where there seems to be no danger of ambiguity. [remainder of note omitted]

The semivowels, w of wet and y of yet, are produced with virtually the same position as the vowels u and i, but with a rapid glide to the following vowel, so that they have the function of consonants. The h is merely a strong breathing. There is no independent mouth position, which is that of the coming vowel.

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1. On what ‘speech’ consists in. [Aristotle], Probl. X. 39 (tr. B.A.M.) Now speech28 consists in conveying a meaning not by the voice [= phone], but by certain affections of it [= pathesin],29 and not only shows pain and pleasure. But the letters30 are certain affections of the voice. James Mark Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, s.v. Articulation. Articulation (vocal) [Lat. articulatio, a joining together]: Ger. Artikulirung; Fr. articulation; Ital. articolazione. The act of co-operation among the organs of speech in larynx and mouth, whereby, through modification or check of the breath-current, distinct speech-sounds are produced. The character of speech-sounds is determined by the noises generated as the breath-current passes the articulated organs, or by the resonance dependent on the form of the resonance cavity in mouth and nose created in the articulation, or by both. See Vietor, Elemente d. Phonetik, 2nd ed., §§ 1 ff. Whitney’s definition (Proc. Amer. Philol. Assoc., 1881, 22) is: ‘Articulation is virtually syllabication —a breaking of the stream of utterance into joints, by the intervention of closer utterances or consonants between the opener utterances or vowels.’ This does not represent with any exactness the present scientific use of the term, though it may be etymologically more correct. 2. On the universal elements in grammar. R. H. Robins, “Noun and Verb in Universal Grammar” (In: Diversions of Bloomsbury: Selected Writings on Linguistics. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 295-296) (First Published in: Language 28 [1952] 289-298). In the article by Burt and Ethel Aginsky referred to at the outset, the universal elements of grammar are given as segments, morphemes, and significant sequences of morphemes.40 These, and some other terms employed in grammatical analysis—word (minimal free form), suffix, prefix, juncture, aggluti- [295-296]
40

Word 4.168.72 (1948). [= Burt W. and Ethel G. Aginsky, Word 4.168-72 (1948)]

nation, inflection, and so on—can be claimed by us as universally applicable, because, for us, all language consists of events in one dimension, time. In employing such terms we are doing no more than segmenting the unidimensional stream of speech into various meaningful pieces more or less independent; we are not attributing to the language itself or to its component parts any categories of meaning, however, abstract, that are found in the semantics of our own language. These categories are, therefore, of an altogether different order from word-classes (nouns, verbs, and the rest) and the secondary categories associated with them. §
28 29

= logos, a species of which is dialektos, = phone enarthros, ‘articulate vocal sound’. Cf. Poet. 25 on the ‘passions’ of the voice. 30 = grammata, = stoicheia, ‘elementary speech sounds’, = ‘phonemes’.

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VI. ON SPEECH AS A SPECIES OF DISCRETE QUANTITY. Aristotle, Cat. 6 (4b 20 ff.) (Lat. tr. Boethius; Eng tr. B.A.M.).
Quantitas autem, aliud quidem est discretum, aliud autem continuum; et aliud quidem ex habentibus positionem ad se invicem suis partibus constat, aliud autem ex non habentibus positionem. Est autem discreta quantitas, ut numerus et oratio. Continua vero, ut linea, superficies, corpus. Amplius autem et praeter haec est tempus et locus…. Similiter autem et oratio discretorum est. Quod autem oratio quantitas sit manifestum est; mensuratur enim syllaba brevi et longa. But some quantity is discrete and some is continuous; and some quantity consists of parts having position with respect to each other, some consists of parts not having position. A discrete quantity is such as number and speech. A continuous quantity is such as line, surface, or body, and besides these there is time and place…. Likewise speech is also among the discrete. But that speech is a quantity is obvious, for it is measured by the short and long syllable.

Dico autem oratio cum voce factam, ad nullam And I mean speech made with the voice; for its enim communem terminum particulae ejus parts are joined at no common boundary, copulentur. Non enim est communis terminus ad quem syllabae copulenter, sed unaquaeque divisa est, ispa secundum seipsam. for there is not a common boundary at which the syllables are joined, but each is divided and by itself.

tr. Glen Coughlin: In the case of number, though, one could not see how the parts have a certain position with regard to each other or lie somewhere, or which of the parts conjoin with others. Nor those of time. For not one of those parts of time endure; but what is not enduring, how would that have a certain position? But you would say rather that there is a certain order, by there being a before and an after of time. And so too in the case of number, by one being counted before two, and two before three. And thus there could be a certain order, though you certainly could not find position. And so too speech. For none of its parts endure, but it is spoken and one can no longer find it, whence, its parts could not have position, if indeed none endures. Therefore, some are constituted from parts having position, some not from ones having position. 62

1. According to the Summa Totius Logicae Aristotelis. Ignotus Auctor, Summa Totius Logicae Aristotelis, tract. III, cap. iii (tr. B.A.M.).
TR3 CP02 oratio est vox aggregata ex distinctis syllabis eam mensurantibus, et in partibus suis non habens permanentiam. ad intelligendum autem praedictam definitionem, sciendum quod vox non ponitur hic pro qualitate: est enim vox in tertia specie qualitatis, ut infra patebit; sed pro aliquo quod fuit in voce: Speech is vocal sound [or voice] composed from distinct syllables measuring it, and not having permanence in its parts. In order to understand the aforesaid definition it must be borne in mind that voice is not put down here for a quality—for vocal sound is in the third species of quality, as will be clear below—but for something that flows* in the voice, * Reading fluit with the Marietti edition of the text. quia in tali voce sunt multae dictiones et syllabae, quae licet indivisibiles sint, tamen sunt successivae: nam una succedit alteri. unde in talibus syllabis est duo considerare: scilicet indivisibilitatem earum, et successionem. talis autem indivisibilitas non est indivisibilitas unitatis, alioquin oratio esset numerus: sed est indivisibilitas mensurans durationem, secundum quod tales plures syllabae indivisibiles plus durant quam una. unde si in oratione consideramus indivisibilitatem syllabarum, per hoc convenit cum numero. si vero ibi consideratur mensura durabilitatis, quae tamen non est semper stans, sed est successiva; in hoc convenit cum tempore, quod est mensura <successiva et>** successivorum, ut infra patebit. ** The Latin words added to the text are taken from the Marietti edition. since in such vocal sound there are many words and syllables which, although they are indivisible, nevertheless are successive: for one succeeds another. Whence in such syllables there are two things to consider: their indivisibility and succession. Now such indivisibility is not the indivisibility of a unit, otherwise speech would be number: but it is an indivisibility measuring duration, insofar as many such indivisible syllables endure longer than one does. Whence if in speech we consider the indivisibility of the syllables, in this respect it agrees with number. But if the measure of the endurance (of the syllables) be considered there, which nevertheless is not always standing still, but is successsive— in this regard it agrees with time, which is a <successive> measure <and (a measure)> of successive things, as will be clear below.

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non tamen oratio est numerus simpliciter, sed est numerus pertinens ad mensuram durationis: nec est tempus continuum, quod nihil aliud est quam successio continuata semper divisibilis; sed est successio aliquorum indivisibilium, puta syllabarum.

Nevertheless, speech is not number simply, but is number pertaining to the measure of duration: nor is it continuous time, which is nothing other than an always divisible continued succession— but it is a succession of indivisibles, for example, of syllables.

sciendum est autem, quod philosophus libro But it must be borne in mind that in the book of praedicamentorum dicit, quod oratio mensuratur the Predicaments the Philosopher says that syllaba brevi et longa. speech is measured by the short and long syllable. alius textus habet quod syllaba brevis et longa mensuratur oratione. mensuratur autem oratio syllaba eo modo, sicut dictum est, quod numerus mensuratur unitate quae indivisibilis est, in quantum hujusmodi: similiter etiam oratio mensuratur syllaba, quae ut dictum est, indivisibilis est. in hoc autem quod dicitur, talis syllaba brevis est vel longa, non est intelligendum quod talis brevitas vel longitudo pertinet ad tempus continuum, ita videlicet quod oratio sit aggregata ex multis temporibus continuis: alioquin non esset alia species a tempore: partes enim temporis non faciunt aliam speciem a tempore. sed indivisibili durationi syllabae aliquando coexistit tempus continuum, seu simul cum eo existit: quod tempus aliquando est breve, et aliquando longum: unde tempus continuum est mensura successivorum quae sunt in motu. syllabae vero existunt in quodam indivisibili, et sine motu, licet sint cum mutatione et successsione, sub aliqua tamen mensura, ut dictum est. unde mensura quae est tempus, et mensura quae est ipsius syllabae, licet sint diversae mensurae durationum seu durabilium, tamen possunt simul existere.
31

Another text has that the long and short syllable is measured by speech. But, as has been stated, speech is measured by the syllable in the way that number is measured by a unit, which is indivisible insofar as it is of this sort: likewise speech is also measured by the syllable which, as has been stated, is indivisible. Now in saying this, ‘by such a short or long syllable’, it is not to be understood that such shortness or length pertains to continuous time in such a way that speech is composed from many continuous times—otherwise it would not be a species other than time— for the parts of time do not make a species other than time. But continuous time sometimes31 coexists with the indivisible duration of the syllables, or exists with it at the same time: but the time sometimes is short and sometimes long: whence continuous time is a measure of successive things which are in motion. But the syllables consist in something indivisible and without motion, although they involve change and succession, yet under a certain measure, as has been stated. Whence the measure which is time, and the measure which is the very syllables, although they are diverse measures of duration or endurance, nevertheless can exist at the same

Should one read aliqualis rather than aliquando here?

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time. et sic syllaba dicetur brevis vel longa, non ex longitudine vel brevitate continua quae sit in ea, cum ipsa sit indivisibilis; sed ex longitudine et brevitate temporis continui, quod ei coexistit. aliqui tamen dicunt, quod licet syllabae non sint motus, tamen fiunt per motum. cum autem omnis motus mensuretur tempore continuo, propter hoc syllabae dicuntur longae vel breves, ex longitudine vel brevitate temporis continui mensurantis motus per quos syllabae fiunt. alii dicunt aliter de oratione. secundum enim eos cum numerus causetur ex divisione continui, et nihil addat supra continuum nisi divisionem in qua quodlibet est indivisum, et tamen est alia species quantitatis quam continua; ita accidit de oratione respectu temporis: nam oratio est multa tempora divisa, quorum quodlibet est indivisum; et tamen est alia species a tempore. et sic patet de quantitate discreta etc.. And in this way a syllable will be called short or long not from the continuous length or shortness which is in it, since it is indivisible— but from the length or shortness of the continuous time which coexists with it. Nevertheless, some say that although the syllables are not motion, they still come to be through motion. But since every motion will be measured by continuous time, for this reason the syllables are called long or short from the length or shortness of the continuous time measuring the motion through which the syllables come to be. But others speak of speech otherwise. For according to them since number is caused by the division of the continuum and adds nothing to the continuum except the division in which anything is undivided, and yet it is a species of quantity other than the continuous— in this way it happens with respect to time, for speech is many divided times, any one of which is undivided, and yet it is a species other than time. And thus it is clear about discrete quantity, etc.

Duane Berquist, Commentary on the Categories. 6/21/96 Now what’s the next thing he does when he goes towards speech? What’s the first thing he says? Likewise, speech is of discrete. That speech is a how much is clear. But he does try to manifest that speech is a quantity. I think everybody who meets speech is a little bit puzzled by that. So Aristotle stops and gives a reason why this is in fact a quantity. And notice he uses the word measure there, which is a kind of confirmation of what I was quoting from Thomas in the Metaphysics, that Aristotle is distinguishing the species of quantity by diverse measures. You have the exact word there. It reminds me of Thomas’s point when Aristotle distinguishes the four kinds of causes in the Physics, and the last and least known, of course, is the end. When he gets to the end he shows that it is a cause. He doesn’t do that with the other three causes. Thomas says he does that because it’s not as well known. Speech is measured by the long and the short syllable. We would measure by the

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accented and unaccented syllable. He’s talking about the phone, the vocal sound. But notice there’s a different measure, there, in the case of speech and in the case of number. Number is measured by the one. This is measured by the long and short syllable. There’s a different kind of measure, therefore etc. But do the parts meet at a common boundary in the case of the syllables? No. If you have the word “animal”, where do the syllables meet? They don’t. Now would one say that a syllable is measured by time? Later on, Aristotle is going to talk about the accidental quantities. There’s some question about speech. One might wonder whether speech is an accidental quantity, as white is said to be large because it is spread over a large surface, so it is not the white as such but the surface over which it is spread, and we speak of an action or motion as being long because it took a long time. Someone might say we call the syllable long because it takes a long time, and the other short because it takes a short time. If that were all there was to it, then you would have to put speech with the accidental quantities. You would say there’s not in reality a different kind of quantity than you have with time and the rest. On the other hand, you might say we are not concerned, here, with things as things in this book. What we are concerned with in the category of quantity is distinguishing them by a diverse kind of measure. You use something different to measure with. We don’t simply measure speech by time, but by the long and the short syllable. We’d say Shakespeare writes in iambic pentameter. Is it the amount of time the line takes that we are talking about? No. How do you get this 5? Because we’re measuring by the unaccented and the accented syllable. You have five iambs, what you’re measuring, your unit you might say, is four unaccented syllables and one accented syllable. Then you go to another meter, and you have three syllables, and your unit is two accented, one unaccented syllable. You seem to have a different kind of measure, and therefore a different kind of measured, and therefore a different species of quantity as far as the Categories is concerned. When you look at quantity in the Metaphysics, and you’re more interested in real diversity, maybe you won’t have as many. 2. Some further observations on the syllable. Aristotle, Metaph., XIV. 5 (1092a 22-28) (ed. & tr. W. D. Ross).
e)/dei de\ tou\j le/gontaj e)k stoixei/wn ei)=nai ta\ o)/nta kai\ tw=n o)/ntwn ta\ prw=ta tou\j a)riqmou/j, dielome/nouj pw=j a)/llo e)c a)/llou e)sti/n, ou(/tw le/gein ti/na tro/pon o( a)riqmo/j e)stin e)k tw=n a)rxw=n. po/teron mi/cei; a)ll’ ou)/te pa=n [25] mikto/n, to/ te gigno/menon e(/teron, ou)k e)/stai te xwristo\n to\ e(\n ou)d’ e(te/ra fu/sij: oi( de\ bou/lontai.

Those who say that existing things come from elements and that the first of existing things are the numbers, should have first distinguished the senses in which one thing comes from another, and then said in which sense number comes from its first principles. By intermixture? [= ‘mixture’] But (1) not intermixture, everything is capable of

and [25] (2) that which is produced by it is different from its elements, and on this view the one will not remain separate or a distinct entity; but they want it to be so.

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a)lla\ sunqe/sei, w(/sper sullabh/; a)lla\ qe/sin te a)na/gkh u(pa/rxein, kai\ xwri\j o( now=n noh/sei to\ e(\n kai\ to\ plh=qoj. tou=t’ ou)=n e)/stai o( a)riqmo/j, mona\j kai\ plh=qoj, h)\ to\ e(\n kai\ a)/nison.

By juxtaposition [= ‘composition’], like a syllable? But then (1) the elements must have position; and (2) he who thinks of number will be able to think of the unity and the plurality apart; number then will be this—a unit and plurality, or the one and the unequal.

3. Note. A syllable comes from its elements by ‘composition’, not by ‘mixture’, for which reason the elements must have position (which is a before and after or order in the elements according to place). Note that ‘having position’ distinguishes the parts making up a composition from the parts making up a mixture. (In a mixture, the parts exist virtually, rather then potentially or actually, and hence cannot have position.) Aristotle, On the Generation of Animals, I ch. 18 (add) (tr. Arthur Platt). We may also ask whether the semen comes from each of the homogeneous parts only, such as flesh and bone and sinew, or also from the heterogeneous, such as face and hands. For if from the former only, we object that resemblance exists rather in the heterogeneous parts, such as face and hands and feet; if then it is not because of the semen coming from all parts that children resemble their parents in these, what is there to stop the homogeneous parts also from being like for some other reason than this? If the semen comes from the heterogeneous alone, then it does not come from all parts; but it is more fitting that it should come from the homogeneous parts, for they are prior to the heterogeneous which are composed of them; and as children are born like their parents in face and hands, so they are, necessarily, in flesh and nails. If the semen comes from both, what would be the manner of generation? For the heterogeneous parts are composed of the homogeneous, so that to come from the former would be to come from the latter and from their composition. To make this clearer by an illustration, take a written name; if anything came from the whole of it, it would be from each of the syllables, and if from these, from the letters and their composition. So that if really flesh and bones are composed of fire and the like elements, the semen would come rather from the elements than anything else, for how can it come from their composition? Yet without this composition there would be no resemblance. If again something creates this composition later, it would be this that would be the cause of the resemblance, not the coming of the semen from every part of the body. §

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VII. ON ELEMENTARY SPEECH SOUNDS. 1. ‘Element’ as entering into speech according to Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. In ordering the principal meanings of ‘element’ in the Metaphysics, Aristotle begins by stating that by an ‘element’ he understands
(1) the first constituent of which a thing is composed and which is indivisible in kind into other kinds; for example, the elements of speech are those of which speech is composed and into which it is ultimately divisible, while they can no longer be divided into other parts of speech distinct in kind from them. And even if they are divisible, but the parts are of the same kind, they are called ‘elements’; for example, a part of water is water, while a part of a syllable is not a syllable.32

St. Thomas comments on this passage as follows:
Now he manifests this definition in four things in which we use the name ‘element’. For we say the ‘letters’ themselves are the elements of vocal sound because every vocal sound is composed of them, and first; which is clear from this, that all vocal sounds are resolved into ‘letters’ as into a last thing. For what is last in resolution must be the first in composition. Now the ‘letters’ are not ultimately resolved into other vocal sounds different in species. But if they are divided in any way, the parts into which they are divided would be “of the same form”, i.e. of one species, just as all the parts of water are water. Now a ‘letter’ is divided according to the time of its pronunciation, inasmuch as a long ‘letter’ is said to have two times, but a short [‘letter’], one [time]. Yet, neither are the parts into which the ‘letters’ are thus divided different according to different species of vocal sound. For it is thus concerning the syllable: for its parts are diverse according to species: for the sound is other according to species which makes the vowel and the consonant, from which syllables are composed. 33

Man’s speech, then, understood as articulate vocal sound, has as its basis the syllable as composed of elementary speech sounds, the vowels and consonants; a vowel or consonant, inasmuch as it can be written, being known as a litera or ‘letter’ (cf. Boethius above, as well as St. Augustine, De Dialectica, ch. 5). Now it is clear from the foregoing passages that, whereas the ‘letter’ (which is clearly a litera vocalis, or vowel sound) is divided into the long and the short, which is a quantitative division, the syllable is divided into the vowel and the consonant, which is a qualitative division. But it must also be noted that St. Thomas’ account assumes without remark the fact that vowels and consonants can only be divided out of syllables, the reason being that only certain combinations of elementary vocal sounds are possible, and so are found only in syllables, a point which I treat next.
32 33

Aristotle, Metaph. V, 3 (1014a 26-35) (tr. H. G. Apostle). St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta., lect. 4, n. 5 (tr. B.A.M.): hanc autem definitionem manifestat in quatuor, in quibus utimur nomine elementi. dicimus enim ipsas literas esse elementa vocis, quia ex eis omnis vox componitur, et primo. quod ex hoc patet, quia omnes voces in literas resolvuntur, sicut in ultima. quod est enim ultimum in resolutione, oportet esse primum in compositione. literae autem non resolvuntur ulterius in alias voces specie diversas. sed, si aliquo modo dividantur, particulae in quas fit divisio, erunt conformes, idest unius speciei, sicut omnes particulae aquae sunt aqua. dividitur autem litera secundum tempora prolationis, prout litera longa dicitur habere duo tempora, brevis vero unum. nec tamen partes, in quas sic dividuntur literae, sunt diversae secundum speciem vocis. non est autem ita de syllaba: nam eius partes sunt diversae secundum speciem: alius enim sonus est secundum speciem, quem facit vocalis et consonans, ex quibus syllaba componitur.

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In sum, in one way vocal sound is divided into literae; but literae are divided quantitatively into the long and the short, a long being said to have two ‘times’ (= chronoi), a short, only one. But the syllable itself can only be divided qualitatively into the vowel and the consonant (and the subdivisions of the consonant). 2. ‘Element’ as said of both the written and the spoken litera. St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Peri Herm., lect. 2, n. 7 (tr. B.A.M.). Second, when he says Those which are written, etc. he treats the signification of writing. And according to Alexander, he introduced this in order to make clear the preceding thought by way of a likeness, as though the sense were: those in vocal sound are signs of the passions of the soul in the same way as letters are signs of vocal sounds. He also makes this clear by what follows, when he says And in a way neither letters, etc. introducing this as a sign of the preceding. For that letters signify vocal sounds is signified by this, that, just as vocal sounds are different among different people, so also the letters are different. And according to this explanation he does not therefore say and letters of those which are in vocal sound, but those which are written : the reason being that they are called ‘letters’ both in utterance and in writing, although more properly, according as they are in writing, they are called ‘letters’; but according as they are in an utterance, the are called ‘elements’ of vocal sound. But because Aristotle does not say, and just as those which are written, but makes a continuous narrative, it is better to say, as Porphyry explained, that Aristotle proceeds in the last place to complete the order of signification. For after he had said that names and verbs, which are in vocal sound, are signs of those which are in the soul, he adds by way of continuation that names and verbs which are written are signs of the names and verbs of those which are in vocal sound.34 3. On the collocation of elementary speech sounds. The next point to consider is that, as Aristotle understands it, language arises from the various compositions or collocations of syllables, giving rise to the several ‘dialects’ or ‘tongues’ spoken by the various ethnic groups, a collocation which, in any tongue or language, as we have observed, happens only in a limited number of ways. To see how this is so, it will be helpful here to review Aristotle’s teaching on the voice in relation to language, already met with above:
34

secundo, cum dicit: et ea quae scribuntur etc., agit de significatione scripturae: et secundum alexandrum hoc inducit ad manifestandum praecedentem sententiam per modum similitudinis, ut sit sensus: ita ea quae sunt in voce sunt signa passionum animae, sicut et litterae sunt signa vocum. quod etiam manifestat per sequentia, cum dicit: et quemadmodum nec litterae etc.; inducens hoc quasi signum praecedentis. quod enim litterae significent voces, significatur per hoc, quod, sicut sunt diversae voces apud diversos, ita et diversae litterae. et secundum hanc expositionem, ideo non dixit, et litterae eorum quae sunt in voce, sed ea quae scribuntur: quia dicuntur litterae etiam in prolatione et scriptura, quamvis magis proprie, secundum quod sunt in scriptura, dicantur litterae; secundum autem quod sunt in prolatione, dicantur elementa vocis. sed quia aristoteles non dicit, sicut et ea quae scribuntur, sed continuam narrationem facit, melius est ut dicatur, sicut porphyrius exposuit, quod aristoteles procedit ulterius ad complendum ordinem significationis. postquam enim dixerat quod nomina et verba, quae sunt in voce, sunt signa eorum quae sunt in anima, continuatim subdit quod nomina et verba quae scribuntur, signa sunt eorum nominum et verborum quae sunt in voce.

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Vocal sounds and modes of language differ according to locality. Vocal sounds are characterized chiefly by their pitch, whether high or low, and the kinds of sound capable of being produced are identical within the limits of one and the same species; but articulate [vocal] sound, that one might reasonably designate ‘language’ [ dialektoj], differs both in various animals, and also in the same species according to diversity of locality…. Men have the same voice or vocal sounds, but they differ from one another in speech or language. 35 Voice [fonh=] and sound [yofoj] are different from one another; and language [ dialektoj] differs from voice and sound. The fact is that no animal can give utterance to voice except [30] by the action of the pharynx, and consequently such animals as are devoid of lung have no voice; and language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the tongue. Thus, the voice and larynx can emit vowel sounds; consonantal sounds are made by the tongue and the lips; and out of these language is composed. Consequently, animals that [535a] have no tongue at all or that have a tongue not freely detached, have no language; although they may be enabled to make sounds by other organs than the tongue.36 For this creature [the dolphin] has a voice, for it is furnished with a lung and a windpipe; but its tongue is not loose, nor has it lips, so as to give utterance to an articulate sound. 37 Now speech through the voice is composed of letters, and most of these letters would be impossible to pronounce were the lips not moist, nor the tongue such as it is. For some are formed by the closure of the lips and others by applications of the tongue. But of what sort and how many such differences these things have, must be sought from those skilled in metrics.38 Why does this speech take different forms, when it does not with other animals? Is it because man can utter a number of letters, but of the other animals some utter none and some only two or three consonants? These consonants combined with vowels make articulate speech [dialektoj]. Now speech consists in conveying a meaning not by the voice [ fonh=], but by certain affections [or ‘passions’, paqesin] of it, and not only shows pain and pleasure. But the letters are certain affections of the voice. 39 But voice is the sound belonging to a thing with soul. For no inanimate thing has a voice, though they are said to give voice by a likeness, as the aulos, the lyre, and other inanimate things that have prolongation, melody, and idiom [dialektoj].40

Notice that in this final text dialektos refers to a musical quality of the voice. In order to understand this usage, we must turn to further witnesses. Let us begin with the following passage from the Peripatetic Adrastus as reported by Theon of Smyrna:41
(tr. R & D. Lawlor) VI. Adrastus, the student of Aristotle, in his
35 36

(tr. Andrew Barker) (49.6) Adrastus the Peripatetic, who discusses

Aristotle, Hist. Animal. IV, 9 (536b 9-14, 19-20) (tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson). Ibid. IV. 9 (534b 29—535a 2). 37 Ibid. IV. 9 (536a 2-3). 38 Aristotle, De Part. Animal., II. 16 (tr. W. Ogle) (660a 3-10). 39 [Aristotle], Probl. X. 39 (895a 7-14) (tr. W. S. Hett; rev. B.A.M.). 40 Aristotle, De An. II. 8, 420b 6-8: h( de\ fonh\ yo/foj ti/j e)stin e)my/xou. tw=n ga\r a)yu/xwn
ou)qe\n fwnei=, a)lla\ kaq) o(moio/thta le/getai fwnei=n, oi(=on au)lo\j kai\ lu/ra kai\ o(/sa a)/lla tw=n a)yu/xwn a)po/tasin e)/xei kai\ me/loj kai\ dia/lekton .
41

Theon of Smyrna, Mathematics Useful for the Understanding of Plato, Book II: Music. On Consonances (49.6-21) (tr. Andrew Barker, Gk ed. Hiller added by B.A.M.).

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well known treatise Consonance, says:

On

Harmony

and

harmonia and concordance more intelligibly [than Thrasymachus], speaks as follows. Just as the wholes [holoscherê] constituting the primary parts [prôta merê] of written sound [engrammtou phônês] and of all speech [pantos tou logou] are the verbs and nouns [rhêmata kai onomata], (10) and their parts are the syllables, which themselves arise from letters, while the letters are the primary sounds, elementary, indivisible and smallest (for speech is put together out of letters as its first constituents and is resolved into them as its last), so also the wholes that are parts of melodic and attuned sound [tês emmelous kai hermosomenês phonês] and of all melody [pantos tou melous] are what are called systemata (tetrachords, pen-tachords and octachords): they arise out of intervals [ ta diastemata], and the intervals out of notes [ ex phthongôn],which once again are primary and indivisible and elementary (20) sounds, out of which, as its first constituents, all melody is put together, and into which, as its last, it is resolved.1 (50) The notes differ from one another in their pitches [tais tasesin], since some of them are higher and some lower; and their pitches [taseis] are determined according to certain ratios.

Likewise, in discourse, whether written or spoken, verbs and nouns are the most important parts;

the essential parts of verbs and nouns are the syllables composed of letters; and letters are the primary signs of language, being elementary, indivisible and the shortest element, since discourse is composed of letters and, in the end, resolves into letters. In the same way, that which makes up the principal part of sound and of all melody are the systems called tetrachords, pentachords and octachords, which are composed of intervals which are themselves composed of sounds, these sounds being the primary and indivisible elements of which all melody is composed, and into which it definitively resolves itself….

The sounds differ from each other through tensions, some being higher, others lower. These tensions are defined in different manners.

Analogies between analyses of speech and of melody became common: they seem to have their origins in Plato Philebus 174ff…and 7 Aristox. El. Harm. 27.18ff. With this description of notes as ‘indivisible’ compare the definition of ‘note’ mentioned in n. 29 to 10 Nicomachus Enchiridion. (Barker’s note) [N.B. For these and other related texts, see further below.]

Note that the foregoing passage presupposes an understanding of the meaning of melos. For a Peripatetic definition of the term, cf. the following excerpt from the Aristotelian Problemata:42
Why is it that among the sensibles the audible [or ‘what is heard’, akouston] alone has character [êthos]? For even without speech melos nevertheless has character, but neither a color, a smell, nor a taste has it. Is it because [the audible] alone has movement [ kinêsis]?
42

[Aristotle], Probl. XIX. 27 (919b 26-30, 33-34) (Greek ed. Loeb; tr. W. S. Hett; rev. B.A.M.).

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Though not the movement that sound produces in us, for movement of this sort exists in other sensibles as well…. This [movement] has a likeness [sc. of ‘character’] both in its rhythms and in the order of its high and low sounds [ en te tois rhutmos kai en te ton phthongon taxei ton oxeon kai bareon (= melos)],43 but not in their mixture [en te mixei].

As for the question we are investigating, the necessity of putting together the elements in a certain way, it is well explained in the following passage from Theon:44
(tr. R. & D. Lawlor) VI. This series of modulations is not situated by chance, nor without art and according to a single mode, but following certain determined modes which must be observed in different types of melody. (tr. Andrew Barker) The process of advancing in a continuous series and in a melodic way, however, does not occur either randomly or in just one unique manner, but according to certain determinate methods [tinas tropous], in accordance with which the differences between what are called the ‘genera’ of melody [genôn tês melôidias] are understood. For as in speech and in written sound not every letter when joined to just any other (20) produces a syllable or a word, so also in melody, in respect of attuned sound [kata tên hêrmosmenên], not every note placed after just any other within the range of attuned sound makes a melodic interval [emmeles poiei diastêma], but only, as we have said, when placed according to determinate methods.45

For in the same way that in discourse, whether spoken or written, not just any letter combined with any other letter produces a syllable or a word, likewise in melody; it is not the combination of just any sounds that produces the well ordered sound, or which, in its turn, produces the interval appropriate to modulation; but it is necessary that this combination take place, as we have just said, following the law of defined modes.

The following passages from Aristotle’s student, Aristoxenus of Tarentum, 46 provide further evidence of the Peripatetic provenance of this doctrine:
The nature of continuity in melody seems to be similar to that which in speech relates to the putting together of letters. For in speaking it is natural for the voice, in each syllable, to place some one of the letters first, others second, third and fourth, and so on for the other numbers. It does not place just any letter after any other: rather, there is a kind of natural growth in the process of putting together.47
43

“The movement of the voice [= kinesis tes phones]…in the order of its high and low sounds [ en te ton phthongon taxei ton oxeon kai bareon]”—that is to say, “the order of high and low sounds in the movement of the voice”—is, of course, the definition of melos. 44 Ibid., Book II: Music. On Consonances (52.13-22) (Gk ed. Hiller added by B.A.M.). 45 Cf. 7 Aristox. El. Harm. 28.18ff. (Barker’s note) 46 Readers familiar with Aristoxenus will recall that in many matters pertaining to harmonics he departed from his master’s teaching, but in the doctrinal point at issue here he appears to be a faithful disciple of Aristotle.
47

fai/neti de\ toiau/th tij fu/sij ei)=nai tou= sunexou=j e)n t$= mel%di/# oi(/a kai\ e)n t$= le/cei peri\ th\n tw=n gramma/twn su/nqesin: kai\ ga\r e)n t%= diale/gesqai fu/sei h( fwnh\ kaq ) e(ka/sthn tw=n sullabw=n prw=to/n ti kai\ deu/teron tw=n gramma/twn ti/qhsi kai\ tri/ton kai\ te/tarton kai\ kata\ tou\j loipou\j a)riqmou\j w(sau/twj, ou) pa=n meta\ pa=n, a)ll ) e)/sti toiau/th

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In singing, similarly, when the voice places intervals and notes in succession, it appears to maintain a natural principle of combination, and not to sing every interval after every other, either when the intervals are equal or when they are unequal. 48

Cf. also the following:
And yet the order which relates to the melodic and unmelodic is similar to that concerned with the combination of letters in speech: from a given set of letters a syllable is not generated in just any way, but in some ways and not in others. 49

Cf. Richard Janko, Philodemus, On Poems, Introduction, Ch. 5: Philodemus’s Sources and Opponents, p. 172:
Sounds have a natural sequence, as the rules of Greek syllabification prove; combinations of sounds which are natural, i.e. syllables ending in vowels, are easy to pronounce, whereas those which are against nature, i.e. those ending in continuants or obstruents, are less attractive (120).50 pla- and kla- are pleasant, whereas iota is not ( 122 I-123 16). Of nonnasal stops, voiceless are better than voiced; the aspirated ones are worst, as they have unpleasant associations (122-4).

Cf. ibid., footnote 3, p. 259.
Pausimachus considered speech to be a continuous stream of sound, which the ancient reader (lacking spaces between the words) had to divide into segments by merismo/j: see 92. This notion goes back at least to Aristoxenus El. Harm. 1. 27, 2. 37 (cited in Introd., p. 170, n. 3); cf. D.H. Dem. 40. 5 (of h)=xoi), 43. 4 (of a(rmoni/a), Comp. 22. 39.

§

tij fusikh\ au)/chsij th=j sunqe/sewj.
48

Aristoxenus of Tarentum, Elementa Harmonica I. 27 (ed. Da Rios; tr. Andrew Barker, p. 145) (remaining Greek to be added). On the kind of whole at issue here, cf. Aristotle, Meta., V, 25-26 (1023b 25ff., where the Philosopher explains that this is the sort of whole which “so contains the things it contains that they form a unity” (tr. W. D. Ross). In this sense, as he goes on to state, “...the continuous and limited is a whole, when it is a unity consisting of several parts”. But such parts cannot be put together in just any way, as he also explains. An easily-understood sensible example is a jigsaw puzzle, which must be composed of certain parts put together in a certain way in order for the whole to exist as a unity. 49 Ibid. II. 37 (ed. Da Rios; tr. Andrew Barker, p. 153): e)/sti de\ toiau/th tij h( peri\ to\ e)mmele/j te
kai\ e)kmele\j ta/cij oi(/a kai\ h( peri\ <th\n> tw=n gramma/twn su/qesin e)n t%= diale/gesqai: ou) ga\r pa/nta tro/pon e)k tw=n au)tw=n gramma/twn suntiqeme/nh cullabh\ gignetai, a)lla\ pw\j me/n, pw\j d ) ou)/.
50

Cf. Aristoxenus’ view that sounds have a natural sequence ( El. Harm. 1. 27, 2. 37, cited above, p. 170, n. 3), and D. H. Comp. 15. 4 (see n. on 120). (Janko’s note)

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4. That one harmonia of the same notes differs from another if at one time it is in the Dorian mode and at another in the Phrygian, which pertains to dialektos or ‘idiom’. Aristotle, Pol. III. 10 (1276b 6-10) (tr. Antiquior & B.A.M.).
An homines quidem dicendum esse eosdem propter talem causam, civitatem autem alteram? siquidem est communicatio quaedam civitas, est autem communicatio civium politica; facta altera specie et differente politica, necessarium esse videbitur et civitatem esse non eamdem, sicut et chorum quandoque quidem comicum, quandoque autem tragicum alterum esse dicimus eisdem saepe hominibus existentibus. But should the men be called the same for such a reason, but the city different? if indeed, the city is a certain community, but the community is the polity of the citizens; the polity having been made other in species and different, it will seem to be necessary that the city not be the same, just as a chorus, often existing with the same men, we say is different [if] at one time [it is] comic but at another tragic.

Similiter autem, et omnem aliam And similarly, [we call] every other community communionem et compositionem alteram, si and composition different if the species of its species altera compositionis sit, composition is different, velut harmoniam eorumdem sonorum alteram esse dicemus, si quandoque quidem sit Doria, quandoque autem Phrygia. Sit itaque hunc habet modum, manifestum, quod maxime dicendum eamdem civitatem ad politiam rescpicientes: nomine autem vocare altero, vel eodem utique, et eisdem habitantibus ipsam, et omnino alteris hominibus. Si autem iustum dissolvere vel non dissolvere, quando ad alteram politiam transmutantur civitas, ratio altera. just as we say a harmony consisting of the same sounds [notes] is different if at one time it is Dorian and at another Phrygian. If, then, these have the same mode, it is obvious that the city ought to be called the same looking chiefly to the polity: but one may or may not call it by another name, the inhabitants being the same and the men wholly different. But if it is just to dissolve or not to dissolve [their agreements], when the city has been transformed to another polity, is another story.

Aristotle, Pol. III. 10 (1276b 6-10)
o(moi/wj de\ kai\ pa=san a)/llhn koinwni/an kai\ su/nqesin e(te/ran, a)\n ei)=doj e(/teron h)=? th=j sunqe/sewj, a(rmoni/an tw=n au)tw=n fqo/ggwn e(te(ran ei)=nai le/gomen, a)\n o(te\ me\n $)= Fw/rioj o(te\ de\ Fru/gioj.

And similarly, every other community and composition (we say is) different if the species of its composition is different, just as we will call a harmony of the same notes different if at one time it is in the Dorian mode and at another in the Phrygian.

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St. Thomas Aquinas, In III Politic, lect. 2, n. 8 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB3 LC-2N.-8 deinde cum dicit aut homines quidem etc., solvens hanc dubitationem ostendit veram rationem unitatis civitatis. et dicit quod propter praedictam successionem hominum unius generis potest aliqualiter dici eadem multitudo hominum; non tamen potest dici eadem civitas, si mutetur ordo politiae. cum enim communicatio civium, quae politia dicitur, sit de ratione civitatis, manifestum est quod mutata politia non remanet eadem civitas, sicut videmus in illis qui dicunt cantiones in choreis quod non est idem chorus si quandoque sit comicus, idest dicens cantiones comediales de factis infimarum personarum, quandoque autem tragicus, idest dicens tragicas cantiones de bellis principum: et ita etiam videmus in omnibus aliis quae consistunt in quadam compositione vel communione, quod quandocumque fit alia species compositionis non remanet identitas: sicut non est eadem harmonia, si quandoque sit dorica, idest septimi vel octavi toni, quandoque autem phrygia idest tertii vel quarti. cum igitur omnia talia habeant hunc modum, manifestum est quod civitas est dicenda eadem respiciendo ad ordinem politiae; ita quod mutato ordine politiae, licet remaneat idem locus et iidem homines, non est eadem civitas, quamvis materialiter sit eadem. potest autem civitas sic mutata vocari, vel eodem vel altero nomine, sive sint iidem, sive alii: sed si est idem nomen, erit aequivoce dictum. Then when he says, Whether men indeed etc., solving this difficulty he shows the true notion of the unity of the city. And he says that on account of the aforesaid succession of men of one race the multitude of men can in some way be called the same; but still the city cannot be called the same if the order of the polity be changed. For, since the community of the citizens which is called the polity belongs to the notion of the city, it is obvious that when the polity is changed the city does not remain the same, just as we see in those who sing songs in choruses that the chorus is not the same if at one time it is comic, i.e. singing comedic songs about the deeds of lowly persons, but at another tragic, i.e. singing tragic songs about the beginning of wars. and in this way we also see that in all things which consist in a certain composition or community, that whenever another species of composition comes about an identity does not remain: just as the harmony is not the same if sometimes it is Dorian, i.e. of the seventh or eighth tones, but at other times Phrygian, i.e. of the third or the fourth (tones). Since, then, all such things would have this mode, it is obvious that the city should be called the same looking to the order of the polity, so that the order of the polity being changed, although the place remain the same and the men the same, the city is not the same, although it is the same materially. Now the city changed in this way can be called either by the same or by another name, whether they are the same or different. But if the name is the same, it will be said equivocally.

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utrum autem propter hoc quod non remanet eadem civitas facta transmutatione politiae, sit iustum, quod conventiones prioris politiae adimpleantur, vel non, pertinet ad aliam considerationem, quod quidem in sequentibus determinabitur.

But whether, on account of the fact that the city does not remain the same when a transformation of the polity has been made, it is just that the agreements of the earlier polities be performed or not, pertains to another consideration, which will be determined in what follows.

Aristotle, Pol. III. 10 (1276b 6-10).
(tr. Antiquior) Similiter autem, et omnem aliam communionem et compositionem alteram, si species altera compositionis sit, velut harmoniam eorumdem sonorum alteram esse dicemus, si quandoque quidem sit Doria, quandoque autem Phrygia. (tr. B.A.M.) And similarly, every other community and composition (we say is) different if the species of its composition is different, just as we say a harmony consisting of the same sounds is different if at one time it is Dorian and at another Phrygian.

Aristotle, Pol. III. 10 (1276b 6-10).
(tr. H. G. Apostle) In a similar manner, we speak of any other kind of association as being different whenever the composition of its members differs, as in the case of a scale whose mode is at one time Dorian and at another Phrygian even if the notes are the same. (tr. H. Rackham) And similarly with any other common whole or composite structure we say it is different if the form of its composition is different— for instance a harmony consisting of the same notes we call different if at one time it is Dorian and at another Phrygian.

Note. One harmony consisting of the same notes differs from another when the steps between the notes differ, just as our C-Major scale differs from the C-Minor. It is clear from this description that a harmony is a kind of disposition—that is, an order of parts in a thing having parts, but according to form or species. Aristotle, Pol. III. 10 (1277a 1-12 (tr. ed. Csapo & Slater). There would not be a single virtue for the citizen and the good man. For the virtue of a proper citizen must be common to all (it is necessarily in this way that the state is best), but the virtue of the good man cannot be, unless all citizens must necessarily be good in a proper state. Further, the state is composed of unlike elements, just as an animal is composed of soul and body, and soul, of reason and appetite, and a household out of a man and woman, and a property of master and slave; and since in the same way a state is composed of all these and other unlike elements besides, there is necessarily no single virtue common to all citizens, just as among choreuts there is no single virtue for the koryphaios and the man standing beside him (parastates). 76

5. Supplement: Dionysius of Halicarnassus on the voice. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Literary Composition, Ch. 11 (tr. Stephen Usher), pp. 77-80. To prove the point, I refer to the case of instrumental music [tês organikês mousês], whether it accompanies song or dancing [kai tês en ôidêi kai tês en orchêsei charitos]: if it achieves charm in everything it aims to do, but it fails to introduce variety at the right time or strays from propriety, we feel the weight of satiety and have an unpleasant impression of disharmony with the subject. In oratory, as in music, the phrases possess melody, rhythm, variety and appropriateness; so that here too the ear delights in the melodies, is stirred by the rhythms, welcomes the variations, and all the time desires what is appropriate to the occasion. The distinction is simply one of degree. Now the melody of spoken language [dialektou men oun melos] is measured by a single interval, which is very close to that which is called a fifth. When the voice rises towards the acute, it does not rise more than three tones and a semitone; and when it falls towards the grave, it does not fall from this position by than this interval. However, the whole utterance during one word is not delivered at the same pitch throughout, but one part of it is at the acute pitch, another is at [77-78] the grave, another is at both. Of the words which have both pitches, some have the grave fused with the acute on the same syllable, and we call these “circumflexed”; others have them falling on separate syllables, and each retains its own quality. Now in words of two syllables there is no interval intermediate between low and high pitch; while in polysyllabic words, however long, only one syllable carries the acute accent among the many others in low pitch. 1 But music, both instrumental and vocal, uses a considerable number of intervals, not the fifth only. Beginning with the whole octave, it also uses in its melodies the fourth, the third, the tone, the semitone, and even the quarter-tone quite distinguishably, according to some. Music requires that the words should be subordinate to the melody, [79-80]
1

[note omitted]

and not the melody to the words. Many lines of verse illustrate this, but none better than the lyric which Euripides makes Electra address to the Chorus in the Orestes: Be silent! Silent! Let the sandal’s tread Be light, no jarring sound. Depart ye hence afar, and from this bed withdraw.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Literary Composition, Ch. 11 (tr. Stephen Usher), pp. 81-82. The same thing happens with regard to rhythm. For the diction of prose does not violate or even alter the quantities in any noun or verb, but keeps the syllables long or short as it has received them from nature. However, the arts of music and rhythm change them by shortening or lengthening them, so that they often pass into their opposites: the timelength is not regulated by the quantity of the [81-82] syllables, but the quantity of the syllables by the time-length.1

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Now that the difference between music and speech has been shown, a few remaining points may be made. If the intonation of the voice [phônês melos]—not in song but in ordinary conversation [ou tês ôidikês alla tês psilês]—has a pleasant effect upon the ear, it will be called “song-like” rather than “singing” [eumeles legoit an, all ouk emmeles, lit. ‘melodic rather than in melody’]. So too the measured arrangement of the words according to their quantity [he d en tois chronois tôn moriôn summetria, lit. ‘the symmetry of the durations of the parts’], when it preserves the lyrical form [ sôizousa to melikon schêma], is rhythmical rather than in rhythm [ eurhuthmos, all ouk enrhuthmos].2 I shall speak at the proper time of the precise nature of this distinction.
1

Dionysius is here referring especially to the metrical devices of correption, synizesis, and perhaps syncopation. (See Raven Greek Metre, pp. 24, 37-9) 2 Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric 3. 8. 1-3; Demosthenes 50 (Vol. I, p. 431).

§

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6. On the three things in which a musical instrument resembles the voice, illustrating the collocation of elementary speech sounds. Aristotle, De Anima II. 8 (420b 6-9) (tr. J. A. Smith). Voice is a kind of sound characteristic of what has soul in it; nothing that is without soul utters voice, it being only by a metaphor that we speak of the voice of the flute [ aulos] or the lyre [kithara] or generally of what (being without soul) possesses the power of producing a succession of notes which differ in length and pitch and timbre. The metaphor is based on the fact that all these differences are found also in voice. St. Thomas Aquinas, In II De Anima, lect. 18, nn. 2-3 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB2 LC18N.-2 nullum autem inanimatum habet vocem. et si aliquando aliquod eorum dicatur habere vocem, hoc est secundum similitudinem, sicut tibia et lyra et huiusmodi instrumenta dicuntur habere vocem. habent enim tria, eorum soni, in quibus assimilantur voci. quorum primum est extensio. manifestum est enim quod in corporibus inanimatis ex simplici percussione causatur sonus: unde, cum percussio statim transeat, sonus etiam cito transit et non continuatur. sed vox causatur ex percussione aeris ad vocalem arteriam, ut post dicetur: quae quidem percussio continuatur secundum appetitum animae, et ideo vox extendi potest et continuari. illa igitur instrumenta, de quibus dictum est, ex hoc ipso quod habent quamdam continuitatem in suo sono, habent similitudinem vocis. LB2 LC18N.-3 secundum autem, in quo assimilantur voci, est melos, idest consonantia. But the second thing in which they are likened to the voice is melos—that is, consonance. But no inanimate thing has a voice. And if sometimes some one of them is said to have a voice, this is according to a likeness, as the aulos and the lyre and other instruments of the sort are said to have a voice. For their sounds have three things in which they are likened to the voice. The first is prolongation. For it is obvious that in inanimate bodies sound is caused by a simple percussion [‘stroke’, ‘blow’]: and so, since the percussion passes away at once, the sound also passes quickly and is not continued. But voice is caused by a percussion of air against the vocal artery [= ‘windpipe’], as will be stated hereafter— a percussion which is continued according to a desire of the soul—and so the voice can be prolonged and continued. The instruments mentioned, then, because they have a certain continuity in their sound, have a likeness to the voice.

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sonus enim corporis inanimati, cum ex simplici percussione proveniat, uniformis est, non habens in se diversitatem gravis et acuti: unde in eo non est consonantia, quae ex eorum proportione causatur. sed vox diversificatur secundum grave et acutum, eo quod percussio, quae causat vocem, diversimode fit secundum appetitum animalis vocem emittentis. unde, cum in praedictis instrumentis distinctio sit gravis et acuti in sono, eorum sonus est cum quadam melodia ad similitudinem vocis. LB2 LC18N.-3 tertium, in quo sonus horum instrumentorum habet similitudinem vocis, est locutio, idest interpretatio sonorum ad similitudinem locutionis. manifestum est enim, quod humana locutio non est continua; unde et in libro praedicamentorum, oratio, quae in voce profertur ponitur species quantitatis discretae. distinguitur enim oratio per dictiones, et dictio per syllabas; et hoc accidit propter diversas percussiones aeris ab anima. et similiter sonus praedictorum instrumentorum distinguitur secundum diversas percussiones, utpote diversarum chordarum, vel diversorum flatuum, aut aliquorum huiusmodi.

For the sound of an inanimate body, since it comes from a simple percussion, is uniform, not having in itself the diversity of low and high. And so there is no consonance in it, which is caused by their proportion [i.e. ‘ratio’]. But the voice is diversified according to the low and high by the fact that a percussion which causes the voice is produced in diverse ways according to the desire of the animal uttering the voice. And so, since in the instruments mentioned there is a distinction of the low and the high in sound, their sound has a certain ‘melody’ similar to the voice.

The third thing in which the sound of these instruments has a likeness to the voice is locution—that is, an interpretation of sounds similar to locution. For it is obvious that human locution is not continuous; and so, in the book of the Predicaments, [cf. Cat., 6, 4b 20] the speech which is brought forth in the voice is placed in the species of discrete quantity. For speech is distinguished by words, and a word by syllables; and this happens on account of diverse percussions of the air by the soul. And likewise the sound of the aforesaid instruments is distinguished according to different percussions, for example, of different strings, or of different breaths, or of other things

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of the sort.

N.B. Following Moerbeke’s translation, which reads locutio, St. Thomas understands the third point of likeness to consist in the power to bring forth the voice discontinuously , the syllables distinguishing it being either long or short, themselves arising from “diverse persussions of the air by the soul; but as we shall explain below, the reading dialektos (= idioma) of our MSS leads to a quite different exegesis. 7. Note on lexis, dialektos, and the three points of resemblance. As have seen, in Aristotle’s view ‘speech’ is not merely ‘articulate vocal sound’, but such sound insofar is it is ‘significative’ or ‘has meaning’. Now as one may gather from his several accounts excerpted above, in Aristotle’s usage the terms lexis and dialektos, though they name the same thing in subject, namely articulate vocal sound, nevertheless differ in account; the name dialektos being used by him to designate articulate vocal sound according as it arises from a combination of vocal sounds (vowel, semi-vowel, and mute); but lexis is the term he uses when considering the same thing according as it is measured by the long and short syllable, and hence prescinding from its qualitative composition out of vocal sounds. As an example of the former usage, cf. Historia Animalium, IV. 9 (535a 29-30), where the Philosopher defines ‘language’ [= dialektos] as “the articulation of vocal sounds by the instrumentality of the tongue”; but in what immediately follows (at 535a 30) he goes on to explain ‘articulation’ as meaning “a sound of vowel and consonant in combination”, in which usage the name is manifestly taken qualitatively. As an example of the latter, consider, for instance, Rhetoric, III. 1 (1430b 30-31), where he says, “As for the arrangement [schema] of the language [= lexis], number is rhythm, of which metres [or ‘verses’] are a part. Thus, speech [= logos] should have rhythm, but not metre. For then it will be poetry [= poiêma]” (tr. B.A.M.). Taking the foregoing passage together with the passage from the Categories referenced above, the reader will observe that Aristotle uses lexis to designate articulate vocal sound quantitatively, according as it is measured by long and short syllables, themselves being caused by “different percussions of the air by the soul”, as we have seen. Now as many of the witnesses cited note, there is an analogy between speech and musical sound: for, just as in the notes produced by a musical instrument certain elementary tones are naturally apt to be composed in certain ways so as to form intervals, as the tones themselves are composed of certain ‘harmonics’ or partial tones in ‘voices’, so, too, elementary vocal sounds are composed in certain ways to form syllables. 51 Consequently, just as a distinctive way of composing elementary musical tones into intervals and intervals into ‘systems’ produces the ‘idiom’ characteristic of a harmonic genus, or the timbre characteristic of a musical instrument, so also a distinctive way of composing elementary speech sounds, vowels, semi-vowels, and consonants, into syllables, and the syllables into words, produces a unique ‘tongue’ or ‘idiom’.
51

For, as Richard Janko notes (op. cit., p. 172), certain combinations are natural and hence pleasing to the ear: “Sounds have a natural sequence, as the rules of Greek syllabification prove; combinations of sounds which are natural, i.e. syllables ending in vowels, are easy to pronounce, whereas those which are against nature, i.e. those ending in continuants or obstruents, are less attractive”. Likewise, there is a natural combination of musical sounds constituting a distinct ‘idiom’ or harmonia, as a whole tone combined with another whole tone and a semi-tone compose a tetrachord of the diatonic genus, according to which combination it differs from a tetrachord arranged in the enharmonic genus. Similarly, the tones produced by a lyre differ in the composition of ‘harmonics’ or partial tones from that of a wind instrument, like the aulos, giving the instrument its characteristic timbre, as will be explained below on the overtone series.

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Now it is evident that the difference between lexis and dialektos necessarily impacts the correctness of St. Thomas’ interpretation, 52 since the third point of likeness so understood, namely, as the production of the voice discontinuously, necessarily reduces to the first point, which is prolongation,53 and thus omits the point of resemblance produced by the collocation of elementary sounds producing an ‘idiom’, or ‘dialect’, or ‘timbre’. (a) The three points of likeness: (a) ‘prolongation’ (the producing and sustaining of the voice on a single pitch) (b) ‘consonance’ (its movement as by ‘steps’ from one tone to another) (c) ‘idiom’ (the subsequent collocation of tones, as in small whole number ratios) (b) The three cases to be considered in explaining the analogy: (1) the speaking voice (itself including two cases) (2) the singing voice (3) the voice of a musical instrument (c) prolongation: the producing (and sustaining) of the ‘voice’ at a single pitch (cf. the definition of ‘note’ as the incidence or sustaining of the voice on a single pitch): (1) in the speaking voice: (a) the production of a vowel sound (b) the production of the other kinds of littera: a semi-vowel or a mute (2) in the singing voice: the production of a note (3) in the voice of a musical instrument: the production of a note (d) consonance: having produced some first pitch, the producing (and sustaining) of the ‘voice’ at a subsequent pitch standing in a certain relation to the first pitch produced: (1) in the speaking voice: (a) the movement of the voice from a single pitch to another, not by steps, constituting the intonation of the speaking voice (b) such a movement constituting an interval according to a simple whole number ratio, such as 2:1, producing an octave, or 3:2, a fifth, etc., constituting a ‘harmony’ or consonance of the voice by steps (cp. the ‘root’ and ‘partials’ of an overtone series) (2) in the singing voice: the same as (1)(b) (3) in the voice of a musical instrument: the same as (1)(b) (e) idiom: the collocation of vocal sounds so produced: (1) in the speaking voice: the collocation of vowels, semi-vowels, and/or consonants in a determinate manner, as with the dialect or idiom spoken by a group or people
52 53

And note that the whole problem arises from St. Thomas’ text reading locutio instead of idioma here. For just as the power to sit is not other than the power to stand, so, too, the power to discontinue the voice is not other than the power to sustain it on a single pitch, and so cannot constitute a separate point of likeness.

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dwelling in a certain place: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian as dialects or idioms (= ‘tongues’ spoken by a people) (2) in the singing voice: the collocation of intervals of notes or tones: the dialect or idiom spoken by the singing voice: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, etc. as harmoniai or ‘modes’ (3) in the voice of a musical instrument: the collocation of intervals of notes or tones: the dialect or idiom spoken by an aulos or kythera: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, etc. as harmoniai or ‘modes’54 8. The analogy between speech, poetry, and music. To better understand the foregoing considerations, it will be helpful to see how the analogy as spelled out above by Adrastus has its basis in Aristotle. Cf. Rhet., III. 1 (1430b 30-31) (tr. B.A.M.):
As for the arrangement [or ‘configuration’; schema] of the language [lexis], number is rhythm, of which metres [or ‘verses’] are a part. Thus, speech [ logos] should have rhythm, but not metre. For then it will be poetry [poiêma].55

Cf. also Poetics ch. 6 (1449b 35) (tr. B.A.M.):
[35] But by ‘language’ [lexis] I mean the composition itself of the metres [or ‘verses’, ten ton metron sunthesin]….

Cf. also Poetics ch. 6 (1450b 12-15) (tr. B.A.M.):
But fourth is the language consisting in speech [ ton men logon he lexis]: but I mean (as was said before), language is that interpretation which is by naming [ lexin einaiten dia tes onomasias hermeneian], which has the same power in metres [or ‘verses’] as in speech.

In the first text, Aristotle says that speech will be ‘poetry’ ( poiêma) when the language in which it consists is so configured as to have metre, a configuration, as is explained elsewhere, resulting from a certain ordering of long and short syllables. And note here that the definition is through genus, ‘configuration’, and difference, ‘language’. In the second, Aristotle gives another definition of poiêma, although he does not there use the name; the definition being given through form (‘composition’), and matter (‘metres’). In the third, the definition is from the end and the means for attaining it. By way of comparison, just as lexis understood as poiêma—that is, ‘language’ understood as ‘poetry’—consists in a ‘composition of metres’ (Rhet. III. 1, 1430b 30-31),56 so, too, melopoiia would consist in a composition of melodic phrases ( mele)—a melos being the order of high and low sounds in the movement of the voice (cf. [Arist.], Probl. XIX. 27, 919b 26-30, 33-34). Likewise, in calling lexis a composition of metres, Aristotle is taking
54

Note that the analogy regards the singing voice and the ‘voice’ of a musical instrument; but the explanation of dialektos requires the consideration of the speaking voice; there being a counterpart to each element. 55 Note that Aristotle defines poiêma as speech having metre. It will be recalled that the Sophist Gorgias in his Encomium of Helen defined poiêsis in this way, whereas Aristotle understands the latter term as meaning “plot construction”; cf. Poet. ch. 1. 56 To take some examples: epic poetry consists in a hexameter line of verse composed with another and another, etc., but elegiac poetry, in such a line composed with a line of pentameter verse forming a couplet, which in turn is composed with other such couplets, etc.

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the line of verse as the immediate constituent of poetry, where it is understood that such a line is itself composed of ‘feet’, and ‘feet’ of ‘times’. Similarly, mele or melopoiia must consist of a sustema or ‘arrangement’ like the tetrachord, which in turn is composed of a lesser unit, namely, phthongoi or ‘notes’. (And note also that the phrase “melodic and attuned sound” in Adrastus is virtually a definition of melopoiia, although he does not there use the name.)57 9. Definitions applicable to articulate vocal sound in sum: (a) poiêma • • by causal predication: that arrangement 58 of language which is effected by its possession of metre (worded by B.A.M.) by genus and difference: language (lexis) in the form of speech (logos) so arranged or configured as to have metre (cf. Rhet., III. 1, 1430b 30-31)59

(b) lexis • • by form and matter: “the composition itself of the metres (or ‘verses’)” ( Poet. ch. 6, 1449b 35) by that for the sake of which and the means thereto [looking to the signification]: “that interpretation which is by naming” [or ‘which takes place through naming’; lexin einaiten dia tes onomasias hermeneian], when, e.g., the names are disposed in metre (Poet. 6, 1450b 12-15)

(c) dialektos • by that for the sake of which and the means thereto [looking to the signifier]: “… and language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the instrumentality of the tongue” (Hist. Animal., IV. 9, 535a 29-30)

10. Correspondences (going from the ultimate parts, or ‘elements’, up to the wholes which they compose).
In lexis (= ‘language’) 1. ‘letters’ (vowels & consonants) In metris (= ‘metre’, ‘verse’) 1. ‘times’ (long or short) In melos (= ‘melody’) 1. ‘notes’ (high or low)

57

In a separate discussion, I endeavor to show that melopoeia may also be defined as ‘melodic composition’ itself, or ‘sounds in melodic combination’—that is, a disposition ( diathesis) consisting in an order of notes (phthongoi) according to form or species (eidos) (such a form or species constituting the harmoniai). 58 And note that ‘arrangement’ or schema here means an order of parts in a thing having parts according to the figure and species of the whole , which is the third meaning of diathesis or ‘disposition’ Aristotle lays down in the Metaphysics (cf. V. 19, 1022 b 1-2). 59 Note that in the Poetics Aristotle never uses the word in this sense: rather, in every occurrence it names the result of the activity of the poetic art, as in the ‘poems’ of Homer.

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2. syllables 3. verbs & names (words)

2. feet 3. metres or lines of verse (dactylic hexameter; trochaic tetrameter, etc.) 4. verse (metrical composition) (= poiêma)

2. intervals 3. systems (or arrangements) of intervals (Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, etc.) 4. melopoeia (‘melodic and attuned sound’; ‘melodic composition’ or ‘tune’) (= melopoiia)

4. speech (phrase; sentence) (= logos)

11. Correspondences (going from the whole to the parts). Speech is composed of verbs and names (which we call ‘words’); but words are composed of syllables; and syllables are composed of ‘letters’, understood as vowels and consonants (the latter being divided into semi-vowels and mutes). Verse is composed of metres; but metres are composed of feet; and feet are composed of ‘times’, understood (in Greek and Latin) as the long and the short in duration. Melopoeia is composed of systemata (that is, ‘systems’, or ‘arrangements’, ‘of intervals’), but systems or arrangements of intervals, or harmoniai, are composed of diastemata (‘intervals’); and intervals are composed of phthongoi (‘notes’), understood as the high and low in pitch. Gathering up the foregoing observations on ‘speech’, we arrive at the following formulations: • • • • ‘speech’ (logos as oratio), understood as something brought forth in the voice; ‘speech’, understood as ‘thought’ (to dianoeisthai) or the unuttered conversation of the soul with herself; ‘locution’ (lexis; locutio), understood as articulate vocal sound according as it includes speech, insofar as the latter is itself understood as being composed of long and short syllables; ‘language’ (dialektos), understood as articulate vocal sound according as it is composed of the several species of vocal sound, the vowel, the semi-vowel, and the mute (or ‘consonant’), as Aristotle divides them (cf. Poet., ch. 20, 1456b 20ff.); and finally, ‘speech’ (logos; oratio) considered as significative vocal sound.60 §

60

Considered thus, it is understood to be composed of the name and the verb.

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12. Compendium of definitions. LOGOS (‘SPEECH’, ‘DISCOURSE’). (1) Speech is significative vocal sound, deriving from thought61 (The Suda, Lambda 658, tr. Marcelo Boeri; rev. B.A.M.); (2) according to Plato,62 the result of the intertwining [sumploke] of a verb [rhema] with a name [onoma], where the former is understood as that which discloses being [ ousia] in the form of praxis or ‘action’ (cf. Sophist 262a), the latter as a significant sound of voice unveiling being in the form of the one doing the action ( ibid.), with the intertwining or combination being such that there is the expression of action or inaction or of existence or non-existence (ibid. 262c); or otherwise as “giving an intimation about something which is, or is becoming, or has become, or will be” ( ibid.); (3) according to Aristotle, “significative vocal sound, some parts of which are significative separately [kechorismenon; separatim], that is, as an expression [or ‘thing said’, phasis; dictio], but not as an affirmation” (De Int. I. 4, 16b 27-28);63 or again, according to Aristotle, (4) “composite significative vocal sound some of whose parts signify something by themselves [kath auto; secundum se]” (Poet. 20, 1457a 24).64 LEXIS (‘LANGUAGE’, ‘LOCUTION’; ‘DICTION’; ‘VERBAL EXPRESSION’). (1) Articulate vocal sound understood quantitatively, according as it is measured by long and short syllables (B.A.M., after Aristotle); that is, (ii) “the distinguishing of speech by words and a word by syllables by means of diverse percussions of the air by (= at the command of) the soul” (St. Thomas Aquinas, In II De Anima, lect. 18, n. 4); (2) in the sense of poiêma or ‘poetry’, “the composition itself of the metres” (Aristotle, Poet. 6, 1449b 35, tr. B.A.M.); or again (ii), “that interpretation which is through naming” (ibid., 1450b 14).
lo/goj e)sti fwnh\ shmantikh/ a)po dianoi/aj e)kpempome/nh . Cf. Sophist 262 c-e (tr. B. Jowett): “Str. When anyone says ‘A man learns,’ should you not call this the simplest and least of sentences [ logoi]? Theaet. Yes. [d] Str. Yes, for he now arrives at the point of giving an intimation about something which is, or is becoming, or has become, or will be. And he not only names, but he does something, by connecting verbs with nouns; and therefore we say that he discourses, and to this connection of words [e] we give the name of discourse [logos]”. 63 “For”, as Aristotle goes on to say, “not every speech is composed from verbs and names, ...but there is speech which happens to be without verbs, ||for example, the definition of man|; yet a part will always have a certain significance, for example, in ‘Cleon walks’, ‘Cleon’” (ed. rev. & tr. B.A.M.). Hence, unlike Plato, Aristotle does not require the presence of “intertwining” for composite vocal sound significative by human agreement to be ‘speech’. But as we shall see from a passage cited from the Theaetetus below, Plato himself allowed definitions to be instances of logos. This apparent divergence may be reconciled by recognizing that while Aristotle’s definition is proper to logic, Plato’s understanding of logos here, while also primarily that of the dialectician, is nevertheless open to the formulation proper to the grammarian, as may be seen by considering the following definitions: Dionysius Thrax, Techne Grammatike: logo/j e)sti le/cewj sun/qesij dia/noian dhlou=sa; “Speech is a composition of words expressing a thought” (tr. B.A.M.); cf. also Priscian, Inst. gramm. ii. 4. 14: Oratio est ordinatio dictionum congrua, sententiam perfectam demonstrans ; “Speech is a fitting ordering of words, expressing a complete thought” (tr. B.A.M.). Cf. also St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Peri Herm., lect. 7, n. 4, where he defines oratio perfecta, ‘perfect speech’, as that which “completes a thought” [perfectae orationis, quae complet sententiam ], and “make[s] perfect sense in the soul of the hearer [(facit) perfectum sensum in animo audientis ]”. Hence Plato’s account is to be understood of perfect speech, rather than of speech simply. 64 The parts which signify separately are, or course, the name or noun and the verb, the former being defined as “vocal sound significative by human agreement, without time, no part of which is significant separately”, the latter, as vocal sound signifying with time, “and a sign of something said of something else” ( De interp.., 16a 19; 16b 5), it being proper to “substance considered in itself” to be signified by a noun or a pronoun, as St. Thomas notes (op. cit., lect. 4, n. 7), whereas “the verb signifies action or passion” (ibid., lect. 5, n. 5).
61 62

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DIALEKTOS (‘DIALECT’; ‘IDIOM’; ‘LANGUAGE’). Articulate vocal sound understood qualitatively, according as it is composed of vowels and consonants—that is, “the articulation of vowel sounds by means of the tongue and of non-vowels or consonants by means of the tongue and the lips” (cf. Aristotle, Hist. Animal., IV, 9, 535b 29—535a 3). IDIOM. In language, (1) that quality of a composite vocal sound which results from the collocation of vowels and consonants in a certain way (worded by B.A.M.); in music, (2) that quality of a composite vocal sound which results from the collocation of intervals in a certain way; that is, the quality of a composite vocal sound which results from the presence of overtones (idem); syn. timbre. 13. On rhythm and metre. [Aristotle], Probl., XIX. 38 (add). We delight in rhythm because it has a recognizable and regular number, and makes us move in an ordered fashion. St. Thomas Aquinas, In X Meta., lect. 2, n. 15 (tr. B.A.M.). Likewise also the vocal sounds by which we measure are many. For the quantities of one metre or of one foot are measured by different syllables, of which some are short and others long. Likewise also there is the diameter of the circle and also the side of the square: and any other magnitude measured by two things: for an unknown quantity is not found except through two known quantities.65 14. On the definitions of rhythm and metre. Order is in the before and after of things; but the before and after in movement gives rise to a number; hence in bodily movement rhythm is the number of bodily motion according to a before and after; not just any number, but some ratio. A definition of rhythm can be induced according to an analogy with the definition of consonance given by St. Thomas, commenting on Aristotle (In II Post. Anal., lect. 1, n. 8): “Consonance is a ratio, i.e. a proportion in numbers of the high and low”.66 Now since harmony is a consonance of sounds, it follows that harmony is the ratio or proportion in numbers of the high and low in sound. But rhythm in speech is constituted by a number of long and short syllables in its pronunciation or expression, as is clear from the following text of St. Thomas ( In V Meta., lect. 4, n. 5): “Now a ‘letter’ is divided according to the time of its pronunciation, inasmuch as a long ‘letter’ is said to have two times, but a short (letter), one (time).”67
65

similiter etiam voces quibus etiam mensuramus, plures sunt. quantitas enim unius metri vel unius pedis, mensuratur ex diversis syllabis, quarum aliae sunt breves, et aliae longae. similiter etiam est diameter circuli vel quadrati, et etiam latus quadrati: et quaelibet magnitudo mensuratur duobus: non enim invenitur quantitas ignota nisi per duas quantitates notas. 66 Consonantia est ratio, idest proportio in numerum secundum acutum et grave. 67 Dividitur autem litera secundum tempora prolationis, prout litera longa dicitur habere duo tempora, brevis vero unum.

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Again, at In X Meta. V, lect. 2, n. 15, St. Thomas says: “For the quantities of one metre or of one foot are measured by different syllables, of which some are short and others long.”68 This understanding is also evident in the account Aristotle gives of the several kinds of rhythm: “The paean is a third kind of rhythm, related to those under discussion. For it has the ratio of three to two [i.e. three short syllables and one long, the latter equal in time to two beats], whereas the others are one to one [i.e. the heroic, with one long syllable and two shorts], or two to one [i.e. iambic, a long and a short; and trochaic, a short and a long]. And one-and-one half [i.e. the ratio of three to two] is the mean ratio, and this is the paean.” ( Rhetoric, III. 8, 1409a 3-6, tr. W Rhys Roberts) Hence, rhythm may be defined as a ratio in numbers of the long and short in syllables ; or more simply as the ratio in syllables of the long and short. Now a given metre is a species of rhythm differing from it by the regularity of the recurrence of its characteristic foot, creating in the listener an expectation of its immediate return. So, then, metre can be defined as a rhythm the regularity of the recurrence of whose characteristic foot creates in the listener an expectation of its immediate return. 15. Definitions. RHUTHMOS (‘RHYTHM’). According to its first imposition, (1) numbered number (common doctrine); properly speaking, (2) the number of the configuration of the language (cf. Aristotle, Rhet., III. 1, 1430b 30-31); (3) by analogy with Aristotle’s definition of harmonia, the ratio in numbers of the long and short in durations (sc. of the syllables)—that is, the configuration of the words according to the long and short in durations; or more simply, (ii) the ratio in durations of the long and short; also, (4) a system of durations (‘times’ or chronoi) arranged in ‘feet’; hence, (5) the recurrence of a “recognizable and regular number” (gnorimon kai tetagmenon aruthmon, [Aristotle], Probl., XIX. 38, 920b 34-5); or otherwise, (6) an order which follows the melos of the harmonia (The Suda, s.v. “rhuthmos”). §

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quantitas enim unius metri vel unius pedis, mensuratur ex diversis syllabis, quarum aliae sunt breves, et aliae longae.

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VIII. ON THE MOTION OF THE VOICE. 1. According to Boethius and Vitruvius. Boethius, De Institutione Musica, Liber I (Source: Boethii De institutione musica libri quinque, ed. Godofredus Friedlein; tr. Calvin M. Bower).
[-199-] De explanatione. divisione vocum earumque 12. Concerning the classification of voices and the explanation thereof

XII. Sed de his hactenus. Nunc vocum Enough concerning these things. Now we differentias colligamus. should consider the different kinds of voices. Omnis vox aut suneches est, quae continua, aut diastematike, quae dicitur cum intervallo suspensa. Et continua quidem est, qua loquentes vel prosam orationem legentes verba percurrimus. Festinat enim tunc vox non haerere in acutis et gravibus sonis, sed quam velocissime verba percurrere, expediendisque sensibus exprimendisque sermonibus continuae vocis impetus operatur. Diastematike autem est ea, quam canendo suspendimus, in qua non potius sermonibus sed modulis inservimus, estque vox ipsa tardior et per modulandas varietates quoddam faciens intervallum, non taciturnitatis sed suspensae ac tardae potius cantilenae. His, ut Albinus autumat, additur tertia differentia, quae medias voces possit includere, cum scilicet heroum poema legimus neque continuo cursu, ut prosam, neque suspenso segniorique modo vocis, ut canticum. Every voice is either sunexh/j, which is continuous, or diastematixh/, which it is named when it is sustained by means of interval. A voice is continuous when, as in speaking or reciting a prose oration, we hurry over words: the voice hastens not to get caught up in high and low sounds, but to run through the words very quickly, and the impulse of continuous voice is occupied with pronouncing and giving meanings to the words.
Diastematixh/, on the other hand, is that voice

which we sustain in singing, wherein we submit less to words than to a sequence of intervals forming a tune. This particular voice is more deliberate, and by measuring out differences of pitch it produces a certain interval, not of silence, but of sustained and drawn out song. To these, as Albinus asserts, is added a third, different kind, which can incorporate intermediate voices, such as when we recite heroic poems not in continuous flow as is prose or in a sustained and slower moving manner as in song.

Vitruvius Pollo, The Ten Books on Architecture , (ed. Morris Hicky Morgan) Book V. Chapter IV: Harmonics.
[2] Vox enim mutationibus cum flectitur, alias fiat acuta, alias gravis; duobusque modis movetur, e quibus unus effectus habet continuatos, alter distantis. [2] 2. The voice, in its changes of position when shifting pitch, becomes sometimes high, sometimes low, and its movements are of two kinds, in one of which its progress is continuous, in the other by intervals.

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Continuata vox neque in finitionibus consistit neque in loco ullo, effiicitque terminationes non apparentes, intervalla autem media parentia, uti sermone cum dicamus: sol lux flos vox. Nunc enim nec unde incipit nec ubi desinit, intellegitur; sed quod ex acuta facta est gravis et ex gravi acuta, apparet auribus. Per distantiam autem e contrario. Namque cum flectitur inmutatione vox statuit se in alicuius sonitus finitionem, deinde in alterius, et id ultro citro crebre faciendo constans apparet sensibus, uti in cantionibus cum flectentes vocem varietatem facimus.

The continuous voice does not become stationary at the “boundaries” or at any definite place, and so the extremities of its progress are not apparent, but the fact that there are differences of pitch is apparent, as in our ordinary speech in sol, lux, flos, vox; for in these cases we cannot tell at what pitch the voice begins, nor at what pitch it leaves off, but the fact that it becomes low from high and high from low is apparent to the ear. In its progress by intervals the opposite is the case. For here, when the pitch shifts, the voice, by change of position, stations itself on one pitch, then on another, and, as it frequently repeats this alternating process, it appears to the senses to become stationary, as happens in singing when we produce a variation of the mode by changing the pitch of the voice. And so, since it moves by intervals, the points at which it begins and where it leaves off are obviously apparent in the boundaries of the notes, but the intermediate points escape notice and are obscure, owing to the intervals.

Modulationis itaque intervallis ea cum versatur, et unde initium fecit et ubi desiit, apparet in sonorum patentibus finitionibus, mediana autem patentia intervallis obscurantur.

2. The motion of the voice in relation to pitch and the overtone series. Dr. Charles W. L. Johnson, “The Motion of the Voice, h( th=j fwnh=j ki/nesij, in the Theory of Ancient Music” (TAPhA 30, 1899, 42-55), pp. 42-43. Many of the Greek treatises on music begin the development of the subject proper by describing and analyzing the changes in pitch which take place in the course of human utterance. The term applied to these changes was h( th=j fwnh=j ki/nesij. I propose in this paper to consider the nature of this ‘motion,’ the merits and defects of the ancient analysis, and the object of introducing the subject in treatises on musical theory, and then to show what light is thereby thrown for us upon the nature of ancient Greek music. In almost every sound there is present to a sensible degree the property or quality of musical pitch. Pitch, regarded as a physical phenomenon, may be defined as regularity or periodicity in the vibrations of some suitable medium, such as air or water. Every set of regular or periodic vibrations constitutes what is technically called a simple sound, and the degree of pitch of this sound depends upon the rapidity of the vibrations. A simple sound of this nature will seldom, if ever, occur in the ordinary course of events. Those sounds which appear to our senses the purest and simplest are in reality compound sounds in almost every instance.

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The material objects which generate the vibrations in the air are usually of such a nature that not one set of vibrations only, but a number of sets at various rates is produced at one and the same time. Now the effect upon the ear of such a compound sound depends upon the interrelationship of the constituent pitches. If these pitches are not related to one another on certain numerical principles, the sound is a noise. If, on the other hand, a certain relationship exists between them, the sound is a musical sound. For a musical sound is a complex, formed by a series of simple sounds. Of these the lowest in pitch is generally the loudest. Superimposed upon this lowest pitch there will be found a group of fainter pitches, standing at certain definite distances from one another. These are the so-called overtones, and it is their presence which determines the ‘quality’ of the sound as a whole. Simple though the sound may seem to the ear, it is, in reality, as it were, a chord, in which all but one of the notes are faint. It is easy to see what a large number of combinations can be formed by varying the intensity of the several overtones, by omitting some and strengthening others. In this way physicists account for the great variety of quality observable in the tones of instruments and voices. In a musical sound, then, of the constituent related pitches one is predominant. 69 This gives the note its name and position. But in a noise, instead of order among the pitches we have confusion, instead of one predominant pitch, many pitches of considerable intensity. W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy. I. The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans. Ch. IV: Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, p. 228. Additional Note: ‘Speed’ and pitch The passage from Archytas himself suggests that he was also not very clear in his own mind about any distinction between ‘speed’ and ‘violence’ of movement. Adrastus (second century A.D. quoted by Theon, p. 50 H.), in a very lucid account of the Pythagorean theory, clears up this latter obscurity, which may have been only due to carelessness of expression: ‘The Pythagoreans give the following account. Every melody and every note are sounds, and a sound is a blow inflicted on air which is prevented from dispersing. Therefore there can be no sound, and hence no note, where the air is undisturbed. But when a blow and a movement occur in the air, then if it is swift the note produced is high, if slow it is low; if violent the noise is loud, if gentle, soft. The speed and violence of the motions may or may not stand in a relationship of rational proportion to one another. If they do not, the sounds are disproportionate and discordant, not to be called notes but mere noises, whereas motions that stand in a simple numerical relationship, or such that one is a multiple of the other or superparticular to it [i.e. containing the whole plus a fraction with 1 for its numerator], produce genuine and mutually compatible notes. Some deserve to be called only this, but those constructed according to the primary, commonly recognized and most fundamental ratios are actually called concordant.’

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I.e. the “root” or fundament of an overtone series. See further below.

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3. Sound and pitch according to modern experimental science. Frank Lamonica. Lesson Supplement: The Acoustics of Music. The Basics: Sound, Vibration, Frequency, Pitch, and Amplitude.70 Sound is created by the vibration of some physical object. That object may be a solid, liquid, or even a gas. All physical objects have a property called elasticity that comes into play to create vibrations. Elasticity determines how an object that is deformed by some force will tend to restore itself to its original position. A diving board is a good example of an object that is deformed by the diver and which restores itself to its original form after the diver leaves the board. The movement of the board from its rest position to the maximum deformation and then back to the rest position is called a half cycle. The elasticity of the object again comes into play as the inertia of the moving object actually causes it to move past its rest position and to deform itself again in the opposite direction of the initial force. The motion from the original position to the maximum deformation in the opposite direction and then back to the original position is another half cycle. This back and forth vibration occurs at a rate that depends on the physical makeup of the object being vibrated. A complete vibration occurs when an object completes two half cycles. The rate of motion of the object is measured in cycles per second, which is the definition of frequency—the number of cycles per second at which an object is vibrating. The pitch of a sound is determined solely by the frequency at which the object is vibrating. This is a very important point—the pitch does NOT depend on the force used to set the object into motion. The amount of force used controls the amplitude, or loudness, of the sound, not the pitch. The pitches we use in our musical culture have evolved from years of experimentation and argument. It was not until a conference was held in London in 1939 with the blessing of the International Standards Association that the pitch of the note “A” which is used today was fixed at 440 cycles per second. This replaced the prior internationally agreed upon “A” of 435 cycles per second which had been in place since 1859. The methods of computing the pitches in our 12 tone musical scale have a complex but interesting history which I’ll explain after we talk about harmonics, overtones, and intervals. [end excerpt] 3. On pitch, tone, timbre, and related matters. PITCH. In music, the position of a tone in the musical scale, today designated by a letter name and determined by the frequency of vibration of the source of the tone. An international conference held in 1939 set a standard for A above middle C of 440 cycles per second. (Encyclopedia.com, sv. “Pitch”) TONE. In music, a tone is distinguished from noise by its definite PITCH, caused by the regularity of the vibrations that produce it. Any tone possesses the attributes of pitch, intensity, and quality. Pitch is determined by the frequency of the vibration, measured by cycles per second. Intensity, or loudness, is determined by the amplitude, measured in decibels.

70

(www.classic-guitar.com/less5sup.html [1/15/05])

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Quality is determined by the overtones (subsidiary tones), the distinctive timbre of any instrument being the result of the number and relative prominence of the over tones it produces. (Encyclopedia.com, s.v. “Tone”) That quality of a musical sound which depends upon the comparative rapidity of the vibrations producing it; degree of acuteness or graveness of tone (sometimes also in reference to the tone of voice in speaking). Also a particular standard of pitch for voices and instruments, a concert pitch, etc. (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “Pitch”) Pitch is something we subjectively perceive and it is directly related to the relative spacing of the harmonics in a sound. (Stephen M. Sprenger, Re: Time domain pitch shifting) In music, (the) position of a single sound in the complete range of sound. Sounds are higher or lower in pitch according to the frequency of vibration of the sound waves producing them. A high frequency (e.g., 880 hertz [cycles per second]) is perceived as a high pitch; a low frequency (e.g., 55 Hz) as a low pitch. In Western music, standard pitches have long been used to facilitate tuning. Usually a ′ above middle C (c′) is taken as a referent pitch. The current standard pitch of a′ = 440 Hz was adopted in 1939. For some eighty years previous, a′ had been set at 435 Hz. A confusing variety of pitches prevailed until the 19th century, when the continual rise in pitch made some international agreement a matter of practical necessity. (Encyclopedia Britannica. s.v. “Pitch”) Alistair Disley, Human Perception of Sound. Assignment 2: Human Pitch Perception. Pitch. To consider human pitch perception, we need a definition of pitch. The American National Standards Institute (1960) defines pitch as “ that attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds may be ordered on a scale extending from low to high ”. Another simpler definition is “our perception of the frequency of sound”. Pitch is, therefore, one of the essential percepts of sound. A more complex definition of pitch [is the following:] Pitch (psychoacoustics/music) The subjective impression of frequency, in the same sense that loudness is the subjective sense of the intensity or amplitude of a sound. As such, pitch is a psychoacoustic variable, and the degree of sensitivity shown to it varies widely with people. Some individuals have a sense of remembered pitch; that is, a pitch once heard can be remembered and compared to others for some length of time; others have a sense of absolute pitch called perfect pitch. The pitch of a tone or note allows it to be placed in a musical scale; thus notes of a scale are often called pitches, and given names (A, B, C, C#, do, re, mi, etc.). Dr. Charles W. L. Johnson, “The Motion of the Voice, h( th=j fwnh=j ki/nesij, in the Theory of Ancient Music” (TAPhA 30, 1899, 42-55), p. 43. Pitch, regarded as a physical phenomenon, may be defined as regularity or periodicity in the vibrations of some suitable medium, such as air or water. Every set of regular or periodic vibrations constitutes what is technically called a simple sound, and the degree of pitch of this sound depends upon the rapidity of the vibrations.

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4. On frequency. Sound is composed of three basic elements: frequency, amplitude, and timbre. These are all different characteristics of the sound wave itself, which is essentially a vibration in the air that eventually reaches our ears. Frequency is the number of cycles per second (cps or Hertz, Hz). In music, we call this pitch. This is the relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound. The highest pitch produced by a piano has a frequency of 4,186 Hz, the lowest 27 Hz. The range of human hearing varies from individual to individual, but normally falls between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Here are a few examples of pitches at different frequencies: Amplitude is a measure of how big/strong a wave is, and therefore how loud a sound is perceived to be. In music, we refer to different levels of loudness as dynamics. (http://www.nightcourses.com/articles/melodymaker.html [2/4/01]) Frequency refers to the number of vibrations per second made by the sonorous body; it also indicates the number of oscillations per second occurring in the transmitting medium. (Charles A. Culver, Musical Acoustics. Chapter 7: Pitch, p. 83) That quality of a musical sound determined by the number of vibrations per second made by a sounding body; that is to say, that attribute of a tone produced by the frequency of the sounding body’s vibration, measured in cycles per second. (B.A.M.) 5. On the ‘high’ or acute and the ‘low’ or grave. The ‘high’ or acute is that which is naturally apt to move the sense in a short time. (adapted from St. Thomas Aquinas, In II Post. An., lect. 1, n. 9) The ‘low’ or grave is that which is naturally apt to move the sense in a long time. (adapted from St. Thomas Aquinas, In II Post. An., lect. 1, n. 9) The ‘high’ or acute is that which is naturally apt to impact the sense more frequently (that is, to strike it a greater number of times in a given period). (B.A.M.) The ‘low’ or grave is that which is naturally apt to impact the sense less frequently (that is, to strike it a lesser number of times in a given period). (B.A.M.) §

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IX. ON THE STRINGS OF A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. 1. That in the strings of a musical instrument one is called ‘prior’ to another insofar as there is one determinate string (namely, the mese) relative to which the others are placed at intervals according to a determinate rationale (such a ‘priority’ comprising an order according to discrete quantity). Aristotle, Metaph. V. 11 (1018b 25-29).
(tr. W. D. Ross) Others are prior in arrangement; these are the things that are placed at intervals in reference to some one definite thing according to some rule, e.g. in the chorus the second man is prior to the third, and in the lyre the second lowest string is prior to the lowest; for in the one case the leader and in the other the middle string is the beginning. (tr. H. G. Apostle) With respect to order, when there is some definite thing relative to which other things are arranged at intervals according to some formula, that which is nearer to that thing is called “prior”. For example, in the chorus the second man is prior to the third, and the next to the lowest string is prior to the lowest; in the first case, the principle is the leader, in the second, it is the middle string.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta., lect. 13, n. 9 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB5LC13N.-9 deinde cum dicit alia secundum ordinem ponit modum secundum ordinem in rebus discretis; dicens, quod alia dicuntur priora secundum ordinem, qui invenitur in aliquibus rebus tantummodo quodam ordine associatis sibi, non per continuitatem, ut in praecedentibus accidebat. Then when he says Others according to an order he gives the mode according to an order in discrete things, saying that other things are called ‘prior’ according to an order, which is found in some things in no other way than by some order of the things associated with one another, not by continuity, as happened in the preceding case.

huiusmodi autem sunt, quae distant ab aliquo Now there are things of this sort which stand at uno determinato secundum aliquam rationem intervals from some one determinate thing determinatam, ut parastata, tritostata. according to a determinate rationale, as the parastat, the tristostat. [Meaning ‘the one who stands second’ and ‘the one who stands third’, namely, from the chorusleader.] parastata est prius tritostata. The parastat is prior to the tritostat.

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parastata dicitur ille, qui stat iuxta aliquem, puta regem. tritostata autem ille, qui stat tertius ab eo. unde alia litera habet, praestans, tertio stante prius est. patet autem, quod alia ratio distantiae est distare ut secundum, vel tertium. et similiter paranitae sunt priores nitis. in chordis enim hypatae dicuntur quae sunt graves, nitae vero acutae dicuntur, mediocres autem vocantur mesae. paranitae autem dicuntur quae sunt iuxta nitas mesis propinquiores. LB5LC13N.10 patet etiam, quod hic dicitur etiam esse aliquid prius per propinquitatem ad aliquod principium. sed differenter exemplorum: in utroque praedictorum

For he is called the parastat which stands next to someone, for instance, a king. But tritotstat one who stands third from him. And so another text has the preeminent person is prior to the one standing third. But it is clear that to stand second or third involves another rationale of distance. And likewise the paranete are prior to the nete. For in strings those are called hypate which are low, but those are called nete which are high, but the ones in between are called mese. But those are called paranete which are next to the nete (and so) nearer to the mese.

It is also clear that in the present case something is also said to be ‘prior’ by a nearness to some principle (or ‘beginning’). But differently in both of the examples mentioned: the reason being that in the former case, namely, the parastat and the tritostat, that which is a true beginning and extreme is taken as the principle (or ‘beginning’), the one, namely, who is highest among them, or uppermost among the others, as a king or some other such person. But in strings is taken as the principle (or ‘beginning’) the middle one— that is the middle string called mese— the nearer to which are called paranete, and by this are called ‘prior’ to nete. These, then, are called ‘prior’ in this way, namely, by an order of quantity, whether continuous or discrete.

quia in illis, scilicet parastata et tritostata, accipitur principium id quod est verum initium et extremum, scilicet ille, qui est summus inter alios vel vertex aliorum, ut rex vel aliquis alius talis. sed in chordis accipitur ut principium, medium, et media chorda quae dicitur mesa, cui propinquiores dicuntur paranitae, et per hoc priores dicuntur nitis. ista ergo dicuntur priora per hunc modum, scilicet per ordinem quantitatis vel continuae vel discretae.

§

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2. That the strings of a musical instrument are distinguished according to the high, low, and middle found in ‘sounds’ understood as ‘notes’. Aristotle, Metaph. X. 7 (1057a 18-29)
(tr. W. D. Ross) Since contraries admit of an intermediate and in some cases have it, intermediates must be composed of the contraries. For (1) all (1057a 20) intermediates are in the same genus as the things between which they stand. For we call those things intermediates, into which that which changes must change first; e.g. if we were to pass from the highest string to the lowest by the smallest intervals, we should come sooner to the intermediate notes, and in colours if we were to pass from white (1057a 25) to black, we should come sooner to crimson and grey than to black; and similarly in all other cases. But to change from one genus to another genus is not possible except in an incidental way, as from colour to figure. Intermediates, then, must be in the same genus both as one another and as the things they stand between. (tr. H. G. Apostle) Since there may be an intermediate between contraries, and in some cases there is, intermediates must consist of contraries. Now all intermediates are in the same genus as the contraries between which they are. For we call “intermediates” those into which that which changes into something must change before. For example, if one were to pass from the highest string to the lowest by the smallest intervals, he would come to the intermediate tones before; and if in colors he were to pass from white to black, he would come to crimson and grey before coming to black; and similarly with the others. But it is not possible to change from one genus to another except accidentally, as from color to shape, for example. All intermediates, then, as well as the things between which they are, must be in the same genus.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta. lect. 9, n. 1 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB10LC-9N.-1 postquam philosophus determinavit de contrariis, hic determinat de mediis contrariorum; et circa hoc duo facit. primo proponit de quo est intentio; dicens: quia contrariorum contingit aliquid esse medium, ut supra dictum est, et quaedam contrariorum medium habent, ostendendum est quod necesse est media esse ex contrariis. After the Philosopher determined about contraries, here he determines about the intermediates between contraries. And with respect to this he does two things. First, he lays down a proposition about what his intention is, saying that because there can be an intermediate between contraries, as has been said above, and certain contraries have an intermediate, it must be shown that inter-mediates must be (composed) of contraries.

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non autem hoc solum ostendit, sed etiam quaedam alia quae ad huius probationem sunt necessaria. LB10LC-9N.-2 deinde cum dicit omnia namque prosequitur suam intentionem; et circa hoc tria facit. primo ostendit, quod media sunt in eodem genere cum contrariis. secundo ostendit, quod media sunt inter contraria tantum, ibi, at vero media etc.. tertio vero ostendit, quod media componuntur ex contrariis, quod est principaliter intentum, ibi, si vero sunt in eodem genere. dicit ergo primo, quod omnia media sunt in eodem genere cum his quorum sunt media. quod sic probat. quia haec est diffinitio mediorum, quod media sunt inter quae prius venit illud quod mutatur de uno extremorum, quam in alterum extremum. LB10LC-9N.-3 et hoc manifestat per duo exempla. primo quidem in sonis. sunt enim quidam soni graves, et quidam acuti, et quidam medii. et secundum hanc distinctionem sonorum, distinguuntur chordae in musicis instrumentis. illae enim chordae, quae reddunt graves sonos, dicuntur hypatae, quia principales.

Not only does he show this, but also certain other things which are necessary for proving this point.

Then when he says For all these, he carries out his intention. And with respect to this he does two things. First, he shows that intermediates are in the same genus with the contraries. Second, he shows that intermediates are only between contraries, at But all intermediates etc. Third, he shows that intermediates are composed of contraries, which is his principal intention, at Now if intermediates are in the same genus. He says, therefore, first, that all intermediates are in the same genus with those things of which they are the intermediates, which he proves as follows, (saying) that this is the definition of intermediates, that intermediates are those things among which that which changes from one extreme to another extreme first comes.71

And he makes this clear by two examples. The first in sounds [= ‘notes’]. For some sounds [or ‘notes’] are low, some are high, and some intermediate [in the middle]. And in accordance with this distinction of sounds [or ‘notes’] the strings of a musical instrument are distinguished. For the strings which give back low sounds [or ‘notes’] are called hypate because they are the principal ones.

71

That is, if there is a change from one extreme to another, the first things ‘among which’—that is, ‘into which’—the one extreme must ‘come’ (or ‘change’, according to the Greek implied by the translations cited), are called ‘intermediates’.

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illae veroquae reddunt acutos sonos, dicuntur netae. si igitur musicus paulatim a gravibus ad acutos descendere velit, quod est transire per mediam rationem, necesse est quod prius veniat ad sonos medios. LB10LC-9N.-4 sic igitur patet quod de mediis fit transmutatio ad extrema, et e converso. sed in his quae sunt in diversis generibus, non fit transmutatio in invicem nisi per accidens, sicut patet in colore et figura. non enim mutatur aliquid de colore in figuram aut e converso; sed de colore in colorem, et de figura in figuram. unde necesse est quod media et extrema sint in eodem genere.

But the ones which give back high sounds [or ‘notes’] are called nete. If, then, a musician wishes to descend by small steps [= ‘gradually’ or ‘without leaps’] from the highs to the lows, which is to pass through an intermediate range, he must first come to intermediate sounds [or ‘notes’].

In this way, then, it is clear that a change is made from intermediates to extremes, and conversely. But in those things which are in different genera a change between them is not possible except accidentally, as is clear in color and shape. For something does not change from a color to a shape or conversely; but from a color to a color, and from a shape to a shape. And so it is necessary that the intermediates and the extremes be in the same genus.

3. That in the strings of a musical instrument one is called ‘successive’ to another (as the paramese with respect to the mese) when it comes after a beginning in position according to a determinate rationale, and when it has nothing of the same genus between it and that to which it is in succession. Aristotle, Phys. V. 3 (226b34-227a 7).
(tr. Thomas Heath; rev. B.A.M.) I call “successive” that which, coming after the beginning, and having been marked off either in position or in form or in some other respect, has nothing of the same [genus] between it and that to which it is successive. Examples are a line or lines in succession to a line, a unit or units to a unit, or a house to a house. There is nothing to prevent something of a different kind coming between. What is successive is successive to something and is something posterior to it; (tr. R. Glen Coughlin) “In succession” is that which, being after the beginning either by position or in species or in something else thus determined, has nothing among things in the same genus between itself and that to which it is in succession. I mean , e.g., a line [is in succession] to a line or lines, or a unit to units, or a house to a house. But nothing prevents something from being between. For what is “in succession” is in succession to a certain thing and is after a certain thing.

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thus one is not successive to two, nor the first day of the month to the second day, but the other way about.

For one is not in succession to two, nor the first day of the month to the second, but the latter to the former.

Aristotle, Phys. V. 3 (226b34-227a 7).
(tr. Hardie & Gaye) A thing is ‘in succession’ when it is after the beginning in position or in form or in some other respect in which it is definitely so regarded, and when further there is nothing of the same kind as itself between it and that to which it is in succession, e.g. a line or lines if it is a line, a unit or units if it is a unit, a house if it is a house (there is nothing to prevent something of a different kind being between). For that which is in succession is in succession to a particular thing, and is something posterior: for one is not ‘in succession’ to two, nor is the first day of the month to be second: in each case the latter is ‘in succession’ to the former. (example furnished by B.A.M.) E.g. a string of a musical instrument, such as the paramese, is ‘in succession’ to another when it comes ‘after the beginning’, which is the mese, ‘in position’, doing so according to a determinate rationale, and when it has nothing of the same genus between it and that to which it is in succession.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Physic. lect. 5, n. 6 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB5 LC-5N.-6 deinde cum dicit: consequenter autem est etc., definit hoc quod est consequenter, et quandam speciem eius, scilicet habitum. et dicit quod ad hoc quod aliquid dicatur esse consequenter ad alterum, duo requiruntur. quorum unum est, quod sit post aliquod principium quodam ordine; vel secundum positionem, sicut in iis quae habent ordinem in loco; vel secundum speciem, sicut dualitas est post unitatem; vel quocumque alio modo aliqua determinate ordinentur, sicut secundum virtutem, secundum dignitatem, secundum cognitionem, et huiusmodi.

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aliud quod requiritur est, quod inter id quod est consequenter, et id cui est consequenter, non sit aliquod medium de numero eorum quae sunt in eodem genere: sicut linea consequenter se habet ad lineam, si nulla linea sit in medio; et similiter est de unitate ad unitatem, et de domo ad domum. sed nihil prohibet, ad hoc quod aliquid sit alteri consequenter, quin aliquid sit medium inter ea alterius generis; sicut si aliquod animal sit medium inter duas domus. quare autem dixerit et cuius est consequenter, et quod est post principium, manifestat subdens, quod omne quod dicitur consequenter, est consequenter respectu alicuius, et non tanquam prius, sed tanquam posterius. non enim dicitur quod unum sit consequenter duobus, neque nova luna secundae, sed e converso. deinde definit quandam speciem eius quod est consequenter, quae dicitur habitum. et dicit quod non omne quod est consequenter, est habitum; sed quando sic est consequenter, quod tangit; ita quod nihil sit medium, non solum eiusdem generis, sed nec alterius.

4. An example showing that the strings of a musical instrument are successive. To see that the strings of a musical instrument are successive, consider the following example. The Diatonic genus is illustrated by this tetrachord: A / / G 3:4 \ F \ \E mese > tone = ‘major 2nd’ lichanos > tone = ‘major 2nd’ parhypate > semitone = ‘minor 2nd’ hypate

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The lichanos is ‘successive’ in comparison to the mese because nothing of the same genus comes between them; likewise the parhypate in comparison to the lichanos, and the hypate in comparison to the parhypate. Hence, the strings of a lyre (or the notes they produce) are ‘successive’ insofar as they can admit nothing the same in genus between them. 5. That in a musical harmony the parts composing it are dissimilar, have a determinate position, and are not continuous. Aristotle, Metaph. V. 27 (1024a 11-28).
(tr. W. D. Ross) It is not any chance quantitative thing that can be said to be ‘mutilated’; it must be a whole as well as divisible. For not only is two not ‘mutilated’ if one of the two ones is taken away (for the part removed by mutilation is never equal to the remainder), but in general no number is thus mutilated; for it is also necessary that the essence remain; if a cup is mutilated, it must still be a cup; but (1024a 15) the number is no longer the same. Further, even if things consist of unlike parts, not even these things can all be said to be mutilated, for in a sense a number has unlike parts (e.g. two and three) as well as like; but in general of the things to which their position makes no difference, e.g. water or fire, none can be mutilated; to be mutilated, things must be such as in virtue of their essence have a certain position. Again, they must be continuous; for a musical scale consists of unlike parts (1024a 20) and has position, but cannot become mutilated. (tr. H. G. Apostle) It is not any chance quantity that is called “mutilated” but only the one which is divisible into parts and is a whole. For two is not called “mutilated” when one of the units is taken away (for the part removed by mutilation is never equal to what is left), and in general no number is called “mutilated”, for the substance of the thing must remain after mutilation. If a cup is mutilated, it must still be a cup; but the number is no longer the same. Further, even if a thing consists of unlike parts, it is not always that it is said to be mutilated; for, in a sense, even a number has unlike parts, such as two and three. And in general, things in which position makes no difference, such as water and fire, are not said to be mutilated; but in order to be mutilated, things must be such that according to their substance position makes a difference. Besides, they must be continuous; for a harmony is composed of unlike parts which have position, but it does not become mutilated.

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Besides, not even the things that are wholes are mutilated by the privation of any part. For the parts removed must be neither those which determine the essence nor any chance parts, irrespective of their position; e.g. a cup is not mutilated if it is bored through, but only if the handle or a projecting part is (1024a 25) removed, and a man is mutilated not if the flesh or the spleen is removed, but if an extremity is, and that not every extremity but one which when completely removed cannot grow again. Therefore baldness is not a mutilation.

Further, even if the things are wholes, they do not become mutilated by the privation of any part. For the parts removed must neither be the main parts of the substance nor be in any chance place; for example, if a whole is made in a cup, we do not have something mutilated, but we do have a mutilated cup if the handle or some projecting part is removed. And a man is mutilated not if the flesh or the spleen is removed, but if an extremity is removed, not any extremity, but one which when completely removed does not grow again. Because of this, people with shaven heads are not said to be mutilated.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta. lect. 21, n. 32 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB5LC21N.32 septimum est quod oportet esse continua coloba. harmonia enim musicalis non potest dici coloba voce vel chorda subtracta, licet sit dissimilium partium: quia constituitur ex vocibus gravibus, et acutis; et licet partes eius habeant determinatam positionem: non enim qualitercumque voces graves et acutae ordinatae, talem constituunt harmoniam. The seventh is that what is mutilated must be continuous. For a musical harmony cannot be called ‘mutilated’ when a ‘voice’ [that is—a ‘note’] or a string is taken away, even though it be of dissimilar parts: the reason being that it is constituted from low and high notes; and even though its parts have a determinate position:72 for low and high notes ordered in any way whatsoever do not constitute such a harmony.

6. The three attributes of a musical harmony. According to the foregoing account, a musical harmony is (1) made of dissimilar parts, such as the ‘high’ and ‘low’ in notes or strings, (2) having a determinate position, as a ‘high’ note is ‘above’ a ‘low’ one, and as one string is before another, but is
72

I.e. they require a determinate order in their parts, just as does a house or a shoe. But should not the text read: “must not only be continuous, but possessing a determinate order in its parts”?

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(3) not continuous, notes or strings being divided off from one another 7. Note. The reason why a musical harmony cannot be (or be called) ‘mutilated’ or ‘truncated’ is that what is colobon must continue to exist when a part is taken away—that is, it must retain its species, as a man is still a man when a hand or foot is taken away, but not when he is decapitated.73 Now a musical harmony is constituted from high and low notes. For the harmony to exist, then, these notes must be put together in a certain way. But when a chord or note is taken away, it no longer exists, and so cannot be continuous.74 8. On the mese as tonic or key-note. [Aristotle], Probl., XIX. 20 (643b 13-28) (tr. W. S. Hett; rev. B.A.M.). Why is it that, if one shifts the mese after tuning the other strings, and then plays the instrument, it is not only when the tune touches the sound of the mese that it is unpleasant and seems out of tune, but also all the rest of the melody? If, on the other hand, one shifts the lichanos or any other note, then the difference is only apparent when one employs this particular note. This is only natural, for all the best tunes make frequent use of the [20] mese, and all good musicians employ it frequently, and quickly revert to it, if they leave it, but not to any other note to the same extent. The same is true in speech; if certain connectives [sundesmoi] are omitted, such as te and kai/ [oi(=on to\ te kai\ to\ kai/] , the language ceases to be Greek; but the omission of others gives no such offence, because there are some conjunctions which one [25] must use often if there is to be sense, but with others it is not so. In the same way with sounds, the mese is a kind of conjunction, especially in good music, because its note most often underlies the tune. [Aristotle], Probl., XIX.12 (tr. Andrew Barker). Why does the lower of the notes always take the melody? 75 For if one omits paramese when one ought to have played it with mese, the melody is there none the less: but if one omits mese when both should have been played, it is not. 76 Is it because what is

73

What is ‘necessary’ being “[t]hat without which, as a condition, a thing cannot live” ( Meta., V.5, 1015a 20) (tr. W. D. Ross). 74 Note that a melos, something other than a harmony—can be continuous when there is frequent recourse to the mese. 75 See also 186 Probs. XIX.49. In the expression krousis hypo ten ouden, ‘playing under the song’, used for non-unison accompaniment at e.g. 183 Probs. XIX.39, 187 ps.-Plut. 1141 b, ‘under’ indicates subordination, not lower pitch. (Barker’s note) 76 The text here is corrupt and obscure: I have translated the emended version of Monro. But because of the textual confusion, no conclusions about the details of performing practice can reliably be based on this sentence. Paramese is a tone above mese. (Barker’s note)

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low is large,77 and hence powerful? What is small is included in what is large: and in division78 there are two netai in hypate.

77

The Greek word for ‘low’, here as usually, is bary, lit. ‘heavy’. Passages (particularly from Probs.XI) exploiting the theoretical consequences of this metaphor will be reviewed in Vol. 2. (Barker’s note) 78 That is, when intervals are constructed by proportional division of a single string. See particularly Sect. Can. 19-20, and cf. 175 Probs. XIX.23. Nete is an octave above hypate: if a hypate string is divided by a bridge at the half-way point, each half sounds nete. (Barker’s note)

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9. On the prelude in aulos-playing and its relation to the key-note. Aristotle, Rhet., III. 14 (1414b 19-20).
(tr. J. C. Jebb) The Proem is the beginning of the speech,— analogous to the Prologue in poetry and the Prelude in flute-playing. All these are beginnings, and pave the way, as it were, for what follows. The musical prelude is most like the Epideiktic proem. Flute-players begin by playing anything that they can execute brilliantly; and then knit this on the key-note of their theme.79 The same kind of composition suits epideiktic rhetoric. The speaker should start by saying whatever his fancy prompts—then strike his key-note, and knit his proem to his theme: and this is just what they all do. (tr. W. Rhys Roberts) The Introduction is the beginning of a speech, corresponding to the prologue in poetry and the prelude in flute-music; they are all beginnings, paving the way, as it were, for what is to follow. The musical prelude resembles the introduction to speeches of display; as flute players play first some brilliant passage they know well and then fit it on to the opening notes of the piece itself, so in speeches of display the writer should proceed in the same way; he should begin with what best takes his fancy, and then strike up his theme and lead into it; which is indeed what is always done.

Take, for instance, the proem to the Helen80 of (Take as an example the introduction to the Isokrates;— Helen of Isocrates— there is nothing common between the Eristics there is nothing in common between the and Helen. ‘eristics’ and Helen.) And here, even if the speaker passes into a foreign region, it is fitting, rather than that the speech should be monotonous. And here, even if you travel far from your subject, it is fitting, rather than that there should be sameness in the entire speech.

10. On endosimos. R. C. Jebb’s note regarding to\ e)ndosi/moj. (On Aristotle’s Rhetoric). Footnote 4, p. 180: t%= e)ndosi/m%, ‘the actual opening, preliminary note, of the subject, which gives the tone to the rest’ (Cope). to\ e)ndosi/mon is defined by Heschyius as to\ pro\ th=j %)dh=j kiqa/risma.81

79

t%= e)ndosi/m%, ‘the actual opening, preliminary note, of the subject, which gives the tone to the rest’ (Cope). to\ e)ndosi/mon is defined by Heschyius as to\ pro\ th=j %)dh=j kiqa/risma. (Jebb’s note) 80 § 1-13. (Jebb’s note) 81 = “that which gives the key to the tune”; cf. LSJ, which I give next.

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Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940. e)ndo/simoj, on, serving as a prelude, a)=?sma Artem.2.66; yalmo\j e). th=? w)?dh=? , Suid.: but usu. neut. e)ndo/simon, to/ (to\ pro\ th=j w)?dh=j kiqa/risma , Hsch.); that which gives the key to the tune, in music, Aristot. Rh. 1414b24, ti=Arist. Mu.399a19, Hld.3.2, Ael.NA11.1, Poll.1.210: metaph., key-note of a speech, Aristot. Rh. 1415a7, ti=Aristot. Pol. 1339a13, cf. Max.Tyr.7.7, Jul.Ep. 186: generally, signal for a race, Hld.4.3; [pro/bata ] pro\j ta\ e). th=j su/riggoj poimaino/mena IDEM=Hld.5.14: metaph., to\ tou= kairou= kai\ th=j w(/raj e). IDEM=Hld.4.16; tou= filosofei=n e). e)/dwkan Phld.Acad.Ind.p.5M.; w(/sper e). e(/cei pro/j ti Plu.2.73b; tou= logismou= to\ e). paresxhko/toj Porph. Sent. 32, cf. Luc. Symp.30 (also e). parasxe/sqai Dam.Pr.415); labei=n Luc. Alex.19; me/xrij a)\n to\ e). th=j dialu/sewj shmh/nh? M.Ant.11.20; e). toi=j stratiw/taij e)/rgw? didou/j Hdn.3.6.10 (so prob. as Adj., [ siti/a ] e). th=? pe/yei giving the signal for digestion, Plu.2.131c). The Suda Online. Headword: Endosimon Adler number: epsilon,1183 Translated headword: signal, prelude Translation: “The boatswains gave the signal to the oarsmen, but at the sign [the oarsmen] shouted all together with their onslaught.”[1] And in addition to this [the word] e)/ndosij [is used].[2] [The word] e)ndo/simon [also means] a cause of motion and beginning.[3] The psalm [is] such as to be a prelude for the song.[4] Greek Original: Endosimon: hoi de keleustai tois eretais to endosimon enedosan, hoi de epi têi endosei athrooi tôi rhothiôi epêlalaxan. kai Endosis epi toutôi. Endosimon, kinêseôs kai archês aition. ho de psalmos hoios endosimos einai têi ôidêi. Notes: [1] Arrian, Parthica fr.61; cf. kappa 1297 (1287 is a misprint in Adler’s apparatus). [2] Translated ‘sign’ in the Arrian quotation (to which this comment perhaps refers). [3] cf. Synesius, Epistle 4.162a. [4] cf. mu 1303. Translated by: Catharine Roth on 3 April 2007@01:39:30. Vetted by: David Whitehead (tweaked tr; augmented notes and keywords) on 3 April 2007@03:09:57. §

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X. ON THE OVERTONE SERIES. JT 2.2 - The Overtones Series.82 Many of the basic principles and harmonic developments of music originate from the acoustic makeup of a single tone. When a length of string (or column of air) is made to vibrate, it produces the basic pitch of the string, called the Fundamental. Let us look at a low C string (on a piano for example.) The full wavelength produces a low C = the Fundamental Nr.1 Simultaneously this same string also vibrates at a wavelength half of the fundamental wavelength. Half the wavelength produces a low C, 1 octave higher = Overtone Nr.2 The string also vibrates at a third of the fundamental wavelength. One third of the wavelength produces a G, a 5th higher = Overtone Nr.3 The same string also vibrates simultaneously at a quarter of the fundamental wavelength. One quarter of the wavelength produces a c, a 4th higher = Overtone Nr.4 The same string also vibrates at wavelengths of : a fifth of the Fundamental wavelength = Overtone Nr.5 a sixth of the Fundamental wavelength = Overtone Nr.6 a seventh of the Fundamental wavelength = Overtone Nr.7 an eighth of the Fundamental wavelength = Overtone Nr.8, and so on. An infinite number of vibrations, dividing the fundamental string into an everincreasing number of equal wavelengths (are produced). Each of these vibrations produces their own pitch. This composite of sounds accompanies the Fundamental tone and is called the Overtone Series. JT 2.3 - Some Characteristics Here are some useful characteristics of the Overtone Series you should know: The intervals between successive Overtones gradually become smaller. Chord voicings that simulate the structure of the overtone series, with larger intervals at the bottom and smaller intervals at the top, will have a clearer and more resonant sound.
82

This excerpt comes from a Website, but unfortunately at the time I downloaded it I did not note its URL; it having since disappeared from the Internet.

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The Number of each Overtone expresses its wavelength as a fraction of the fundamental wavelength: Overtone Nr.3 = 1/3 of the Fundamental wavelength Overtone Nr.5 = 1/5 of the Fundamental wavelength Overtone Nr.16 = 1/16 of the Fundamental wavelength Overtone Nr.89 = 1/89 of the Fundamental wavelength Overtones are therefore also called partials. The Fundamental tone is repeated each octave, and its Overtone Nr. increases each time by a magnitude of 2. For the overtones of C’ for example: Nr. 1 = C’ (the Fundamental) Nr. 2 = 2 x 1 = C Nr. 4 = 2 x 2 = c Nr. 8 = 2 x 4 = c’ Nr.16 = 2 x 8 = c” Nr.32 = 2 x 16 = c”‘ Nr.64 = 2 x 32 = c”“ etc. The number of Overtones doubles within each successive octave. JT 2.4 - What the Ear perceives The human ear (or rather the human brain) consciously perceives in most cases only the fundamental pitch of the tone. This is partly because all overtones have a nodal point (point of no vibration) at the nodal points of the fundamental and thus re-enforce the fundamental tone. Another important reason why we only tend to distinguish the fundamental tone is that three of the first four tones of the Overtone series represent the same (fundamental) tone at successive octave levels. The human brain recognises the composite of overtones as the characteristic sound and timbre of an instrument, for the vibration intensity of individual overtones varies considerably for each type of instrument. This is largely how we recognise the difference in sound between a piano, a flute, a guitar, a saxophone, and so on. Life is Music.83 According to the familiar structure of the harmonic overtone series, the periodic vibration of a medium produces a fundamental tone which contains within it an infinite series of overtones. In addition, each overtone can itself be considered a fundamental tone with an infinite overtone series of its own. The picture is one of an infinite matrix of harmonic vibration.
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(www.stokstad.com/cyberspacecafe/lifeismusic2.html [2/3/01])

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The relationships between the overtones in the series described above are not chaotic but are organized in a beautiful sequence of whole number ratios: 1:2, 2:3, 3:4. This is because the medium, for example, a piano string, is not only vibrating as a whole, but is also vibrating as if divided into halves, thirds, fourths, etc., on to infinity. If the frequency of the fundamental tone (called “1” in the series) is vibrating at 100 cycles per second, then the frequency of the next overtone, “2”, would be 200cps, or twice that of the fundamental; “3”= 300cps, “4”= 400cps, etc. Frank Lamonica, Lesson Supplement: The Acoustics of Music.84 Harmonics and Overtones When a string is set into motion, the frequency or “pitch” we usually hear is referred to as the “fundamental” pitch. That pitch is also called the “first harmonic.” The two points which attach the strings are the “nodes” of the fundamental vibration. What is not obvious is that each string also vibrates simultaneously at many other frequencies, each progressively higher in pitch and lower in amplitude (volume). When the fundamental pitch is created by the vibration of a string of length x, additional frequencies, called “overtones” or “higher harmonics”, begin vibrating with effective lengths of x/2, x/3, x/4, x/5, etc. Each of these additional frequencies vibrate between additional
imaginary nodes that are located exactly at the points on the string which are integer divisibles of the string length. The basic physical law which governs vibrating objects states that the frequency of a vibrating string is inversely proportional to the string length. What that means is if a string of length x vibrates at frequency f, than that same string if cut to length x/2 will vibrate at 2f. Since strings vibrate simultaneously at all integer subdivisions of the string length (effectively creating shorter and shorter string lengths), the vibrating string will produce additional pitches, called higher harmonics or overtones, at frequencies of 2f, 3f, 4f, 5f, and higher.

Pitch is paradoxical. Pitch is fundamental frequency.85 The pitch of a pure tone is simply its frequency. A harmonic tone consists of a sum of pure tones (each one called a partial), whose frequencies are in integer ratios of 1, 2, 3, . …, etc. Partials related in this way are called the harmonics of the tone. The frequency of the first harmonic is the fundamental frequency. 1. Definition. THE OVERTONE SERIES. The set of vibrations produced by a body resonating as a whole, in halves, in thirds, and so on ad infinitum, such that its resultant pitches are related to one another in the ratios of 2:1, of 3:2, of 4:3, etc., the frequency of the pitch being inversely proportional to the length of the vibrating body (e.g. given a string length of 1, f = ½), with the lowest pitch, or ‘fundamental’, and the other pitches, called ‘overtones’, ‘partials’, or ‘harmonics’, superimposed upon it giving the tone its timbre.
84 85

(www.classic-guitar.com/less5sup.html [2/3/01]) (www.ihear.com/Pitch/paradoxical.html [2/3/01])

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2. On the overtone series. As we have seen, the overtone series is the set of vibrations produced by a body resonating as a whole, in halves, in thirds, and so on ad infinitum, such that its resultant pitches (called ‘overtones’, or ‘partials’, or ‘harmonics’) are related to one another in the ratios of 2:1, of 3:2, of 4:3, etc. (the frequency of the pitch being inversely proportional to the length of the vibrating body: e.g. given a string length of 1, f = ½, etc.). “Of these,” says Dr. Charles W. L. Johnson,
the lowest in pitch is generally the loudest. Superimposed upon this lowest pitch there will be found a group of fainter pitches, standing at certain definite distances from one another. These are the so-called overtones, and it is their presence which determines the ‘quality’ of the sound as a whole…. In a musical sound, then, of the constituent related pitches one is predominant. This gives the note its name and position.86

This predominant pitch, called the ‘fundamental’, therefore ‘rules over’ the other tones, the overtones or partials, since they arise from it and are subordinated to it. With regard to this ordering, a more recent writer has noted that, “Although the overtone series continues with complex vibration indefinitely, it is necessary to put an upper limit on the series for practical purposes.”87 He goes on to say that the first sixteen partials are the ones most commonly used in music, and orders them as follows: Tonic Partials The first, second, fourth, eighth, and sixteenth partials are the tonic degrees in successive octaves. The tonic degrees are derived by doubling partial numbers starting with the first partial. Dominant Partials The third, sixth, and twelfth partials are the dominant degrees found in the second octave (3rd partial), third octave (6th partial), and fourth octave (12th partial) of a given series. The dominant degrees are derived by doubling the partial numbers starting with the third partial. Mediant (Major) Partials The fifth and tenth partials are the mediant (major) degrees found in the third octave (5th partial) and fourth octave (10th partial) of a given series. The upper partial is derived by doubling the lower partial. Subtonic Partials

86

Charles W. L. Johnson, ‘The Motion of the Voice, h( th=j fwnh=j ki/nesij , in the Theory of Ancient Music’, TAPhA 30, 1899, p. 42-3. I return to this subject below. 87 Cf. the passage cited above.

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The seventh and fourteenth partials are the out-of-tune subtonic degrees found in the third octave (7th partial) and fourth octave (14th partial) of a given series. The upper partial is derived by doubling the lower. It may help to think of the seventh partial as a simple interval to remember its scale degree although it is actually a minor 21st from the fundamental. The Fourth Octave Partials If the ninth through fourteenth partials are thought of as intervals and then reduced to simple intervals, the scale degree numbers are produced. That is, the ninth partial (9 - 7 = 2) is the supersonic; the tenth partial (10 - 7 = 3) is the mediant; the eleventh partial (11 - 7 = 4) is the out-of-tune raised subdominant (the only time the subdominant occurs it is raised and out of tune); the twelfth partial (12 - 7 = 5) is the dominant; the thirteenth partial (13 - 7 = 6) is the submediant (major); and the fourteenth partial (14 - 7 = 7) is the out-of-tune subtonic. The fifteenth partial is not carried through the interval reduction process; it is considered the leading tone to the sixteenth partial (tonic). [end excerpt] The overtone series is therefore seen to consist in something principal and something subject to what is principal—the ruler or ruling principle being the fundamental, or fundamental tone, and the subjects ruled by that principle the overtones or partials (or partial tones). In sum, the overtone series is an instance of a kind of rule. On this matter, cf. the following texts: 3. On what is principal and what is subject in a harmony of sounds: that in a harmony of sounds, some one ‘voice’ (or ‘note’) predominates. Aristotle, Pol., I. 5 (1254a 24-34) (ed. W. D. Ross; tr. B. Jowett).
kai\ ei)/dh polla\ kai\ a)rxo/ntwn kai\ [25] a)rxome/nwn e)/stin kai\ a)ei\ belti/wn h( a)rxh\ h( tw=n beltio/nwn a)rxome/nwn, oi(=on a)nqrw/pou h)\ qhri/ou: to\ ga\r a)potelou/menon u(po\ tw=n beltio/nwn be/ltion e)/rgon: o(/pou de\ to\ me\n a)/rxei to\ d’ a)/rxetai, e)/sti ti tou/twn e)/rgon:

And there are many kinds both of rulers and subjects (and that rule is the better which is exercised over better subjects—for example, to rule over men is better than to rule over wild beasts; for the work is better which is executed by better workmen, and where one man rules and another is ruled, they may be said to have a work); for in all things which form a composite whole and which are made up of parts, whether continuous or discrete, a distinction between the ruling and the subject element comes to light. Such a duality exists in living creatures, but not in them only; it originates in the constitution of the universe;

o(/sa ga\r e)k pleio/nwn sune/sthke kai\ gi/netai e(/n ti koino/n, ei)/te e)k sunexw=n ei)/te e)k [30] dih?rhme/nwn, e)n a(/pasin e)mfai/netai to\ a)/rxon kai\ to\ a)rxo/menon, kai\ tou=to e)k th=j a(pa/shj e)nupa/rxei toi=j e)myu/xoij: fu/sewj

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kai\ ga\r e)n toi=j mh\ mete/xousi zwh=j e)/sti tij a)rxh/, oi(=on a(rmoni/aj. a)lla\ tau=ta me\n i)/swj e)cwterikwte/raj e)sti\ ske/yewj:

even in things which have no life there is a ruling principle, as in a musical mode. But we are wandering from the subject.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Pol., lect. 3, nn. 5-8 (tr. B.A.M.).
LB1 LC-3N.-5 deinde cum dicit quaecumque enim ex pluribus etc., ostendit propositum ex ratione. et ponit rationem ad ostendendum quod aliqui sunt naturaliter servi quibus expedit servire. secundo ostendit qui sint tales, ibi, quicumque quidem igitur etc.. circa primum ponit talem rationem. quaecumque sunt ex pluribus constituta, in his est aliquid principans et aliquid subiectum naturaliter, et hoc expedit. sed hominum constituta: multitudo est ex pluribus Then when he says, Whatever things [are put together] from many things, etc. he shows what he has proposed by argument. And he gives an argument for showing that some things are naturally servants for whom it is expedient to serve. Second, he shows who are such, at, Whoever therefore, etc. With respect to the first, he gives the following argument. Whatever things are constituted from many things, in these there is something ruling [or principal] and something naturally subject, and this is expedient. But a multitude of men is constituted from many things. It is therefore natural and expedient that one be made ruler, and the other made subject. Now the minor of this argument is clear from the things premised, in which it has been shown that man is naturally a political animal, and so it is natural that one multitude be constituted from many men.

ergo naturale est et expediens quod unus principetur et alius subiiciatur. huius autem rationis minor manifesta est ex praemissis: in quibus ostensum est quod homo est naturaliter animal politicum, et ita naturale est quod ex multis hominibus constituatur una multitudo. LB1 LC-3N.-6 unde, ea praetermissa, probat maiorem: et sic in hac ratione tria facit.

And so, having premised these things, he proves the major, and so in this argument he does three things.

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primo ponit maiorem. secundo probat eam, ibi, et hoc ex omni natura etc.. tertio infert conclusionem, ibi, eodem autem modo etc.. dicit ergo primo, quod quaecumque sunt constituta ex pluribus ita quod ex eis fiat unum commune, sive illa plura sint coniuncta, sicut membra corporis coniunguntur ad constitutionem totius, sive sint divisa sicut ex multis militibus constituitur unus exercitus, in omnibus his invenitur esse principans et subiectum: et hoc est naturale et expediens, ut per singula patebit exempla. LB1 LC-3N.-7 dicit ergo primo, quod veritas praemissae propositionis invenitur in rebus animatis: non quasi sit eis proprium, sed ex eo quod est commune toti naturae: quia etiam in his quae non participant vita, est aliquis principatus, puta harmoniae. quod potest intelligi dupliciter. uno modo de harmonia sonorum; quia semper in vocibus quae consonant aliqua vox praedominatur, secundum quam tota harmonia diiudicatur.

First, he sets down the major. Second, he proves it at And from this every nature, etc. Third, he draws the conclusion at But in the same way, etc. He says, therefore, first that whatever things are constituted from many things such that one common thing result from them— whether the many be conjoined, as the limbs of the body are conjoined for the constitution of the whole, or whether they be divided, as from many soldiers one army is constituted — in all these there is found a ruler (or ‘what is principal’) and a subject (or ‘what is subject’): and this is natural and expedient, as will be clear by taking individual cases.

He says, therefore, first, that the truth of the things premised in the proposition is found in animate things: not as if it were proper to them, but from the fact that it is common to the whole of nature: since even in what does not have a share in life there is something made principal, as in the case of harmony. This can be understood in two ways. In one way, of a harmony of sounds; the reason being that in ‘voices’ [or ‘notes’] which sound concordantly, some one note predominates, according to which the whole harmony is judged.

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potest etiam intelligi de harmonia elementorum in corpore mixto, in quo semper unum elementorum est praedominans. sed huiusmodi pertransit, quia sunt extrinseca ab hac consideratione.

It can also be understood of the harmony of elements in a mixed body, in which one of the elements is always predominant. But he passes over these sorts of things because they are extrinsic to this consideration.

LB1 LC-3N.-8
deinde cum dicit animal autem primum etc., ostendit propositum in partibus hominis, et dicit quod prima compositio animalis est ex anima et corpore. quae quidem compositio dicitur prima, non secundum ordinem generationis, sed secundum principalitatem, quia est ex partibus principalissimis: harum autem partium una est naturaliter principans, scilicet anima; alia vero subiecta, scilicet corpus. posset autem aliquis dicere quod hoc non est naturale, cum non inveniatur in omnibus; et ideo ad hoc excludendum subdit quod ad iudicandum quid sit naturale, oportet considerare ea quae se habent secundum naturam, non autem ea quae sunt corrupta, quia huiusmodi deficiunt a natura. et ideo ad iudicandum quae pars in homine naturaliter principetur, oportet considerare aliquem hominem qui sit bene dispositus et secundum animam et secundum corpus in quo est manifestum quod anima corpori dominatur. Then when he says, But an animal, etc. he shows his intention in the parts of man, and he says that the first composition is of the soul and body, which composition is called ‘first’ not according to the order of generation, but according to what is principal, because it consists of the principal parts. Now of these parts one is naturally the ruling principle, as is the soul, but the others subject, namely, the body. Now someone might say that this is not natural because it is not found in all things— and so in order to exclude this he adds that in order to judge what is natural, one must consider those things which have themselves according to nature, not those which are corrupted, since these fall short of nature. And so in order to judge which part in man is naturally subject to what is principal, one must consider some man who is well disposed, both with respect to the soul and with respect to the body, in which it is obvious that soul is dominant with respect to the body.

4. In sum: “[O]r in all things which form a composite whole and which are made up of parts, whether continuous or discrete, a distinction between the ruling and the subject element comes to light. Such a duality exists in living creatures, but not in them only; it originates in the constitution of the universe; even in things which have no life there is a ruling principle, as in a musical mode. But we are wandering from the subject.” (Aristotle Pol., I. 5, 1254a 29-34)

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“He says, therefore, first, that the truth of the things premised in the proposition is found in animate things: not as if it were proper to them, but from the fact that it is common to the whole of nature: since even in what does not have a share in life there is something made principal, as in the case of harmony. This can be understood in two ways. In one way, of a harmony of sounds; the reason being that in ‘voices’ [or ‘notes’] which sound concordantly, some one note predominates, according to which the whole harmony is judged. It can also be understood of the harmony of elements in a mixed body, in which one of the elements is always predominant. But he passes over these sorts of things because they are extrinsic to this consideration.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Pol., lect. 3, n. 7, tr. B.A.M.) 5. Principles. • • • • • ruler and subject what is made principal, which predominates, or is predominant what is made subject in a harmony of sounds in a harmony of elements in a mixed body

In the former some one sound predominates according to which the whole harmony is judged. It can also be understood of the harmony of elements in a mixed body, in which one of the elements is always predominant. But, as the following texts show, such a relationship constitutes a hierarchy: St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Ia, q. 108, art. 1, c. (tr. B.A.M.). I reply that it must be said that a hierarchy is a sacred principate , as has been said. Now in the name ‘principate’ two things are understood, namely, the ‘prince’ itself, and the multitude ordered under the prince.88 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Ia, q. 108, art. 2, c. (tr. B.A.M.). I reply that it must be said that, as has been said, one hierarchy is one principate, that is, one multitude ordered in one way under the governance of a prince. But a multitude would not be ordered, but rather confused, if there were not diverse orders in the multitude. Therefore the very notion of hierarchy requires a diversity of orders.89 6. In sum.

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respondeo dicendum quod hierarchia est sacer principatus, ut dictum est. in nomine autem principatus duo intelliguntur, scilicet ipse princeps, et multitudo ordinata sub principe . 89 respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, una hierarchia est unus principatus, idest una multitudo ordinata uno modo sub principis gubernatione. non autem esset multitudo ordinata, sed confusa, si in multitudine diversi ordines non essent. ipsa ergo ratio hierarchiae requirit ordinum diversitatem .

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According to St. Thomas, a hierarchia, properly speaking, is a sacred ‘principate’ or ‘ruling body’; a principate being a multitude ordered in one way under one princeps; that is, one multitude ordered in one way under the governance of one prince. But the name is customarily used to name any ‘principate’, or what is analogous to such. Now as we have seen, in every multitude there is something principal and something subject to what is principal, as in a political community there is a ruler or ruling principle and the subjects ruled by that principle. But one must also note that, as St. Thomas goes on to explain in article 2 of the same question of the Summa, every multitude includes a diversity of orders, as in the state there is an order of magistracies, an order of soldiers, an order of farmers, etc. But all such orders can be reduced to three, inasmuch as every perfect multitude has a beginning, a middle, and an end.90 In this respect, consider St. Augustine’s definition of ordo: Order is the disposition [or ‘arrangement’] of things equal and unequal in rank, assigning its proper place to each one. (City of God, xix. 13.1) Hence the disparity, or difference in rank, found in the diverse grades of such a multitude constitutes a hierarchy; such an ordination being one according to dignity. Hence, inasmuch as it is a multitude ordered in one way under the governance of one ruling principle, the overtone series is a hierarchy and therefore a perfect multitude: As such, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end: the beginning being the fundamental, which is the ‘best’, and so holds the highest place; the middle being the lower partials, whose relationship to the fundamental is perceptible, and so hold the middle place; and the end being the higher partials which are so distant from the fundamental that their relation to it is not perceptible, and so hold the lowest place. Again, as we have noted above, there is a diversity of orders found in the overtone series: tonic partials, dominant partials, as well as mediant (or major), subtonic, and fourth octave partials; such a diversity also being proper to a hierarchy. §

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sed quamvis multi sint unius civitatis ordines, omnes tamen ad tres possunt reduci, secundum quod quaelibet multitudo perfecta habet principium, medium et finem . “But although there are many orders belonging to one state, nevertheless they all can be reduced to three according as in any perfect multitude there is a beginning, a middle, and an end”.

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XI. ON TONALITY. 1. Tonality as consisting in a hierarchy. Solomon’s Music Gallery. “What is Tonality?” (The Tonal Center).91 Tonality describes the relationships between the elements of melody and harmony —tones, intervals, chords, scales, and the chromatic gamut; but particularly those types of relationship that are characterised as hierarchical, such that one of the elements dominates or attracts another. These relationships occur both within and between every type of element, making a complex weave between a tone and its melodic, harmonic, and chromatic contexts. When this weave is coherent and stable we have a tonal system which is coherent and stable. The major and minor scale systems and the part that they play as members of the chromatic gamut is one such system. In its most conventional sense, tonality refers to just the major and minor scale types—scales whose elements are capable of maintaining a consistent set of functional relationships. The most important functional relationship is that of the tonic note and the tonic chord with the rest of the scale. The tonic is the element which tends to assert its dominance and attraction over all others, and it functions as the ultimate point of attraction, rest and resolution for the scale. Solomon’s Music Gallery. “What is Tonality?” (The Tonal Center). Music Glossary. tonality. a hierarchy (ranking) of pitch-class. Tonal is the adjective. If only one pitch-class is stressed more than others in a piece of music, the music is said to be tonal. If all pitchclass are treated as equally important, the music is said to be atonal, or pantonal. tone. 1. a pitch and all of its overtones. 2. a whole-step, or whole-tone. tonic. the predominant pitch-class. Tonic is not necessarily the first pitch-class of a scale; i.e., a C major scale does not have to start or end on a tonic in a musical context, yet it is a C major scale. The convention in writing scales out of context, however, is to begin and end on the tonic. A tonic is determined by its prominence in the music (by means of repetition, accents, and other means of emphasis). Thus, a tonic can only be determined in a musical context, which is why a key signature cannot tell us what the key is. Syn., tonal center. Encyclopedia.com TONALITY. In music, a quality by which all tones of a composition are heard in relation to a central tone called the keynote, or tonic. Some relationship to a tonic is characteristic of all music except that in which it is deliberately avoided (see atonality and twelve-tone music). The term tonality is also used in contrast to modality (see mode).

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Sir James Jeans, Science and Music (Dover Books, 1968). From Chapter 5, p. 169. A collection of notes played in succession does not of itself constitute a melody which can awaken our musical imagination; to satisfy modern musical feeling, there must be a further element, which we describe as tonality. Our musical thought does not wish to wander indifferently all over the scale; it remains associated always with one particular note, the tonic or key note, which we somehow think of as giving a fixed and central point. Just as the traveller thinks of each point of his journey in terms of its distance from his home, so we moderns think of each note of a melody in terms of its interval from the key note.92 The skilful composer contrives to make us conscious of the key note from the very beginning of his music, and keeps our minds conscious of its position through all the notes that are played. In general, for instance, we expect the music—or at least the bass of it—to end on the key note, just as the traveller expects his journey to end at his home; we refuse to accept any other ending place as final. Even ancient Greek music had a sort of key note —the tone of the middle string of the lyre; Aristotle tells us that “All good melodies often employ the tone of the middle string, and good composers often come upon it, and if they leave it, recur to it again; but this is not the case with any other tone.” Ernst Terhardt, Basse Fondamentale (Root-Relationship).93 Since hundreds of years, composers and theorists of music have been aware that each individual sound of music, especially chords, bears a close relationship to a fundamental note that characterizes and determines its harmony. In the 16th Century, Generalbass notation occurred, i.e., a reduced notation system that takes advantage of the fact that the harmonic layout of a piece of tonal music can be prescribed by just denoting the corresponding sequence of bass notes. Primarily, a bass note indicated a major triad of which that note was the “root”. Variants thereof, i.e., minor chords, sixths, diminished chords, etc., were indicated by numbers added to the bass notes. Until present days, this kind of simplified notation is widely in use, essentially in improvised music such as in Jazz. While in the Generalbass technique the performer’s task was to find appropriate chords to given bass notes, a crucial task of harmonic analysis of any given piece is to find the fundamental notes of the prescribed sounds. Indeed, many relevant musical features of a given chord can be characterized by a single note, i.e., the chord’s root. There is a mutual relationship between chords and fundamental notes, i.e., roots. In many types of music the fundamental notes are not necessarily played on any instrument. Rather, they are implied in both the “horizontal” (melodic) and “vertical” (harmonic) structure of the music. In this sense they are virtual. Countless sophisticated examples of this phenomenon are included in J. S. Bach’s music.
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One should compare here Aristotle’s observation on the ‘free-running’ style of composition: “This style is unsatisfying just because it goes on indefinitely—one always likes to sight a stopping-place in front of one: it is only at the goal that men in a race faint and collapse; while they see the end of the course before them, they can keep on going” (Rhet., III. 9 (1409a 31-34) (tr. W. Rhys Roberts). Much preferable is the ‘compact’ style arising from the use of the period, as he goes on to explain. Cf. the notion of periodicity, which may be defined as the property of being repeated at regular intervals. And cf. also our ‘Aristotetlian’ observation on metre above: “Now a given metre is a species of rhythm differing from it by the regularity of the recurrence of its characteristic foot, creating in the listener an expectation of its immediate return”. 93 (www.mmk.ei.tum.de/persons/ter/top/basse.html [2/4/08])

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Another, fairly simple example is the “Alberti” accompaniment of melodies that so frequently was employed by W. A. Mozart, e.g., in his piano sonatas. Those “Alberti” notes are not to be regarded as bass notes (comparable to those of the baroque Generalbass music) but as arpeggized chords that in turn represent virtual bass notes. So it is more or less evident that, from the beginning of polyphony, tonal music has been based upon, and has taken advantage of, the mutual relationship that exists between chords and fundamental notes—just as if that relationship were a basic auditory phenomenon such as the affinity of tones, in particular, octave equivalence. J.P. Rameau (1722, 1750) was the first who, in his Traite de l’Harmonie, explicitly treated the fundamental notes as an auditory percept. He regarded the basse fondamentale as an “implied” or “inferred” auditory feature of sound which nevertheless has psychological reality and is of crucial significance in tonal music. And this is exactly what the basse fondamentale actually is: An auditory percept, though a virtual one. Any pitch corresponding to any fundamental note merely is a virtual pitch [22] , [30] , [34] , [35] , [53] , [56] , [59] , [63] , [72] , [76] , [104] p. 398, 404. So, the theory of virtual pitch can be employed as a universal tool to determine the roots of any type of musical sound [53] (see topic harmony). This implies that the root of musical chords is not merely a theoretical (though quite useful and smart) concept, but that it is an attribute of auditory sensation, i.e., virtual pitch. It may be true that in a typical musical context one is rarely, if ever, aware of perceiving roots as definite pitches. This does not disprove, however, that those virtual pitches are perceived unconsciously, and that they may become conscious when attention is properly guided. Apparently, Rameau was the first who became aware of those “unconscious” pitches, and made them apparent in his concept of harmony. In fact, even for ordinary listeners those pitches can be lifted into conscious perception. An efficient trick to accomplish this is designing a fairly rapid sequence of chords in random inversions, the roots of which define a melody. Provided that the chords are designed such that this melody is not discernible from the tones of the chords, presentation of the sequence to listeners is a test of whether or not they can perceive the virtual pitches of the roots. If they can recognize the melody “hidden” in the chord sequence, one can conclude that they have perceived a corresponding sequence of virtual pitches [35], [104] p. 28 (cf. the CD attached to [104]). Through many years I have presented this demonstration to many audiences (The melody was the French tune “Sur le pont d’Avignon”); throughout, 80-90% of the listeners recognized the melody. In 1976/77 we have carried out a formal test of auditory root recognition. Students of music (who already had taken some lessons on transcription of music) were asked to transcribe the virtual pitches they heard in brief sequences of 5 sounds. These sounds were either dyads or triads designed such that the pertinent root sequences were composed of the tones C, D, E, F, G. Both the composition of the dyads and triads, respectively, and the order of the five root notes were randomized. In this test, three out of nine subjects achieved 70%-83% correct recognition of root sequences. Another four subjects scored 8%-20%, and two subjects scored just above the borderline of significance (Note that there are 5! = 120 permutations of the above five root notes. So the chance for correct guessing without recognizing anything was only 0.8 percent.) [34], [104] p. 400. In summary, there can be hardly any doubt that Rameau’s basse fondamentale, i.e., the root of chords, has got its psychophysical explanation in the above findings.
Author: Ernst Terhardt terhardt@ei.tum.de Feb 28, 2000

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2. Tonality according to Molly Gustin: Molly Gustin, Tonality (New York: Philosophical Library, 1969). Chapter One: The Perceived Sound, footnote, p. 10. Whenever a musical tone is sounded, whether produced by a vibrating string or an air column, what actually occurs is a whole set of vibrations which the ear synthesizes into one sound. For the string vibrates simultaneously, or nearly, simultaneously, as a whole, in halves, in thirds, etc. ad infinitum. Each of these vibrations produces a partial tone. If the frequency produced by the string as a whole is 1, then the frequency produced by half the string is 2, and by a third of the string is 3, and so on. This physical manifestation of the natural numbers was discovered by the physicist Joseph Sauveur in the seventeenth century. “I was made to observe that especially at night one may hear from long strings not only the principal sound but also other small sounds…such that the number of vibrations is a multiple of the number for the fundamental sounds…. I concluded that the string in addition to the undulations it makes in its entire length so as to form the fundamental sound may divide itself in two, in three, in four, etc. undulations….” Joseph Sauveur, “System general des intervalles des sons, & son application à tous les instrumens de musique,” Mém. acad. sci. Paris 1701. Molly Gustin, Tonality. Chapter One: The Perceived Sound, footnote, p. 11. The overtone series is relevant to music because musical tones, including those of the human voice, are produced by the impingement of a set of pulses in the air upon the hearing organ of a person. A pulse is a periodic alternation between high and low air pressure. The wave lengths of a set of pulses or partial tones which constitute a single musical tone are related to each other as are the positive integers, 1, 2, 3, … etc. Each musical tone consists of a theoretically infinite quantity of these wave trains. Of course the set of pulses which our instruments measure is always a finite set. How many partials are perceived depends upon the sensitivity of the instrument. Molly Gustin, Tonality. Music is tonal if the majority of its adjacent tones, whether simultaneous or consecutive, form single-rooted sets. Tonal music thus possesses one or more perceptible common measures, or roots, among its tones. Some music is tonal and some music is not tonal. Some music is more tonal than other music. (p. 78) The measure of tonality is the following: The greater the quantity of simultaneous common measures, or roots, to which the tones of a composition are related, the higher the degree of tonality. (p. 78) Music is tonal if, and only if, the majority of its adjacent tones, whether simultaneous or consecutive, form single-rooted sets. The greater the quantity of simultaneous common measures to which the tones of a composition are related, the more tonal is the composition. p. 81) 121

The root of a set of tones (or that tone which appears to be most important) is the tone of the set which is represented by the lowest power of 2, and is, therefore, either the fundamental of the set or an octave transposition of that fundamental. (p. 39) By “set” I merely mean a group of tones whose frequencies are related to each other as are the integers which represent them, quite apart from the temporal order of occurrence of the tones, whether simultaneous or successive. (p. 10) The overtone series is relevant to music because musical tones, including those of the human voice, are produced by the impingement of a set of pulses in the air upon the hearing organ of a person. (p. 11) 3. A composite definition of tonality derived from the foregoing: Tonality may be defined as that quality music has when the majority of its adjacent tones, whether simultaneous or consecutive, form single-rooted sets—that is, when it possesses one or more perceptible common measures, or roots, among its tones (the root of a set being that tone which is represented by the lowest power of 2, and is therefore either the fundamental of the set or an octave transposition of that fundamental); but a set is a group of tones whose frequencies are related to each other as are the integers which represent them, quite apart from the temporal order of occurrence of the tones, whether simultaneous or successive. 4. Notes on tonality. • • • a compound or complex sound the interrelationship of pitches having a root

When the pitches are related to one another on certain numerical principles—that is, when they embody, or at the least, approximate, the lower partials of the overtone series, there is tonality. Again, there is tonality when the predominant pitch determines the fundamental of an overtone series. Its genus is quality, coming under its first species, habitus. Quality answers the question, of what sort is it? But in saying that a piece of music is ‘tonal’ or ‘has tonality’, one is saying what sort it is. For this reason it is a disposition: in a thing having parts, it is an order of parts according to form or species. It admits a variation of degree. Tonality is that quality which music has when the majority of its adjacent tones, whether simultaneous or consecutive, form single-rooted sets; that is, when it possesses one or more perceptible common measures, or roots, among its tones. The root of a set of tones being that tone which is represented by the lowest power of 2, and is, therefore, either the fundamental of the set or an octave transposition of that fundamental. §

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XII. DEFINITIONS OF HARMONY. §1. ACCORDING TO PHILOLAUS THE PYTHAGOREAN. Philolaus, DK fr. 10 (tr. Andrew Barker). Harmonia comes to be in all respects out of opposites: for Harmonia is a unification of things mutually mixed, and an agreement of things that disagree. Philolaus, DK fr. 6 (tr. Andrew Barker). This is how it is with Nature and Harmony: the Being of things is eternal, and Nature itself requires divine and not human intelligence; moreover, it would be impossible for any existing thing to be even recognised by us if there did not exist the basic Being of things from which the universe was composed, ( namely) both the Limiting and the NonLimited. But since these Elements exist as unlike and unrelated, it would clearly be impossible for a universe to be created with them unless a harmony was added, in which way this (harmony) did come into being. Now the things which were like and related needed no harmony; but the things which were unlike and unrelated and unequally arranged are necessarily fastened together by such a harmony, through which they are destined to endure in the universe. (Philolaus, DK fr. 6; tr. Kathleen A. Freeman) The magnitude of harmonia is syllaba and di’oxeian.1 The di’oxeain is greater than the syllaba in epogdoic ratio.2 From hypate to mese is a syllaba, from mese to neate is a di’oxeian, from neate to trite is a syllaba, and from trite to hypate is a di’oxeian.3 The interval between trite and mese is epogdoic, the syllaba is epitiritic, the di’oxeian hemiolic, and the dia pason is duple.4 Thus harmonia consists of five epigdoics and two dieses; di’oxeian is three epogdoics and a diesis; and syllaba is two epogdoics and a diesis.5
Here harmonia acquires the sense ‘(attunement of) the octave’. Syllaba is the fourth and di’oxeian the fifth. The terminology is explained in 10 Nicomachus Ench. ch. 9, where this paragraph is quoted. A somewhat different account is given by Aelianus ap. Porph. Comm. 96.21-3, 96.29-97.8; cf. also 12 Arist. Quint. De Mus. 15.8-10. The use of harmonia to mean ‘octave’ is related to its sense ‘system of attunement’ through the treatment of such systems as exemplifying species of the octave: see, for example, 7 Aristox. El. Harm. 46.30-2, 12 Arist. Quint. De Mus. 15.9-20. It seems unlikely that Philolaus wrote this paragraph as the immediate successor of the one printed before it, though that is how Stobaeus quotes them. But their uses of the notion of harmonia must be related. In the musical case, notes and intervals are coordinated by taking their place within the embracing framework of the octave, becoming articulations of its parts. Something similar holds for the components of the universe and its all-inclusive harmonia. Then concordant and melodic musical relations are not so in their own right, but only as entering into the octave structure. Contrast the standpoint of the Pythagoreans discussed in 1.8 Porph. Comm. 107.15ff.

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2

That is, the ratio 9:8, that of the tone. (The tone, whether conceived as a ratio or as an intervallic distance, is standardly defined by Greek writers as the difference between the fourth and the fifth, e.g., 7 Aristox. El. Harm. 21.22-3, 45.34-46.1; 8 Eucl. Sect. Can. proposition 13.) 3 Here hypate is hypate meson, neate (a variant form of nete) is nete diezeugmenon. What Philolaus calls trite corresponds to the position of the note which most writers call paramese, trite diezeugmenon being the name normally given to the note a semitone or leimma above it (in the diatonic genus). Standard Terminology Nete (diezeugmenon) Paranete (diezeugmenon) Trite (diezeugmenon) Paramese Mese Lichanos (meson) Parhypate (meson) Hypate (meson) Philolaus Neate Trite Mese Hypate

The oddity of Philolaus’ terminology is important because trite means ‘third (note)’, and its use here implies that only one note lay between it and neate. Then Philolaus’ octave system contained at most seven notes. A persistent tradition held that early scale systems, whether they covered an octave or not, had only seven notes (the lyra often had only seven strings, even in the fifth century); an eighth was added later. See especially 4.27 ps.-Ar. Probs. XIX.47, cf. 7 and 32 (and GMW vol. 1, p. 198, n. 62), 10 Nicomachus Ench. chs. 5 and 9, ps.-Plut. De Mus. 1140f (and GMW vol. 1, p. 233, n. 177), cf. 1137b-c. These sources do not tell a single, consistent story. Their confusions may be due in part to the existence of two different seven-note systems, one formed by a conjunction of two tetrachords, spanning a seventh, the other a ‘gapped’ system, spanning an octave, formed by two fourths disjoined by a tone, but lacking a note in the upper tetrachord. See notes to the passages mentioned, and cf. Levin (1975), pp. 75-84, Burkert (1972), pp. 391-4, with the additional references given there. 4 These are the ratios standardly given for the tone and the concords, respectively 9:8, 4:3, 3:2, 2:1. On the names of the ratios see 8 Eucl. Sec. Can. 149.14-24. Dia pason, literally, ‘through all (the strings or notes)’, is the usual term for ‘octave’. 5 [Barker’s note omitted]

§2. ACCORDING TO PLATO. Plato, Phaedo, 86b-c (adapted by B.A.M.). (Understood of the soul) A mixture and a harmony of the hot and the cold, the wet and the dry, and the like, when they are well and proportionately mixed. (In other words, the soul understood as a harmony is a proportionate mixture of the hot and the cold, the wet and the dry, and the like.) Plato, Laws, 665a (adapted by B.A.M.). The name for order in the voice (the simultaneous mixture of the high with the low) is harmony.

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Plat, Rep., III, 671b (adapted by B.A.M.). That which is formed from all eight strings (sc. of the lyre). Plato, Philebus, 17d (adapted by B.A.M.). The systems which result from intervals of high and low ‘voices’ (= ‘notes’). [Cf. also additional texts from Timaeus, Symposium, Laws, etc.] §3. ACCORDING TO ARISTOTLE. Aristotle, De Anima, I. 4 (407b 30-2). For men say the soul is a certain harmony; for they say a harmony is a tempering and composition of contraries, and the body is composed from contraries. For a harmony is either a certain ratio of things which are mixed, or even a composition. Adapted from Aristotle, Rhet., III. 1 (1403b 30). Harmony pertains to the high, the low, and the intermediate in the use of the voice. (syn. melos) Aristotle, Pol., III. 3 (1276b 6-10). And similarly, every other community and composition (we say is) different if the species of its composition is different, just as we will call a harmonia consisting of the same notes different if at one time it is in the Dorian mode and at another in the Phrygian. Aristotle, Pol., IV. 3 (1290a 14-29). But (the forms of government) appear to be chiefly two, in the way in which it is said of winds, some are ‘north’, some ‘south’, but the remaining ones of these are deviations, in this way there are two governments, democracy and oligarchy. For they hold aristocracy to be a form of oligarchy, as being a sort of oligarchy, and the one they call ‘government’, democracy, just as in winds (they hold) the west (to be a form of) the north, and the east (a form of) the south. Likewise in the case of the harmoniai, as some men say, for here, too, some hold that there are two forms, the Dorian and the Phrygian; but with respect to the other arrangements they call the ones ‘Dorian’, but the others ‘Phrygian’. In this way, then, men are chiefly accustomed to think about governments. But the way in which we divide them is truer and better, one or two being well founded (i.e. aristocracy and ‘polity’), but the others deviations, the former, of welltempered harmoniai, the latter, of the best governments; oligarchies being those which are harsher and more despotic, but the democratic ones relaxed and moderate.

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Aristotle, Pol., VIII, 7, 1342 b? (tr. B. Jowett). All men agree that the Dorian music is the gravest and manliest. And whereas we say that the extremes should be avoided and the mean followed, and whereas the Dorian is a mean between the other modes, it is evident that our youth should be taught the Dorian music. Aristotle, Pol., VIII, 7, 1342 a?-b? (tr. B. Jowett). But since the spectators are of two kinds—the one free and educated, and the other a vulgar crowd composed of mechanics, laborers, and the like—there ought to be contests and exhibitions instituted for the relaxation of the second class also. And the music will correspond to their minds; for as their minds are perverted from the natural state, so there are perverted modes and highly strung and unnaturally colored melodies. A man receives pleasure from what is natural to him, and therefore professional musicians may be allowed to practice this lower sort of music before an audience of a lower type. But, for the purposes of education, as I have already said, those modes and melodies should be employed which are ethical, such as the Dorian, as we said before; though we may include any others which are approved by philosophers who have had a musical education. The Socrates of the Republic is wrong in retaining only the Phrygian mode along with the Dorian, and the more so because he rejects the flute; for the Phrygian is to the modes what the flute is to musical instruments—both of them are exciting and emotional. Poetry proves this, for Bacchic frenzy and all similar emotions are most suitably expressed by the flute, and are better set to the Phrygian than to any other mode. The dithyramb, for example, is acknowledged to be Phrygian, a fact of which the connoisseurs of music offer many proofs, saying, among other things, that Philoxenus, having attempted to compose his Mysians as a dithyramb in the Dorian mode, found it impossible, and fell back by the very nature of things into the more appropriate Phrygian. Aristotle, Pol., VIII, 5 (1340a 39—1340b 19) (tr. B Jowett). On the other hand, even in mere melodies there is an imitation of character, for the musical modes differ essentially from one another, and those who hear them are differently affected by each. Some of them make men sad and grave, like the so-called Mixolydian, others enfeeble the mind, like the relaxed modes, another, again, produces a moderate and settled temper, which appears to be the peculiar effect of the Dorian; the Phrygian inspires enthusiasm. The whole subject has been well treated by philosophical writers on this branch of education, and they confirm their arguments by facts. The same principles apply to rhythms; some have a character of rest, others of motion, and of these latter again, some have a more vulgar, others a nobler movement. Enough has been said to show that music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young. The study is suited to the stage of youth, for young persons will not, if they can help, endure anything which is not sweetened by pleasure, and music has a natural sweetness. There seems to be in us a sort of affinity to musical modes and rhythms, which makes some philosophers say that the soul is a tuning, others, that it possesses tuning. 126

Aristotle, Metaphysics, last chapter of last book. There are seven vowels, the scale consists of seven strings, the Pleiades are seven, at seven animals lose their teeth (at least some do, though some do not), and the champions who fought against Thebes were seven. Aristotle, On Philosophy Frag. 25, ed. Ross, Eudemus, Frag. 47, ed. Rose, apud Ps.Plutarch, De Musica, 1139b—1140b (tr. Andrew Barker; rev. B.A.M.). Harmonia is celestial, having a nature godlike, noble, and inspired. Being by nature fourfold in capacity, it has two means, arithmetic and harmonic, and its parts, magnitudes, and excesses appear in accord with number and equal measure. For mele are rhythmized in two tetrachords.94 ‘He [Aristotle] said that its body is made up of dissimilar parts, which nevertheless are in concord with one another, and also that its means are concordant in correspondence with numerical ratio. Thus the highest note is attuned to the lowest in duple ratio, and yields the concord of an octave. It has, as we said earlier, a highest note of 12 units and a lowest of 6, and its paramese, which forms a concord in hemiolic ratio with hypate, has 9 units: mese, we said, contains 8 units. And it turns out that the most fundamental intervals of music are constituted out of these—the fourth, which corresponds to epitritic ratio, [d] the fifth, which corresponds to hemiolic, and the octave, which corresponds to duple. The occurrence of the ratio 9:8 is also justified, since it is the ratio of the tone. Further, the amounts by which the parts of the harmonia exceed and are exceeded by the means are the same, both arithmetically and in terms of geometrical operations, as the amounts by which the means exceed and are exceeded by the parts. Thus Aristotle ascribes the following properties to the means. Nete exceeds mese by a third part of itself, [ e] and hypate is exceeded by mese in the same way: hence these excesses are relational, since the terms exceed and are exceeded by the same parts. (Thus the extremes exceed and are exceeded by mese and paramese in the same ratios, the epitritic and the hemiolic.) That, then, constitutes an excess of the harmonic kind. By contrast the excesses belonging to nete and to the arithmetical mean exhibit differences that are equal. (The case of the excess of paramese over hypate is the same, [f] since paramese exceeds mese in the ratio 9:8, and again nete is double hypate, paramese is in hemiolic ratio with hypate, and mese is tuned in epitritic ratio with hypate.) This, then, is the natural constitution of harmonia in respect of both parts and numbers, according to Aristotle too.
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That is, tunes are arranged according to number in two tetrachords.

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John Philoponus, Commentarius in De Anima, 141.33-142.6, 144.21—145.7, F 45 R3 (tr. ed. J. Barnes, The Complete Works of Aristotle, vol. two, p. 2401). Some…thought that the soul was an attunement of the body, and that the different kinds of soul answered to the different attunements of the body. This opinion Aristotle states and refutes. In the present work [i.e. the de Anima] he first merely records the opinion itself, but a little later on he also sets out the arguments that led to it. He had already opposed this opinion elsewhere—I mean, in the dialogue Eudemus—and before him Plato in the Phaedo had used five arguments against the view…. These are Plato’s five arguments. Aristotle himself, as I have said, has used the following two arguments in the dialogue Eudemus. One goes thus: ‘Attunement’, he says, ‘has a contrary, lack of attunement; but the soul has no contrary. Therefore the soul is not an attunement’…. Secondly: ‘The contrary of the attunement of the body is the lack of the attunement of the body; and the lack of attunement of the living body is disease, weakness, and ugliness—of these, disease is lack of attunement of the elements, weakness lack of attunement of the uniform parts, ugliness lack of attunement of the instrumental parts. Now if lack of attunement is disease, weakness, and ugliness, then attunement is health, strength and beauty; but the soul is none of these—I mean, neither health nor strength nor beauty; Thersites, the ugliest of men, had a soul. Therefore the soul is not an attunement.’ (Cf. Theophrastus in Fortenbaugh’s collection) §4. ACCORDING TO THE ARISTOTELIAN TREATISE DE MUNDO AD ALEX. (De Mundo ad Alex. 5, 396b 15-17). The art of music simultaneously mixes ‘voices’ (= ‘notes’) high and low, and long and short, and perfects a single harmony in different sounds. §5. ACCORDING TO ARISTOXENUS OF TARENTUM. Aristoxenus, Elementa Harmonica, II (tr. H. S. Macran). Of the melodic and the unmelodic our predecessors have given no account whatever, while as to the distinctions between systemata, some people did not even attempt to enumerate them, devoting their research only to the seven octachords which they called harmoniai. §6. ACCORDING TO NICOMACHUS OF GERASA. Nicomachus of Gerasa, Enchiridion, ch. 9. Even the most ancient writers show agreement with what we have explained. Their name for the octave is ‘harmonia’….

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§7. ACCORDING TO MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Tusc. Disp., 1.18 (tr. B.A.M.). But we can know a harmony from the intervals of the notes, the different composition of which also produces many harmonies. §8. ACCORDING TO ST. THOMAS AQUINAS. The definition of consonance simpliciter. Consonance is a ratio, that is, a proportion in numbers according to the high and low. (In II Post. An., lect. 1, n. 8) Consonance is a ratio in high and low numbers. (In II Post. An., lect. 1, n. 8) Consonance is a numeral ratio of the high and low. (adapted from In II Post. An., lect. 1, n. 8) The definition of harmony. Harmony properly so called is a consonance in sounds. (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 4) Harmony is the consonance of sounds that results from strings (or flutes or the like) when they are well ordered. (adapted from In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 7) A harmony results from a proportion of contrary sounds, namely, of the low and high. (adapted from In I Meta., lect. 7, n. 12) A determinate proportion according to certain numbers of the high and low is the cause of a harmony in sounds. (In II De Caelo, lect. 14, n. 3) Musical harmony is constituted from low and high ‘voices’ (= ‘notes’). ( In V Meta., lect. 2, n. 32) For a harmony in sounds is caused by a due proportion of numbers. (In Dionysii De Div. Nom., c. 4, lect. 5) Harmony is a complexion and proportion and temperament in composed and mixed things (= harmony commonly speaking). (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 3) The proportion that exists between the contraries in composed and mixed things is called a harmony and the form of the composite. (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 3) Every due proportion in things composed of different parts, as well as in things mixed from contraries (is given the name ‘harmony’). (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 4)

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In bodies mixed from contraries, the ratio of these, i.e. the proportion, is called a harmony. (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 7) For harmony is nothing other than the consonance which consists in being of one mind (= an analogous use of harmony). (In Dionysii De Div. Nom., c. 11, lect. 2) The two ways in which ‘harmony’ is said (or the two things which one can call ‘harmony’). ‘Harmony’ is said in two ways: in one way, of a composition itself; in another way, of the ratio of the composition. (Summa Contra Gentes II, c. 64, n. 4) One can call two things ‘harmony’: either the composition or mixture itself, or the proportion of that composition or mixture. (In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 4) XIII. ON THE PRINCIPAL MEANINGS OF HARMONIA. 1. According to its first imposition. Means of joining, fastening; joint; in Anatomy, suture, union of two bones by mere apposition, pl. adjustments; framework, esp. of the human frame. (Liddell Scott Jones, Greek-English Lexicon) L. harmonia, a. Gr. a(rmoni/a joining, joint, agreement, concord of sounds, music, f. stem a(rmo- of a(rmo/j joint, a(rmo/zein to fit together, arrange. (Oxford English Dictionary) Outside musical contexts, (harmonia) means ‘fitting together’, ‘adapting’ or ‘adjusting’ one thing to another. (Andrew Barker, Greek Musical Writings v. I, Chapter 10, Appendix A: the harmoniai) harmonia (a(rmoni/a; m. pr. armonía; from the verb a(rmo/zein or a(rmo/ttein, harmozein or harmottein = to fit or bind or fasten together, to join, to adapt); joining or fitting together, adjustment; also joint and means of joining (LSJ). (Solon Michaelides, The Music of Ancient Greece: An Encyclopaedia, s.v. harmonia) The word harmonia meant primarily the joining or fitting of things together, even the material peg with which they were joined (Homer, Od. V, 248). (W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, I. The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans, Ch. IV: Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans) a(rmoni/a properly signifies an adjustment or fitting together of parts. (H. S. Macran, The Harmonics of Aristoxenus, Notes) Harmonia is a blending either of opposites or of parts, in such a fashion that they fit well with each other. (Barnes, 488-495)

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Harmonia comes to be in all respects out of opposites: for Harmonia is a unification of things mutually mixed, and an agreement of things that disagree. (Philolaus, DK fr. 10; tr. Andrew Barker, Greek Musical Writings v. I) Now the things which were like and related needed no harmony; but the things which were unlike and unrelated and unequally arranged are necessarily fastened together by such a harmony, through which they are destined to endure in the universe. (Philolaus, DK fr. 6; tr. Kathleen A. Freeman) The word “harmonia” derives from the Greek a(rmo/zw, which means to fit or bind together, and harmonia comes to indicate the state of unlike things brought together into an orderly arrangement. (Denise Davidson Greaves, Sextus Empiricus, Against the Musicians, from footnote 33) ‘Harmony’ is an adjustment or ‘fitting together’ of dissimilar things, as of different parts in a composition (like the flesh and bones of the body) or of contraries in a mixture (like the hot and the cold of health). (B.A.M.) 2. By further impositions. The word harmonia then meant especially the stringing of an instrument with strings of different tautness (perhaps thought of as a method of joining the arms of the lyre, see Kirk, HCF, 208), and so a musical scale. (W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, I. The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans, Ch. IV: Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans) In Music, stringing, method of stringing. (Liddell Scott Jones, Greek-English Lexicon) That which is formed from all eight strings (sc. of the lyre). (adapted from Plato, Republic, III, 671b) The word harmonia has many uses, but here its primary significance is ‘attunement’, specifically ‘pattern of attunement over the span of an octave’. Its principal application is to the organisation of intervals between notes sounded by the strings of a lyra or a kithara. (Andrew Barker, Greek Musical Writings v. II, Introduction: The harmoniai) The primary use of harmonia is probably the adjustment or tuning of the notes of an instrument. What is created by tuning is a ‘fitting together’ of notes, a structure of relations that can be used to form the basis of melodies. (Andrew Barker, Greek Musical Writings v. I, Chapter 10 Appendix A: the harmoniai) In Plato, harmonia conceived generally is the melodic counterpart to rhythm: it is the scheme of order that distinguishes the notes used in a piece of music from a mere collection of pitches. (Andrew Barker, Greek Musical Writings v. I, Chapter 10 Appendix A: the harmoniai) §

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XIV. ON COMPOSITION (THE GENUS OF HARMONY). St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta., lect. 3, n. 3 (tr. B.A.M.). Now among those things from which a thing is made into a whole, [I] something has itself in the manner of a subject, just as parts, and the other things mentioned before; but [II] other things have themselves as the ‘what it was to be’, namely, a ‘whole’, a ‘composition’, and a ‘species’, which pertain to the notion of form, according to which the whatness of a thing is completed. 1. For it must be understood that sometimes one thing is of one matter simply, like the silver of a drinking vessel; and then the form corresponding to such a matter can be called a ‘species’. 2. But sometimes many things put together with each other are the matter of some thing, which happens in three ways. (a) For sometimes they are put together according to an order alone, like men in an army, or households in a city; and thus to the form corresponds a ‘whole’, by which name an army or a city is designated. (b) But sometimes they are put together not only by order, but by contact and by binding together, as appears in the parts of a house; and then to the form there corresponds a ‘composition’. (c) But sometimes over and above this the alteration of components is added, which happens in a mixture; and then the form is the mixture itself, which is still a certain species of composition. Now the quid est of a thing is taken from any of these three, namely, from composition, and species, and whole, as is clear if one were to define an army, a house, and a drinking vessel. Thus, then, we have two modes of cause.95 St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Polit., lect. 3, n. 6 (tr. B.A.M.). Therefore, he says first that whatever things are constituted from many things such that one common thing result from them—whether the many be conjoined, as the limbs of the body are conjoined for the constitution of the whole, or whether they be divided, as from many soldiers one army is constituted—in all these there is found a ruler [or ‘what is principal’] and a subject [or ‘what is subject’]: and this is natural and advantageous, as will be clear by taking individual cases.96
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inter ea autem ex quibus res integratur, aliquid se habet per modum subiecti, sicut partes et alia quae praedicta sunt; alia vero se habent ut quod quid erat esse, scilicet totum, et compositio, et species, quae pertinent ad rationem formae, secundum quam quidditas rei completur. sciendum est enim, quod quandoque una res simpliciter est alicuius materia, sicut argentum phialae; et tunc forma correspondens tali materiae potest dici species. quandoque autem plures adinvicem adunatae sunt materia alicuius rei. quod quidem contingit tripliciter. quandoque enim adunantur secundum ordinem tantum, sicut homines in exercitu, vel domus in civitate; et sic pro forma respondet totum, quod designatur nomine exercitus vel civitatis. quandoque autem non solum adunantur ordine, sed contactu et colligatione, sicut apparet in partibus domus; et tunc respondet pro forma compositio. quandoque autem super hoc additur alteratio componentium, quod contingit in mixtione; et tunc forma est ipsa mixtio, quae tamen est quaedam compositionis species. ex quolibet autem trium horum sumitur quod quid est rei, scilicet ex compositione et specie et toto: sicut patet si definiretur exercitus, domus et phiala. sic ergo habemus duos modos causae . 96 dicit ergo primo, quod quaecumque sunt constituta ex pluribus ita quod ex eis fiat unum commune, sive illa plura sint coniuncta, sicut membra corporis coniunguntur ad constitutionem totius, sive sint divisa sicut

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St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta., lect. 8, n. 5 (tr. B.A.M.). Then when he says, But further, he adds another mode to the ones mentioned, which is not taken by reason of indivision, as in the case mentioned, but rather by reason of division. And he says that sometimes some things are called ‘one’ solely by reason of continuity, but sometimes not, except something be a whole and perfect; which, in fact, happens when it has some one species, not indeed as a homogeneous subject is called ‘one species’, which pertains to the second mode set forth earlier, but according as the species consists in a certain totality requiring a determinate order of parts; just as it is clear that we do call something ‘one’, like a work produced by art, when we observe the parts of a shoe composed in any way whatsoever, except perhaps according as ‘one’ is taken for the continuous; but we do say all the parts of a shoe are one when they are so composed that there is a shoe and it have some one species, namely, of a shoe.97 St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Ethic., lect. 1, n. 5 (tr. B.A.M.). But it should be understood that this whole which is the civil multitude or the domestic family, has only a unity of order, according to which it is not something one simply. And so a part of this whole may have an activity which is not the activity of the whole, as a soldier in an army has an activity which is not that of the whole army. Nevertheless, the whole itself has a certain activity which is not proper to any of its parts, but to the whole, e.g. a battle of the whole army. And the pulling of a ship is the activity of the whole multitude pulling the ship. There is also a whole which has a unity, not only by order, but by composition, or connection, or even by continuity, according to which unity something is one simply; and therefore, in this case, there is no activity of the part which is not that of the whole. For in continuous things the motion of the whole and of the part is the same, and likewise in composed or connected things, the activity of the part is principally that of the whole. And so it is necessary that, in such a case, the consideration, both as to the whole and to its parts, pertain to the same science. But it does not pertain to the same science to consider the whole which has only a unity of order, and its parts as well.98
ex multis militibus constituitur unus exercitus, in omnibus his invenitur esse principans et subiectum: et hoc est naturale et expediens, ut per singula patebit exempla. 97 deinde cum dicit amplius autem addit alium modum a supradictis, qui non sumitur ex ratione indivisionis sicut praedicti, sed magis ex ratione divisionis; et dicit, quod quandoque aliqua dicuntur unum propter solam continuitatem, quandoque vero non, nisi sit aliquod totum et perfectum; quod quidem contingit quando habet aliquam unam speciem, non quidem sicut subiectum homogeneum dicitur unum specie quod pertinet ad secundum modum positum prius, sed secundum quod species in quadam totalitate consistit requirens determinatum ordinem partium; sicut patet quod non dicimus unum aliquid, ut artificiatum, quando videmus partes calceamenti qualitercumque compositas, nisi forte secundum quod accipitur unum pro continuo; sed tunc dicimus esse unum omnes partes calceamenti, quando sic sunt compositae, quod sit calceamentum et habeat aliquam unam speciem, scilicet calceamenti. 98 sciendum est autem, quod hoc totum, quod est civilis multitudo, vel domestica familia habet solam ordinis unitatem, secundum quam non est aliquid simpliciter unum; et ideo pars huius totius potest habere operationem, quae non est operatio totius, sicut miles in exercitu habet operationem quae non est totius exercitus. habet nihilominus et ipsum totum aliquam operationem, quae non est propria alicuius partium, sed totius, puta conflictus totius exercitus. et tractus navis est operatio multitudinis trahentium navem. est autem aliud totum quod habet unitatem non solum ordine, sed compositione, aut colligatione, vel etiam continuitate, secundum quam unitatem est aliquid unum simpliciter; et ideo nulla est operatio partis, quae

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1. Definitions. COMPOSITION (SUNTHESIS, COMPOSITIO). (1) A species of whole the parts or matter of which is put together from many things by order, by contact, and by binding together or connection99 (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In V Meta., lect. 3, n. 3, but worded by B.A.M.); or otherwise, (2) that which is constituted from many things such that one common thing results from them, where the many are conjoined, as are the limbs of the body, for the constitution of the whole100 (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Politic., lect. 3, n. 6, tr. B.A.M.). 2. The first text in sum: I. II. the subject, as parts the ‘what it was to be’, a whole, a composition, and a species

1. what has one matter simply, like the silver of a drinking vessel 2. many things put together with each other as the matter of one thing (a) by order alone, like an army or a city (b) by order, by contact, and by binding together (c) in addition, by the alteration of its components, as in a mixture Note that II.2(b) = ‘by continuity’. 3. The second text in sum: I. II. something is called ‘one’ solely by reason of continuity sometimes not, except something which is whole and perfect, which happens when it has

1. some one species, according as the species consists in a certain totality requiring a determinate order of parts, as opposed to what has 2. some one species as an homogeneous subject (= II.1 the first schema given above)
non sit totius. in continuis enim idem est motus totius et partis; et similiter in compositis, vel colligatis, operatio partis principaliter est totius; et ideo oportet, quod ad eamdem scientiam pertineat consideratio talis totius et partis eius. non autem ad eamdem scientiam pertinet considerare totum quod habet solam ordinis unitatem, et partes ipsius.. 99 quandoque autem non solum adunantur ordine, sed contactu et colligatione, sicut apparet in partibus domus; et tunc respondet pro forma compositio . “But sometimes they are put together not only by order, but by contact and by binding together, as appears in the parts of a house; and then to the form corresponds a ‘composition’.” 100 dicit ergo primo, quod quaecumque sunt constituta ex pluribus ita quod ex eis fiat unum commune, sive illa plura sint coniuncta, sicut membra corporis coniunguntur ad constitutionem totius, sive sint divisa sicut ex multis militibus constituitur unus exercitus, in omnibus his invenitur esse principans et subiectum: et hoc est naturale et expediens, ut per singula patebit exempla . “Therefore, he says first that whatever things are constituted from many things such that one common thing result from them—whether the many be conjoined, as the limbs of the body are conjoined for the constitution of the whole, or whether they be divided, as from many soldiers one army is constituted—in all these there is found a ruler (or ‘what is principal’) and a subject (or ‘what is subject’): and this is natural and expedient, as will be clear by taking individual cases.”

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4. The ways in which a thing is ‘one’: When a thing is one: I. II. what has one matter simply, like the silver of a drinking vessel many things put together with each other as the matter of one thing (1) by order alone, like an army or a city (2) by order, by contact, and by binding together (3) in addition, by the alteration of its components, as in a mixture

(a) a thing the parts of which are divided: e.g. an army (a discrete quantity) (b) a thing the parts of which are conjoined (both being a ‘composition’): e.g. the body (a continuous quantity) e.g. the lukewarm (a mixture of hot and cold) A composition may require a determinate order of parts or not. (a) a composition not requiring a determinate order of parts: a cup of silver (the conjoined) (b) a composition requiring a determinate order of parts: a shoe (the divided) A composition may have size or not. (a) a composition having size: e.g. a house, the human body, a lyre (b) a composition not having size: e.g. a universal whole, like a genus, which is composed of its several species, as the genus ‘animal’ of ‘man’ and ‘ox’ A thing may have size or both size and motion. (a) a thing having size: e.g. the body as put together from parts (b) a thing having both size and motion: e.g. the strings of a lyre, or more than one aulos The parts of a composition are put together by order, by contact, and by binding together or connection. 5. Melos (melody or song): some definitions. Melody is the order of high and low sounds in the movement of the voice. (Aristotle, Problems XIX.27, 919b 33) Melody is an intertwining of notes which are unlike in being high or low. (Aristides Quintilianus, De Musica) Melody produced with rhythm and words is called complete, or perfect, melos (‘song’). (Aristides Quintilianus, De Musica) Melos or song consists of three things: speech ( logos), harmonies (harmoniai, = tunings or attunements), and rhythm (ruthmos). (Plato, Rep. III, 398d)

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6. Compositon in harmony and melos. A harmony is not a form, but the disposition of the matter for a form. 101 But a disposition is an order of parts in a thing having parts, which happens in three ways, the third of which is kata eidos, according to form or species. A harmony is an order of parts in this third way, the ‘form’ or ‘species’ being a composition. In a melos, its parts are bound together by frequent recourse to the mese, which acts like the sundesmoi or ‘connectives’ of speech, whose function is to make its many parts one. (Cf. the overtone series in relation to a ‘root’.) In lexis, a sundesmos or ‘connective’ is defined communiter as a non-significative vocal sound which is naturally apt to produce one significative vocal sound out of more than one such sound, such as ‘and’, and which is naturally apt to be placed at the extremes as well as in the middle (of speech), unless it should not be placed at the beginning of speech by itself, such as –te when it is to be followed by kai. (cf. Poet. 20, rev. B.A.M.; but see my separate discussion for a more complete restoration of this definition) In melos, a sundesmos may be defined as a note which is naturally apt to produce one order of high and low sounds out of more than one order of high and low sounds, and which is naturally apt to be placed at the extremes as well as in the middle, sc. of the melos. As we have said, the note which performs this function is the mese, which is itself ‘principal’, and therefore ‘low’ and ‘predominant’. 7. Some further definitions. Order is in the before and after of things. Position as situs is an order of parts according to place. Position as dispositio is an order of parts according to form or figure (or according to the species and figure of the whole). Composition is the placing of parts next to one another; or that which consists in the putting together from many things of a certain matter by order, by contact, and by binding together or connection; or otherwise, the constituting of one common thing from many things, where the many are conjoined, as are the limbs of the body, for the constitution of the whole. 8. Supplement: On the ways in which things come to be simply. Aristotle, Phys., I. 7 (190b 4-9) (tr. R. Glen Coughlin).
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Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In I De Anima, lect. 9, n. 13 (tr. B.A.M.) : non tamen quod harmonia sit forma, sed dispositio materiae ad formam. Of course, St. Thomas means to say that a harmony is not a substantial form; that it is a forma accidentalis is evident from the fact that it is a dispositio, which comes under the first species of quality, habitus, and hence is an accident.

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73. Things which come to be simply, however, come to be either by change [5] of shape, like statues, or by addition, like things which grow, or by subtraction, like the Hermes from the stone, or by composition, like a house, or by alteration, as things which turn in regard to their matter. But it is apparent that all things which to be thus come to be from something underlying. • • • • • by change of shape (= with respect to quality) by addition (= with respect to quantity) by subtraction (= with respect to quantity) by composition (= with respect to place) by alteration (= with respect to substance)

St. Thomas Aquinas, In III Sent., dist. 13, q. 2, art. 2b, c. (tr. B.A.M.).
DS13 QU2 AR2B CO ad secundam quaestionem dicendum, quod in corpore naturali invenitur quadruplex unio membrorum ad invicem. prima est secundum conformitatem naturae, quia omnia membra constant ex eisdem similibus partibus, et sunt unius rationis, sicut manus et pes ex carne et osse; et sic dicuntur membra unum genere vel specie. secunda est per colligationem eorum ad invicem per nervos et juncturas, et sic dicuntur unum continuatione. tertia est, secundum quod diffunditur vitalis spiritus et vires animae per totum corpus. quarta est, secundum quod omnia membra perficiuntur per animam, quae est una numero in omnibus membris. To the second question it must be said that in a natural body a fourfold union of the members with each other is found. The first is according to a conformity of nature, since all the members consist of the same similar parts, and are of one account, as the hand and foot from flesh and bone; and in this way the members are called one in genus or species. The second is by their being bound to each other by sinews and joints, and in this way they are called one by continuation. The third is according as the vital spirit and powers of the soul are diffused throughout the entire body. The fourth is according as all the members are perfected by the soul, which is one in number in all the members.

9. In sum: • • • • by conformity of nature by being bound to each other by sinews and joints by having the vital spirit and the powers of the soul poured out through the body by all the members being perfected by the soul, which is one in number in all the members
§

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Supplement Cf. R. H. Robins, “Grammar, Meaning, and the Study of Language” (First Published in: Canadian Journal of Linguistics 9 [1964] 98-114) (In: Diversions of Bloomsbury: Selected Writings on Linguistics. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 104-105):
Discourse consists of meaningful stretches of speech produced and understood in terms of recurrent arrangements of recurrent elements. These [elements] are referred to as morphemes (or other grammatical units) at the morphological level, and as phonemes (or other phonological units) at the phonological level. Native speakers can produce and understand sentences that are new to [104-105] them as easily as sentences that they have heard or uttered before (this is a central fact about language), because they know (performatively) how to use the components of their language, and, again in Firth’s terms, the meaning of any language element is how it is used. The linguist tries to state just how language elements are used, and as far as he can he tries to state a semantic function (“meaning” as ordinarily understood) for the recurrent bits and pieces of sentences. As these meanings are particular, and as particular facts are treated in the lexicon of a language, particular meanings are stated in the lexicon as far as is possible; but this does not imply that lexical and semantic statement are the same thing. A specific meaning can generally be assigned to most words because words are, by the most useful definition, free forms, potential sentences in their own right, that is to say unitary seman-tically functioning stretches of speech.

§ (c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti. All rights reserved

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