Principles of structure building in music, language and animal song.
20140097 - ?
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Human language, music and a variety of animal vocalizations constitute ways of sonic communication that exhibit remarkable structural complexity. While the complexities of language and possible parallels in animal communication have been discussed intensively, reflections on the complexity of music and animal song, and their comparisons, are underrepresented. In some ways, music and animal songs are more comparable to each other than to language as propositional semantics cannot be used as indicator of communicative success or wellformedness, and notions of grammaticality are less easily defined. This review brings together accounts of the principles of structure building in music and animal song. It relates them to corresponding models in formal language theory, the extended Chomsky hierarchy (CH), and their probabilistic counterparts. We further discuss common misunderstandings and shortcomings concerning the CH and suggest ways to move beyond. We discuss language, music and animal song in the context of their function and motivation and further integrate problems and issues that are less commonly addressed in the context of language, including continuous event spaces, features of sound and timbre, representation of temporality and interactions of multiple parallel feature streams. We discuss these aspects in the light of recent theoretical, cognitive, neuroscientific and modelling research in the domains of music, language and animal song.
AuthorsRohrmeier, M; Zuidema, W; Wiggins, GA; Scharff, C
- College Publications