Threesology Research Journal

Commentary in Assessment
(People in Threes Going Up in Smoke
— and —
Other Triplicities in Russian Literature and Culture)

(The Study of Threes)

Professor Croft's view:

"I advance a theory of narrative efficiency based on the capacity of the human mind for processing information to explain the inordinate pervasity of triplicity in Russian language and culture* I argue that the Russian culture is particularly susceptible to seeing things in threes, to tricategorization, to tertiari-ness of all kinds, and that Russian forms of narration, both spoken and written, are particularly rife with triplicity. This goes well beyond the triplicity inherent in most cultures—the philosophical religious and physiological/psychoanalytic triads..."

If in fact the Russian literary culture uses more threes than any other culture, it would be of considerable value to have this hypothesis tested because there are numerous questions to be answered, of which the following are a small snippet:

For example,

  1. Does such a phenomena begin in childhood? adolescence? or at the onset of babbling in infants?
  2. Do Russian infants babble in more "chunks"-of-three than the infants of any other culture?
  3. (Interestingly, a "chunk" amongst those studying infant babbling, is characteristically identified with two-letter labels such as Ba, Da, Na, Ti, etc... We must wonder whether infants actually exhibit sounds that have two-letter equivalents, or is this something the adult researcher's ear has incorrectly identified? Linguistically, with respect to the maturational development of speech in infants, these so-called chunks can be identified as occurring in single, double, and then triple formulaic forms prior to the onset of what are described as "real words" in the respective cultural language community the infant is brought up in.)

  4. Is the babbling of Russian or Slavic infants different than the infants of any other culture?
  5. Do infants brought up in a two-patterned Yin/Yang dominant culture babble moreso in "chunks-of-two" then "chunks-of-three"? (Is this why some Asian cultures use two-patterned names (last, first)in contrast to three-patterned names (first, middle, last)) used in European cultures?
  6. Do Russian/Slavic criminals hold a preferential dichotomous world-view and this mentality brings them in conflict with a predominant three-patterned orientation occurring in their overall culture?
  7. Do Asian criminals hold a preferential tripartite world-view and this mentality brings them in conflict with a predominant two-patterned orientation occurring in their overall culture?
  8. Does the Russian culture have more (unrecognized, outside the literary domain) patterns-of-three than any culture including the American culture?
  9. Do the Russian people have more unrecognized patterns-of-three (or a pattern-of-three influence) in their physiology than other peoples?
  10. The dominant three-patterned structure of the human ear would seem to influence speech patterns in a characteristic way since hearing affects speech, as noted by a deaf person's attempts to vocalize:

    3-Patterned Ear Structure

    3 overall divisions:
    Outer - Inner - Middle

    3 middle ear divisions:
    Tympanum - Epitympanum - Mastoid antrum

    3 eardrum membranes:
    Cutaneum - Collagen fibers - Mucosm

    3 semi-circular canals

    3 bones (ossicular chain):
    Incus- Stapes -Malleus

    3 main malleus ligaments:
    Anterior- Lateral -Superior

    3 incus anchorage points:
    Malleus - Stapes - Bony fossa wall

    3 cochlea sections (Scala):
    Vestibuli- Tympani -Cochlear duct

    3 extrinsic muscles (Auricularis):
    Anterior- Superior - Posterior

    3 sound conduction paths:
    Elec. - Mech. - Fluid
    Bone (solid) - Air (gas) - Fluid (liquid)

    3 nerve stimulation paths:
    Mech.- Chem. - Elect.

    3 outer hair cell rows (typical in mammals)

    3 main forms of ossicular chain fixation: Fluid - Mechanical -Otosclerosis
    3 classes of ossicular lever action: Force arm - Resistance arm - Fulcrum
    3 principal types of deafness: Conduction - Nerve - Stimulation
    3 acoustic distortion forms: Frequency - Phase - Amplitude
    3 basic properties of vibrating bodies: Inertia - Elasticity - Dissipation
    3 sound characteristics: Pitch - Volume (intensity) - Tone
    3 Sound wave propagation processes: Diffraction - Transmission - Reflection
    3 turns to the Cochlea, variously mismeasured as 2 3/8, 2¼, 2 5/8, 2½, 2¾, 2 7/8, etc., ???

    (Imagine our language development if our ear components exhibited a different predominant pattern: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc:)

    *** Stark & Nathanson (1973) differentiated three types of infant vocalizations:

    1. Cry sounds (sounds produced in acute stress such as pain or hunger)
    2. Discomfort sounds (a lesser degree of discomfort such as when not reaching a toy)
    3. Vegetative sounds (coughs, burps, sneezes)

    *** Wolff (1965) described three cry types:

    1. Basic cry
    2. Mad/Angry cry
    3. Pain cry

    *** Truby & Lind (1965) referred to three acoustic types of cry:

    1. Phonation (basic cry)
    2. Dysphonation (turbulence)
    3. Hyperphonation (shift)

    3 successive/overlapping stages of infant babbling?:

    1. Single Chunks (Ba)
    2. Double chunks (MaMa)
    3. Triple Chunks (DaDaDa)
      • (combinations produce long strings of "reduplications")

    3 successive/overlapping stages of word development?:

    1. Single word (Doggie)
    2. Double word (Doggie Come)
    3. Triple word (Doggie Come Here)
      • (combinations can produce various human yakety-yak-yak combinations)

    3 Esophagus parts: Pars Cervicalis - Pars Thoracica - Pars Abdominalis
    3 single and 3 pairs of cartilage compose the frame (skeleton) of `the larynx
    3 basic parts to all languages: Subject - Object - Verb
    3-model structure of all languages: Phonology - Grammar - Lexicon

    *** Noam Chomsky's transformational grammar components:

    1. Phrase-structure
    2. Transformational
    3. Morphophonemic

    3 parts to speech: Consonants - Vowels - Supra-segmentals
    3 stress forms in language: Primary - Secondary - Weak
    3 English Language divisions: Old - Middle - Modern
    3 Archaic Chinese Language divisions: Early - Middle - Late
    3 sentence Ends: Period - Question Mark - Exclamation Point
    3 sentence Types: Simple - Compound - Complex

    3 library researches: Author - Title - Subject
    3-part mnemonic rule: I before E except after C
    3 Noun types: Person - Place - Thing
    3 Pronoun types: First person - Second person - Third person
    3 Personal Pronoun Cases: Subjective - Objective - Possessive
    3 Personal Pronoun Genders: Masculine - Feminine - Neuter
    3 Verb Moods: Indicative - Imperative - Subjunctive
    3 Verb Inflections: Tense - Mood - Number
    3 Adjective comparison degrees: Positive - Comparative - Superlative
    3 Affix subdivisions: Prefixes - Infixes - Suffixes
    3 basic correct punctuation units: Phrase - Independent Clause - Dependent Clause
    3 word variation categories: Antonyms - Homonyms - Synonyms
    3 types of Verbals (special forms of a verb): Gerund - Infinitive - Participle
    3 successive stages of writing development: Logography - Syllabography - Alphabetography
    3 great writing steps: Sumerian phonetization - West Semitic syllabary - Greek alphabet
    3 writing systems on Rosetta Stone: Hieroglyphics - Demotic Script - Greek
    3 Mayan Codices: Dresden Codex - Madrid Codex - Paris Codex
    3 languages on Sumerian Cuneiform: Semitic Babylonian - Indo-European Persian - Elamite
    3 (talking) drills: Imitation - Substitution - Transformational (Guided repetition to instill a particular aspect of language in a learner)

    3 types of syllable stress by Sebastian Shaumyan (1987):

    1. Strong/Dynamic
    2. Quantitative
    3. Tonal/Musical

    *** Tripartite division of language classification by the Linguist August Schleicher:

    1. Isolating
    2. Agglutinating
    3. Inflecting

    Influenced by Darwin, he proposed that his three types represent different stages in the evolution of languages. He made an attempt to support his views by using three analogies to nature:

    • Isolating (crystals)
    • Agglutinating (plants)
    • Inflecting (animals).

If a {one- two- three} maturational development sequence is in effect by humanity (selectively profound in some people?), do the Russian people (unknowingly) exhibit a characteristic of future humanity?

...Along with this unknowing suggests an inability to utilize the evolved characteristic in any meaningful way that would make sense to most humans of the present day. In other words, they are like an infant harboring a quality they lack the knowledge/training to utilize in a culturally significant way; a trait that is laying in some level of dormancy awaiting particular internal/external events (or simply, the proper leadership) to appear in order to spark an awakening that may fore-shadow the beginning of present humanity's demise which will harken in the beginning of an evolved species... in whatever form such an evolution will first appear, just as life itself first appeared in what is sometimes referred to as a primordial soup.

...In such a case, imaginatively speaking, the Russian people would be like a future being whose time machine broke down and trapped them in a past forcing them to try to survive alongside the primivity of Cro-magnons or earlier Australopithecine.

If the Russian people have such a consciousness in-the-making... attempting to force it into a submissiveness by way of wide-spread alcoholism (and other forms of degeneracy) in order to quell the awakening into a non-sensical stupor, whether or not they are aware of it or that it remains in a semi-dormant state of activity and it is... or can be awakened into a sober realization, Earth's present Cro-magnon populations could very well witness the beginning of their end as the big kid on the block. The Russian, hence Slavic peoples should not be fearful of such an awakening and the primacy of their role, but should embrace its realization. For all the Hell they've been subjected to for so many centuries, they deserve a new beginning... and so does all of humanity.