Rhythm and Phrasing

in Language and Music (part 1)

Outline

Dicky Gilbers & Maartje Schreuder
Paper available on
http://www.let.rug.nl/~gilbers/papers
http://www.let.rug.nl/~s chreudr/
F aculty of Arts
Department of Linguis tics
P.O. B ox 716
9700 AS Groningen
T he Netherlands

Jackendoff and Lerdahl
• Jackendoff & Lerdahl (1980) point out the
resemblance between the ways both linguists
and musicologists structure their research
objects
• Lerdahl & Jackendoff (1983) A Generative
Theory of Tonal Music, MIT Press, Cambridge,
Massachusetts

• Structural resemblance between language and
music
• Claim: every form of temporally ordered
behaviour is structured the same way
• Claim: insights of music theory can help out in
phonological issues
• Rate adjustments in language and music:
rhythmic variability

A Generative Theory of Tonal Music
• Description of how a listener (mostly
unconciously) constructs connections in the
perceived sounds
• The listener is capable of recognizing the construction of a piece
of music by considering some notes/chords as more prominent
than others

cf. Language

Synthesis of linguistic methodology and the
insights of music theory

• Our cognition thus works in a way comparable
to how a reader divides a text (often
unconciously too) into different parts

A Generative Theory of Tonal
Music

Preference Rules

(Lerdahl & Jackendoff, 1983)

• The research object is structured hierarchically
and in each domain the important (heads) and
less important (dependents) constituents are
defined by preference rules
• Preference rules determine which outputs, i.e. the
possible interpretations of a musical piece, are
well-formed

• Preference rules indicate the optimal
interpretation of a piece
• Preference rules, however, are not strict
claims on outputs
• It is even possible for a preferred interpretation of a
musical piece to violate a certain preference rule as
long as this violation leads to the satisfaction of a
more important preference rule

1

Optimality Theory Potentially Conflicting. Soft Constraints (Prince & Smolensky 1993) • This evaluation system appears to be very familiar to linguists • In OT well-formedness constraints on outputs also determine grammaticality • In both theories well-formedness constraints on outputs apply simultaneously to representations of structures • In both theories these constraints are potentially conflicting and they are soft. which means violable Tuxedo Junction motif phrase Structuring of the Domains section Prosodic Construction of a Phrase x x x x x x x x x x x x Mis sis sip pi Del ta s w s w s w w s s w Comparison Preference Rules syllable level foot level phrase level 2 .

0 2 T im e ( s ) 0 0 . 5 -0 . parfum • Language: Choose the first σ in a Σ as the head 1.G > Cdim C . 5 0 0 .0 2 T im e (s ) 3 .6 Comparison preference rules 2 Comparison preference rules • Music (time-span reduction preference rule 2): Choose as the head of a time-span the chord (or the note) which is relatively harmonically consonant (segmental markedness) • Music (time-span reduction preference rule 2): Choose as the head of a time-span the chord (or the note) which is relatively harmonically consonant (segmental markedness) • Language (peak prominence): Choose as the head the heaviest available syllable C > C7 > … > Csus4 C vs C0 • C > > Cdim C vs C0 Cdim • C F if th C .5 0 0 -0 .G b 0 .Comparison preference rules 1 Arguments for trochaic feet • Music (time-span reduction preference rule 1): Choose as the head of a time-span the chord (or the note) which is in a relative strong metrical position (= the first position in a measure) Mispronunciations: Acquisition data: narcis.5 0 .

kaa.9 9 8 7 ki.ti ru.maan.baab reez. 5 -0 .dhar as.G 0 . >> Nonfinality 4 .5 0 0 -0 .0 2 0 0 .0 2 0.5 0 .9 5 3 0 0 .9 5 3 -0 .0 9 4 5 9 1 3 0 T im e (s ) Stress assignment in Hindi: Peak Prom. CVCC > CVC.mi.0 9 51 5 48 0 T im e ( s ) T im e (s ) C vs C0 • Comparison preference rules wave C+Gb • Language: Peak Prominence: stress the heaviest available syllable: CVVC.G Cdim F if th C . 5 0 .rii 0 sa.0 .0 2 0 T im e ( s ) T im e ( s ) C vs C0 • C > C vs C0 Cdim • wave C+G C .5 0 . 5 0 0 . CVV > CV 0 .C vs C0 • C > C vs C0 Cdim • C > F if th C .G b 0 . 9 9 8 7 0 .yaa aas.jaah -0 .ga.

beg..m.0) pre-m.stand! (buck. C7-F cadence • cf.core x satellite peak a satellite coda p app.psycho (roslie) standells .Dominant . pre-m.berry) Time-span reduction Conflict Mozart: Sonata K.Tonic .TSRPR7 First Language Acquisition Data Segmental markedness: /s/ > /x/ segmental & positional markedness: same preference Positional markedness: /x/ > /s/ syllabe syllabe (1. mills. borrow and steal (difrancesco & zerato) kingsmen .snoopy vs. the red baron (gernhard & holler) rolling stones ..e. berry) rare breed ..core k b t satellite l r peak ѐ o u satellite coda k d l app. I The A6-chord is in a metrically stronger position. Language: Phrasal rule • Examples of 3 chord songs: mccoys .second choice (gregson) sonics .sometimes good guys don’t wear white (cobb) r.get off of my cloud (jagger & richard) grease soundtrack -summer nights (jacobs & casey) any trouble . stipe.9) (2. *Complex >> Pos.331. Markedness >> Segm.louie louie (r. Markedness 5 . s onset rhyme onset rhyme margin nucleus margin nucleus m. but E-chord is harmonically more consonant Time-spans constraints → TSRPR 7 TSRPR 2 TSRPR 1 candidates ↓ ☛ E * A6 *! * Conflict TSRPR1 .Subdominant Comparison preference rules • Music (time-span reduction preference rule 7): Choose as the head of a time-span the chord (or the note) which emphasizes the end of a group as a cadence C7-B tonic > dominant > subdominant > parallel . s m.hang on sloopy (russell & farrell) royal guardsmen .

The triplet patterns in fast Dutch speech resemble the patterns of Estonian rhythm 6 . Language: Re-/misinterpretation of rhythm in accelerated or sloppy speaking Zuidafrikaans (andante) Music: Re-/misinterpretation of rhythm in accelerated or sloppy playing • Rhythmic restructuring: dotted notes rhythm → triplet rhythm 120 bpm: 80 bpm: Language: Re-/misinterpretation of rhythm in accelerated or sloppy speaking Zuidafrikaans (allegro) Zuidafrikaans (andante) Zuidafrikaans (allegro) Language: Re-/misinterpretation of rhythm in accelerated or sloppy speaking Language: Re-/misinterpretation of rhythm in accelerated or sloppy speaking Data: bijstandsuitkeringsgerechtigde fototoestel andante fototoestel allegro studietoelage tijdsduurindeling In fast speech it is more important to avoid clashes.Assumption: insights from music theory can help us to describe some problematic cases of rhythmic variability in phonology • Question: Does a higher speaking rate lead to adjustment of the phonological structure or are we only dealing with phonetic compression? • Phonetic compression is mainly shortening and merging of vowels and consonants with preservation of the phonological structure.

also Lasher (1978).Conclusion • Structural resemblance between language and music (cf. Mallen (2000)) Every form of temporally ordered behaviour is structured the same way • Insights of music theory can help out in phonological issues There are different OT-grammars for different rates and styles of speaking 7 .