Threesology Research Journal
Language Threes
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~ The Study of Threes ~

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3 months of age: Is the recommended time that all babies with hearing loss be identified so that treatment can begin before the baby is 6 months old, an important time for speech and language development.

--- Types of Hearing Tests ---

3 primary types of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive- Conductive hearing loss usually occurs from a blockage of sound in the outer or middle ear and is often medically treatable.
  2. Sensorineural (nerve)- Sensorineural or "nerve" hearing loss is usually not medically treatable and can be caused by aging, exposure to noise, or diseases of the ear.
  3. Mixed- (both conductive and sensorineural).

--- Audiology and Hearing aids ---

3-patterned "milestones" criteria used as a general guideline to evaluate possible hearing loss:

Birth To 3 Months
  • Child should startle or change activity in response to loud sounds.
  • Child should quiet, stop crying, or attend in response to a familiar voice.
3 To 6 Months
  • Child should imitate simple (cooing, gurgling) sounds.
  • Child should be disturbed by loud sounds when asleep.
  • Child should turn eyes toward the source of sounds.
6 To 12 Months
  • Child should turn head toward the source of sounds.
  • Child should respond to their name.
  • Child should respond to normal volume sounds such as water running and footsteps.
  • Child should produce vowel sounds (aaaaaah, ooooooh).
  • Child should understand simple words (no, bye bye).
12 To 15 Months
  • Child should imitate simple words.
  • Child should be able to point or look at familiar objects or people when asked.
15 To 18 Months
  • Child should understand simple spoken directions.
  • Child should speak first words.
2 Years (24 months)
  • Child should know how to say 10 or more words.
  • Child is able to put 2-3 words together in a phrase or simple sentence.
--- Ask an Audiologist ---

(all time periods are divisible by 3)

3 characteristics said to be responsible for all common syllables:

  1. Gross constriction gestures (proto-gestures) of the oral constricting organs (lips, TT, TB).
  2. Abduction of the glottis.
  3. Velum can be maintained in either low or high posture, resulting in nasal vs. oral stops being perceived.

3 characteristics of proto-gestures:

If we assume that the vowels [a] and [´] result from a "resting" posture of the tongue, each of the six most common syllables can be produced with a single proto-gesture, no combination is required:

  1. Lips [ba], [wa]
  2. Tongue tip [da], [d´]
  3. Glottis [ha], [h´]

Most syllables (11 of 16) can still be produced with a single proto-gesture. The exceptions are: [be], [do], [g{], [he], [hi]

--- Babbling and Phonology ---

3 problems solved by Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs):

  1. Minimizing background noise.
  2. Reducing the effect of distance between hard of hearing people and the sound source.
  3. Override poor acoustics.

3 types of assistive listening system technologies: FM~ Infrared~Inductive Loop.

---SHHH, Assistive Listening Devices ---

3-group classification methods by which Synthesized speech can be produced:

  1. Articulatory synthesis, which attempts to model the human speech production system directly.
  2. Formant synthesis, which models the pole frequencies of speech signal or transfer function of vocal tract based on source-filter-model.
  3. Concatenative synthesis, which uses different length pre-recorded samples derived from natural speech.

3 main types of voice parameters affected by emotions- (Abadjieva et al. 1993, Murray et al. 1993):

  1. Voice quality which contains largely constant voice characteristics over the spoken utterance, such as loudness and breathiness. For example, an angry voice is breathy, loud, and has a tense articulation with abrupt changes while a sad voice is very quiet with a decreased articulation precision.

  2. Pitch contour and its dynamic changes carry important emotional information, both in the general form for the whole sentence and in small fluctuations at word and phonemic levels. The most important pitch features are the general level, the dynamic range, changes in overall shape, content words, stressed phonemes, emphatic stress, and clause boundaries.

  3. Time characteristics contain the general rhythm, speech rate, the lengthening and shortening of the stressed syllables, the length of content words, and the duration and placing of pauses.

--- Methods, Techniques, and Algorithms ---

3 "true rhymes" of purists: Masculine~ Feminine~ Trisyllabic (Feminine is called double rhyme)

3 types of rhyme scheme students are sometimes asked to identify: Approximate~ End~ Internal

3 forms of poetry students are sometimes asked to write: Rhymed~ Unrhymed~ Patterned

3 classifications of (English) grammatical relationships:

  1. Actor- action- goal
  2. Coordination
  3. Subordination

3 features of words arranged in an orderly pattern to create a meaningful sentence structure:

  1. Word order
  2. Inflection
  3. Function words

3 frequently used conversation types in theatrical settings, etc.,: Monologue~ Dialogue~ Trialogue

3 linguistic components: Phonology~ Morphology~ Syntax

3 types of processing, when it comes to the neurobiology of sign language, were identified by the Researchers at the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience in La Jolla, California:

  1. Motion processing- Everyone groups patterns of motion, but people who sign show a dominance for grouping in the left hemisphere of the brain. On the other hand, people who do not sign use their right hemisphere to detect and group motion. By learning sign language, both sides of the brain can be utilized in detecting and grouping patterns of motion.

  2. Face processing- Since American Sign Language (ASL) is a very visual language, signers--people who sign--can detect subtle changes in a person's facial expressions. ASL involves seeing the person as a whole when using signs over many parts of the body. People who do not sign are better at detecting vocal changes and not looking too closely at the facial features. Therefore, they may not detect those little changes in a person's facial expressions.

  3. Mental imagery- In order to sign correctly, signers must translate spoken words into signs. This requires a very fast reaction time, which signers usually have. They have to create the signs that refer to words being spoken. Just think about how closely behind a speaker an interpreter is when signing the words. Also, there are no different words in ASL to say that something happened now and then. Therefore, signers must first establish the time of action with a sign, then sign just as if it were happening right now.

3 purposes served by "Motherese" talk (N. Masataka, 1996):

  1. It is able to grab and maintain the infant's attention.
  2. It positively affects the language development of infants when they are spoken to in a Motherese tone.
  3. Infants can discriminate certain language characteristics, thus enhancing and expediting verbal development.

Note: The above information was adapted from:

--- Sign Language Enhancing Language Development in Infants and Toddlers ---

Tripartite division of language classification by the Linguist August Schleicher: Isolating~ Agglutinating~ Inflecting.

Influenced by Darwin, Schleicher proposed that his three types represent different stages in the evolution of languages. He made an attempt to support his views by using analogies to nature: Isolating (crystals)~ Agglutinating (plants)~ Inflecting (animals).

3 Types of Languages (Isadore of Seville, 7th Century A.D.):

  1. All the Oriental nations jam tongue and words together in the throat, like Hebrews and Syrians.
  2. All the Mediterranean peoples push their enunciation forward to the palate, like the Greeks and the Asians.
  3. All the Occidentals break their words on the teeth, like the Italians and Spaniards.

3 to 1 ratio of rulers noted for carrying out experiments (by isolating children from all spoken language influences) to determine which language would be spoken first, and hence, identify the first language:


  • Roman Emperor Fredrick II of Hohenstaufen (A.D. 1200's).
  • James IV of Scotland (A.D. 1473-1513).
  • Emperor Akbar of India (A.D. 1543-1605).


  • Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus (664-610 B.C.)

These rulers were all working under the assumption that language is innate, and that children will speak this "original tongue" if kept away from the influence of language from those they are brought up with or the culture in which they reside.

"Three Languages" story occurring in Fairy tales is said to be very old and exist in various versions in different cultures. The following is one version of the story:

An aged count once lived in Switzerland, who had an only son, but he was stupid, and could learn nothing. Then said the father, hark you, my son, try as I will I can get nothing into your head. You must go from hence, I will give you into the care of a celebrated master, who shall see what he can do with you. The youth was sent into a strange town, and remained a whole year with the master. At the end of this time, he came home again, and his father asked, now, my son, what have you learnt. Father, I have learnt what the dogs say when they bark.

Lord have mercy on us, cried the father, is that all you have learnt. I will send you into another town, to another master. The youth was taken thither, and stayed a year with this master likewise. When he came back the father again asked, my son, what have you learnt. He answered, father, I have learnt what the birds say. Then the father fell into a rage and said, oh, you lost man, you have spent the precious time and learnt nothing, are you not ashamed to appear before my eyes. I will send you to a third master, but if you learn nothing this time also, I will no longer be your father.

The youth remained a whole year with the third master also, and when he came home again, and his father inquired, my son, what have you learnt. He answered, dear father, I have this year learnt what the frogs croak. Then the father fell into the most furious anger, sprang up, called his people thither, and said, this man is no longer my son, I drive him forth, and command you to take him out into the forest, and kill him. They took him forth, but when they should have killed him, they could not do it for pity, and let him go, and they cut the eyes and the tongue out of a deer that they might carry them to the old man as a token.

The youth wandered on, and after some time came to a fortress where he begged for a night's lodging. Yes, said the lord of the castle, if you will pass the night down there in the old tower, go thither, but I warn you, it is at the peril of your life, for it is full of wild dogs, which bark and howl without stopping, and at certain hours a man has to be given to them, whom they at once devour. The whole district was in sorrow and dismay because of them, and yet no one could do anything to stop this. The youth, however, was without fear, and said, just let me go down to the barking dogs, and give me something that I can throw to them, they will do nothing to harm me.

As he himself would have it so, they gave him some food for the wild animals, and led him down to the tower. When he went inside, the dogs did not bark at him, but wagged their tails quite amicably around him, ate what he set before them, and did not hurt one hair of his head. Next morning, to the astonishment of everyone, he came out again safe and unharmed, and said to the lord of the castle, the dogs have revealed to me, in their own language, why they dwell there, and bring evil on the land. They are bewitched, and are obliged to watch over a great treasure which is below in the tower, and they can have no rest until it is taken away, and I have likewise learnt, from their discourse, how that is to be done. Then all who heard this rejoiced, and the lord of the castle said he would adopt him as a son if he accomplished it successfully. He went down again, and as he knew what he had to do, he did it thoroughly, and brought a chest full of gold out with him.

The howling of the wild dogs was henceforth heard no more, they had disappeared, and the country was freed from the trouble. After some time he took it into his head that he would travel to Rome. On the way he passed by a marsh, in which a number of frogs were sitting croaking. He listened to them, and when he became aware of what they were saying, he grew very thoughtful and sad. At last he arrived in Rome, where the Pope had just died, and there was great doubt among the cardinals as to whom they should appoint as his successor. They at length agreed that the person should be chosen as Pope who should be distinguished by some divine and miraculous token. And just as that was decided on, the young count entered into the church, and suddenly two snow-white doves flew on his shoulders and remained sitting there. The ecclesiastics recognized therein the token from above, and asked him on the spot if he would be Pope. He was undecided, and knew not if he were worthy of this, but the doves counseled him to do it, and at length he said yes. Then was he anointed and consecrated, and thus was fulfilled what he had heard from the frogs on his way, which had so affected him, that he was to be his holiness the Pope. Then he had to sing a mass, and did not know one word of it, but the two doves sat continually on his shoulders, and said it all in his ear.

Note: this idea of an "unexpected" person becoming an important person in a religious order (in this case, the Pope), appears to be reflected in the telling of a story attributed to Nostradamus in which it is said he predicted that some boy of low social standing would rise to be the Pope. It's like an Urban legend the common people held stock in.

--- Grimm's Fairy Tales ---

3 allophone (phonemic derivative) environments:

  1. At the end of a word (only oral vowels; no nasal vowels).
  2. Before nasal consonants (only nasalized vowels; no oral vowels).
  3. Before nonnasal consonants (only oral vowels; no nasalized vowels).

3 types of alphabet in use characterized by 3 different methods of indicating vowels:

  1. Greek, Latin, and so on {vowels indicated by separate signs}.
  2. Aramaic, Hebrew - Arabic, and so on {vowels indicated by separate diacritic marks}.
  3. Ethiopic, Indic {vowels indicated by diacritic marks attached to the sign or, very rarely, by internal modification.}

3 native languages of Quechua, Aymara, and Puquina, from the Andean region of the (16th century) Inca empire, were a requirement for Jesuit priests to learn.

3-part emphasis by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: I believe that the process of thought might be carried on independent and apart from spoken or written language. I do not in the least doubt that if language had been denied or withheld from man, thought would have been a process more simple, more easy, and more perfect than at present.

3 physiological components of human speech production:

3 speech components

3 types of respiration involved in the mechanism of phonic breathing:

  1. Predominantly pectoral breathing (chiefly by elevation of the chest)
  2. Predominantly abdominal breathing (through marked movements of the abdominal wall)
  3. Optimal combination of both (with widening of the lower chest)

Stop consonants arranged according to the place in the mouth where the stoppage was made and the activity of the vocal cords during and immediately after the stoppage:

(3 to 1 ratio) ® Labial Dental Palatal Labiovelar
(1) Voiceless p t k' kw
(2) Voiced d g gw
(3) Voiced aspirated bh dh `gh gwh

Note: The "Labiovelar" designation is quite reminiscent of the "Extra-large" category we find in the sequence Small~ Medium~ Large... Extra-large, to the extent that the first three have individualized names and that which follows is but an addition containing a proportioned appendage of one of the first three. In other words, it doesn't have a separate entity status. (It repeats the word "labio" in the context of "labiovelar." Hence, I divide the so-called four categories into a 3 to 1 ratio.

  1. The ancient unvoiced p- t- k became the English unvoiced f- th- h and the Old High German f- d- h.
  2. The ancient voiced b- d- g became the English unvoiced p- t- k, and the Old High German unvoiced f- ts- kh.
  3. The former voiced bh- dh- gh became the English voiced b- d- g and the Old High German p- t- k.

Note: The foregoing is a description of the regular shifts of consonants in Indo-European languages formulated by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Grammatik; it pointed out prominent correlations between the Germanic and other Indo-European languages of Europe and Western Asia. The law was systematic and coherent formulation, well supported by examples of patterns recognized as early as 1814 by the Danish philologist Rasmus Kristian Rask. It is important for historical linguistics because it clearly demonstrates the principle that sound change is a regular phenomenon and not a random process affecting only some words as had been thought previously.)... {In other words, a regular (three-patterned) phenomenon.}

3-patterned "rules-of-thumb" in Patrick C. Ryan's hypothesis of a monogenetic Proto-language for humanity:

It had at least 3 stops:
  1. P, representing a bilabial stop
  2. T, representing an apical stop
  3. K, representing a dorsal stop

It had at least 3 vowels:
  1. E, a frontal vowel
  2. A, a central vowel
  3. O, a back vowel

Three of the earliest consonants are offered: /p[?]/, /t[?]/, /k[?]/

Three nasals are postulated: m, n, /ng/ ("q")

For further information:
--- Proto-Language ---

3-patterned speech sound postulated by Kim & Keith Salisbury as an ancient pattern existing in all languages:

K + Vowel + N

Message received via E-mail:

The whole collection of K-V-N words has been put up in the Files area, in 2 formats, one for Excel and one for MS Works/ Lotus 123.

The Filename is KVNCatalog4

The entire catalog filename is cKVNCatalog.xls

As it is now, the words are sorted by spelling of the word. If you want some fun, simply sort by Column A, to see the words grouped by Meaning groups. Then you decide if there is a pattern of commonality, a shared concept, across language group barriers. To get the whole array, sorted by Cluster, Sub-Cluster, and Meaning, first sort by Column C, with secondary sort by Column E and third level by Column A.

--- Etymology ---

3 cognitive leaps that occurred by 5,000 years ago due to the influence of Sumerian accountants, according to the Archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat:

  1. 3-dimensional clay tokens were replaced by two-dimensional pictographs that could be inscribed on tablets and styluses.
  2. (Clay) shapes that had previously denoted measures of grain were impressed on tables as specific numerals (wedge = 1; circle = 10; etc.), so that counting was no longer one-to-one. Thus, abstract numbers were invented. (Actually, it may be that abstract numbers developed long before this exercise, but we are without a written record in order to verify this consideration...H.O.B.)
  3. Two-dimensional pictographs were used phonetically to record the sounds of proper names and then, later, other words.

This suggests that we humans, at this point in cognitive development, went from a 3-dimensional to a 2-dimensional usage which resulted in a new type of 3-dimensional usage with respect to word development. (But this does not say anything about what the cognitive development was prior to a 2 or 3 dimensional perspective; perhaps it was a 1-dimensional perspective.) Did the early Sumerians use a form of 2-dimensional language? In any respect, this implies {Indo-European} humanity took a step backwards from a 3 usage to a 2 usage prior to the adoption of another type of 3 usage. We took one step back to make a greater forward gain.

Experiment on Reading Behavior:

Measures of processing time.

To investigate the components of reading, researchers typically have subjects read sentences or passages of text while an eye tracker interfaced with a computer records the locations and durations of individual fixations. Because an average college-level reader can read approximately 300 words per minute (Rayner & Pollatsek, 1989), this technique produces a staggering amount of data. Accordingly, the data are usually reduced to word-based measures, which are across-subject averages that reflect how often and for how long individual words are fixated. A number of word-based measures are standard (Inhoff & Radach, 1998; Liversedge & Findlay, 2000; Rayner, 1998; Rayner, Sereno, Morris, Schmauder, Clifton, 1989; Starr & Rayner, 2001):

  1. Gaze duration- which is defined as the sum of all fixations on a word, excluding any fixations after the eyes have left the word (i.e., including only refixations before the eyes move on to another word). Gaze duration is usually averaged only over words that are not skipped during the initial encounter (or first pass) through that region of text.
  2. First-fixation duration- is the duration of the first fixation on a word (again conditional on the word being fixated during the first pass through the text).
  3. Single-fixation duration- is the average fixation duration on words that are fixated exactly once during the first pass.

These indices are typically reported along with indices of how often a word was fixated. The probability of a word:

  1. Being skipped.
  2. Being fixated once.
  3. Being fixated more than once before moving to another word.

Often, the total time (the sum of all fixations on the word, including regressions back to the word) is also reported. The word-based measures provide a complete record of where and when fixations occurred.

...Erik D. Reichle, University of Pittsburgh
Keith Rayner and Alexander Pollatsek, University of Massachusetts, Amherst...

Above information excerpted from: The E-Z Reader Model of Eye Movement Control in Reading: Comparisons to Other Models

Link that may be of interest for some:
--- Speaking the Language of Recombinant DNA ---

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