Sunday, August 9, 2015

Prosody and Truism

I  assume that different language mechanisms - gesture, prosody, word and expression meanings, all work together in parallel. So for a lot of simple standard expressions, with different meanings, there should be different mechanisms of gesture and prosody that go along with them.

This thought had me wondering if something as simple as a truism would not correspond with something simple in prosody. After all, truisms embody very standard implicit thoughts. Why shouldn't they have tunes to go with them?

So I found one and think it important. Truism 7 says: "what is contrasted with is later allowed" or X*::X. This has the musical counterpart of "breath in - breath out" or G7-C. The first creates tension and the second relieves it. It is important to note that James's version of Hegel has the truism running in either directions as a "double negative". I don't know about Hegel, but think James is incorrect that the formula is bi-directional. It has to start with tension and end with relief. The other way around doesn't work in language or in music, as it leaves one in suspense.

This is an example where a semantic theory could contribute to a philosophical discussion. The main contribution would be in filtering out the non-philosophic "semantics" from the discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment