Threesology Research Journal: The Language Narrative
A Language Narrative
Preface 3

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Literature is another of those trails upon which one might travel (in terms of Language research) for an enduring period of time because of its potential to unleash myriad landscapes one might attempt to enter into like some Alice's looking glass; yet all too often many find one or another mindscapes to be personally claimed by way of a pseudo-ownership by staking a preference for a particular genre and even establishing some purported authority thereof... such as owning a complete set of a given series, memorizing characters, discussing minutia with others interested in the same topic, etc... And while some may well be able to pinpoint a particular theme such as a recurrence of "threes", we do not find a genre of study explicitly oriented towards such an occupation. It has yet to be dawned on the Literary community that writers often engage in using enumeration, even if they don't intentionally reference any number. For example, words or letters such as "a" "some" "the", etc., can be interpreted to reference a specific quantity. No less, words such as "too" "for" "ate" "nine" (in German) "sex" "won", etc., are so very close to number references that one might consider them to be slips of the tongue so many of us participate in, that any previous closer alliance to enumeration have been lost in time and by way of contextual trappings which embroider such a consideration away from any clear distinction.

3 ships from The War of The Worlds 1953 movie

For the present, even though the reader of this commentary may know of one or more others, let me speak of a rather obvious recital of "threes" used in the scripting of the 1953 movie entitled "The War of the Worlds" based on a story by H.G. Wells with the same title, though the 3-lettered word "the" was diminished in size for the movie as opposed to the original novel. One might either say H.G. Wells was obsessed with the usage of a "3" theme because of some superstition he held, or he merely found it a useful writing gimmick. In any event, here are some "threes" to be found in the original 1953 movie. Perhaps some might want to say I am expressing a bit of sentimentality accompanying my age, but I liked the older version better than the 2005 adaptation with Tom Cruise because I think the producers and writers exercised too many thematic imagery problems that I don't care to go into now, which I think was caused appreciably by an otherwise creative vision to be diluted by an increased size of darker green dollar signs taking place in ever-increasing jungle of show business. (Let me use the coined word "Jungalized".) I also was not enamored by the television series were every episode seems to be a re-run of a re-run of a re-run.

  • 3 Meteors fall in each group
  • 3 cylinders to each group
  • 3 ships to each cylinder
  • 3 lenses and 3 distinct pupils to the Martians
  • 3 fingers on the hands of the Martians
  • 3 men stand watch on a fallen meteor
  • 3 items mentioned that don't work: Lights, Phones, Watches
  • 3rd hill: half-tracks are behind
  • 3rd church: Forester finds Sylvia
  • 3 Scientists are left
  • etc...

As a final note, let me add that Forester had made a reference to the recurrence of patterns-of-three. And while there are movies in which the number "3" may be used on a door for a particular movie scene, and there is a presence of various other patterns-of-three (or some other pattern), it is not customary to find a character being scripted to make a reference to such patterns... perhaps because it is a behavior that is uncommon in the general public. In any event, to do so would present most writers with a situation in which they would devolve into using some explanatory theme involving some superstitious, mythological or religious nonsense which is characteristic of Mathematicians who honestly do not know how to approach the topic of arithmetical recurrences (to be differentiated from numerical serializations used by those in antiquity) except to resort to the same... routine, run-of-the-mill, rather ignorant explanations found in generic forms of interpretation provided by so-called experts in Psychology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Astrology, Numerology, Anthropology... etc.

The War of the Worlds (is a) science-fiction novel by H.G. Wells, published in 1898. The story, which details 12 days in which invaders from Mars attack the planet Earth, captured popular imagination with its fast-paced narrative and images of Martians and interplanetary travel. The humans in The War of the Worlds initially treat the invasion with complacency but soon are provoked into a defensive state of war.

The novel helped launch the career of actor and director Orson Welles when he presented an adaptation of it on his radio program, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, on October 30, 1938. The simulated news broadcast of a Martian landing in New Jersey, complete with regularly updated news bulletins, caused a widespread panic among listeners. Later radio adaptations also produced mass hysteria, including an incident in Ecuador that resulted in several deaths. ("War of the Worlds, The." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

His (Orsen Welles') radio career began early in 1934 in an adaptation of the poet Archibald MacLeish's verse play Panic. In 1934–35 he narrated The March of Time news series, and subsequent radio roles included the part of Lamont Cranston in the mystery series The Shadow. In 1938 the Mercury players undertook a series of radio dramas adapted from famous novels. They attained national notoriety with the program based on H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds; the performance on October 30, 1938, using the format of a simulated news broadcast, announced an attack on New Jersey by invaders from Mars. Thousands of listeners, not realizing the announcement was a simulation, were panic-stricken. ("Welles, Orson." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

The image at the bottom of this page is taken from a series on Language I am undertaking at the moment so I haven't spent much time continuing to add pages to the Cognitive series. Permit me to continue this present expose' by enlisting the assistance of some metaphors:

At present, I am about 12 pages deep into it, using a blunted machete' to cut through the underbrush in hopes of finding some lost civilization of Language Theory with clues to its whereabouts placed on a stone with three scripts like the Rosetta Stone, Behistun rock formation and Galle Inscription. Surely, I say to myself, there is some existing collection of Runes awaiting to be discovered which will provide a tell-tale indication of that very path which I seek to explore and make a discovery that I am enabled to retrieve without too much of the Indiana Jones' escapes set out as a labyrinthine obstacle. Alas, forthwith must pursue the myriad forms of excavation in the tomes of Academia which only a stalwart countenance cloaked by a humble demeanor can only approach without raising too much suspicion among the many expert natives who stand sentinel on the edifice of their domain which they either helped construct or assist in the maintenance thereof. Nonetheless, I must prepare for the eventual battle whose drums have begun to beat on the horizon of a new Revolution bringing forth a new Revelation.

One of the tales along my journey is that dealing with the legendary idea that something got in the way of the Ancient Chinese fulfilling what might otherwise be viewed as an unprecedented meteoric rise in intellectual achievements made by standing on the shoulders of giants (or sitting on the shoulders of dragons), in a similar fashion to the idea espoused by Sir Isaac Newton (if not others).

First in what has been a procession of like-minded researchers is to be noted the work of Joseph Needham. His monumental work entitled "Science and Civilisation in China", has sometimes been referred to as the "Needham Question", though others have framed it differently.

Let me say at the very start, it does not take one long to see (in the presence of those arguing against his views), that he was very biased in favor of China. Nonetheless, the point I want to make without going into too much detail is that when the question comes up (specifically) about China and its apparent lack of continuing its industrial and scientific (including mathematical) gains; the reason is showcased in several ideas having nothing to do with adding Language to the list. No, I am not going to bullet review ideas involving commerce, religion, philosophy, government, etc., that others have posed in their respective proposals. I want to point out the total absence of anyone speaking to the difference in languages as a topic that should be on the table of comparing cultures, because language differences have to be viewed as a prime source by which ideas are formulated, established and changed. Many languages, including Chinese are tonal. Those of Europe are not. However, it is not enough to point out that the Industrial, Scientific and Mathematical revolutions occurred within contexts where the dominant language (groups) was non-tonal. This is not to say that China did not make advances. It simply did not pursue the same direction as Europeans, and their ideological Revolutions is the preeminent ideological orientation now being pursued by both tonal and non-tonal groups... though not all of them. Some persist in striving to retain "the old ways", despite costuming and theatrics (histrionics) to give the impression of participating in modern changes.

Before continuing, let me note a graphic which I think (at the moment) illustrates how I am viewing a difference between Tonal and Non-tonal languages:

Metaphors for tonal and non-tonal languages

However, before continuing along this path, let me take a shortcut along a consideration which must eventually be tossed into the fray, and that is the language of Mathematics, since it is one of the items of Western culture that was part of the Scientific Revolution which China had to spend time catching up with. While it is not commonly discussed, though I have addressed it elsewhere, it needs to be understood that Mathematics has an underlying dualistic design as displayed with such examples as:

  • Add/Subtract
  • Multiply/Divide
  • Less than/Greater than
  • Numerator/Denominator
  • Ration numbers/Irrational numbers
  • Two sides to an equation
  • Real numbers/Imaginary numbers
  • Subscript/Superscript
  • etc...

It should be obvious that math is a symbolically expressed form of philosophy which often involves characterizations of an artistic avocation if not advocation. As part of the present thesis, let us remark that the major players in the development currency of Western Mathematics originated Arabs, Indians and Europeans. If we take a look at the languages used, let us note a difference between tonal and non-tonal languages. While some questions may arise as to the providence of a tonal Dravidian language among some Southern Indians, I will leave that for a later time. Nonetheless, what we see is a major player in the use of non-tonal languages for the establishment of the Mathematics which was pursued as part of the Scientific Revolution. This is an important distinction to be made as well as taking into view the presence of a different type Dualistic philosophy than that developed by the Chinese in their Yin/Yang philosophy.

However, in speaking of a "3rd" language beyond tonal and non-tonal forms of speech, some consider that Mathematics is the 3rd language. While some Mathematicians might stress the need for using Language as a type of free-running sketch pad over which can be transposed Mathematics, or use language as a type of artist's palette upon which are mixed and matched different ideas that are symbolically transferred onto a canvas called an equation, others may view language as Einstein referred to it, whereby refuting (at least in his description), the idea that Mathematics is a language as he understood it.

Einstein comment on Mathematics and language

Whereas it is thought that China and others lagged behind the Europeans with respect to the development of the eventual European model of Science and Industry, one may want to consider the underlying dualistic model of Mathematics gives us an indication that Europeans were playing catch up with the overall development of cognition by formulating its own philosophy of dichotomization. In other words, with respect to the human species developing along a 1-2-3 corridor of cognition similar to the 1-2-3 developmental scenario we see in Germ layering (Complex life forms have 3 ("triploblastic" germ layers and less complex life forms have 2 ("Diploblastic") germ layers, with the idea posed by some that the sponges represent the closet we have available to represent a single ("Monoploblastic") germ layer life form.), then the later arrival of a dichotomous-based mathematics indicates a later development of the same type of 2-based cognitive that the Chinese developed with the Yin/Yang model. In other words, Europeans were playing catch-up but the form that their minds developed was expressed in Mathematics. Its as if the species as a whole follows a similar developmental path of cognitive activity, albeit expressed in the manner in which it occurs in history. Much like we would imagine a primitive child of 3,000 years ago developing a mentality similar to present day humans if it were brought up on the present era. The "ancient child" of 3,000 years ago would not express the development characteristics of a 3,000 year old child's upbringing, unless there have actually been subtle developmental changes occurring in the brains of humans since 3,000, 6,000 or let us say even 10,000 years ago... However, a child from a Neanderthal clam might well develop like a "slow learning" child, if there were actual cognitive differences to go along with differences in physical features many of us view as an indication of psychological (if not emotional) primivity.

While all humans appear to be anatomically similar, we know there can be vast differences in how people think. While some children appear to mature faster, just like non-human animals compared to humans, the ability to mature earlier does not necessarily represent some later advantage or even continued "advancement" in maturity. Even if a human child exhibits a cognitive precociousness over others, this does not mean that the precociousness will continue on for the individual's entire life. Some supposed "slow" learners can not only catch up the faster learners, but in some cases, in some respects, exceed their "output", whatever it may be. And though the young can have the advantage over the old by learning from them and avoiding their mistakes, it doesn't mean that what is to be accomplished by avoiding such mistakes will be a continuing benefit, because they were established in regard to a given set of circumstances and not others which may present themselves to a younger generation who developed more of a speciality of cognitive application and not a need generalist... or even scavenger ability.

If your are one of those who prefer to think that all or some Chinese people on a given average are smarter than any other cultural groups, then you might think that no matter the upbringing, the individual will exhibit a superiority. However, if the adaptive skill of a given group of people is based on a cultural practice of generality, and they are presented with an environment in which such a blueprint of cognitivity has no application, they may be severely handicapped. However, by training one's people to practice a philosophical homogeneity... a sameness, a oneness with oneself for multiples of generations; then it is a good reason to maintain a given culture in a given way and try to transform all of humanity to practice a lifestyle which is most advantageous to a cognitive plan engrained in cultural standards of like-minded uniformity. However, throw a wrench into such a system and the once underlying cognitive prescription for gain can easily be lost. This is a very good reason to keep other cultures out... because it yields the observation of weaknesses and vulnerabilities not conducive to an ego-centered orientation where competition for goods, services, etc., is not planned for beyond internalization of efforts to pursue a self-styled and self-referential uniqueness.

The differences pointed out between China's later attempts to develop standards of conceptualization equal to the European models of Science and Industry do not mean Chinese people are or were stupid. There were significant differences in the two cultures which multiple researchers have pointed out. Yet, theses researchers did not make a cognition between language differences on a larger scale of comparing why other cultures as well did and have continued to lag behind, even when they have embraced Western standards. They are merely exhibiting a myna-bird's mimicry resulting in an exhibited stagnation having taken place with all cultures. Portraying gains and exhibiting rewards for those gains is not the same as progress, nor is it to be left up to current standards of what is or is not meant to be viewed as progress. Institutions like the Nobel Committee are heavily invested in maintaining it own cultural standards of what they decide is meant as a progressive expression or is not. The Nobel prize committee can not be the standard by which humanity practices its tally sheet.

However, their tonal languages are oriented in mode and manner to direct their thoughts in a pattern which can be expressed as dualities seeking a convergence, or "The One"... a Complementarity, a Unification. This model of thinking is not appreciably conducive to the pursuit of knowledge development produced by non-tonal language peoples. Yes, the European way of Industrial and Scientific thinking can be copied and mimicked. But then stagnation... a standardized mediocrity sets in, whereby there is no further development. Again, tonal languages can be referenced in terms of a philosophical basis of dualities seeking an internalized equilibrium. A steady-state "oneness", whereas Non-tonal language groups are steeped in a cognitive orientation where dualities are turned towards the development of a triplicity, a plurality, a multiplicity... and not a singularity. However, not only are Tonal languages a disadvantage to a developmental progression beyond that which is individually achieved in accordance with a standard of "oneness- duality", but is the eventuality of non-tonal languages. Both of them represent a primitive form of conceptualization comparable to a primitive's development of a counting sequence, where the highest valuation achieved is a three-patterned 1- 2- Many ordering of ideas which seduces people into thinking the idea of "Many" is suitable for thinking they are on the path of a superior model of excellence... without limits, whereas in fact they are confronted by a model of conceptualization which details a cognitive stopping point. The word "infinity" is a substitute form of "Many". So are word such as "Universe, forever, Eternity", etc...

The languages being used are like notches on a tally stick creating cognitive impressions. There are two notches. However, a (uninfluenced by Western ideas) tonal-language speaker would interpret this as a totality to be embraced and thus eventually developed into a dualistic philosophy, and a (uninfluenced by Eastern ideas) non-tonal speaker would interpret this as one stick of Many others (that they can duplicate on an Industrialized production line) which can be similarly marked with two notches on multiple materials in multiple ways and provided in multiple contexts; giving them the impression they are MORE intelligent and MORE successful because they have MORE of a presumed different collection to be viewed as a higher (or MORE) of a count, by which the idea of a single God becomes MORE by way of having MORE (different kinds) of Religion, instead of a Nationally shared philosophy embraced as a governing dictum of life to be internalized by way of a duality that seeks oneness with Nature and not an exploitation thereof.

Yet, the fact that humanity is living under the conditions of an incrementally deteriorating environment that no amount of effort can stave off the eventual demise by any means, mode or modification— that bickering about the rightness or wrongness of one's cultural "MORES" is tantamount to a suicidal epitaph; by way of an unrecognized self-fulfilling prophesy buttressed by religious orientations expressing the belief in a needed, necessary and nascent Apocalypse whose conceptual idealization amounts to a Scorched Earth policy... to insist that a particular belief is pure, proper and somehow propitious— by insuring a destruction of all non-believers... soldiered by a sacrificial lot that believes such an action confirms what can only be described as a psychotic-break-from-reality disposition clearly inline with former delusions which sanctified witch hunts, and ensuing trials where the burden of proof was a form of double-standard, house-rules justice that was rigged solely to protect, serve and dignify an openly practiced dark, blistered and infamously corrupt cloister of Irrationality clarified by juxtapositioning multiple dichotomies as some sort of relevant disposition for seeking a oneness with a poised Triunity of false-proselytizing musketeers to be joined by the darkest of horse riders called Death.

Many puzzling questions arise about the ancient Chinese (in contrast to the present resignation to the pursuit of mediocrity focused on by a regime which reflects a dog chasing its own tail or myna bird pecking at its own reflection in a mirror called a "core" idea that masks an obsessive compulsive neuroticism over a territorial claim called Taiwan). One of the most puzzling to me is the absence of a continuation by China in its obvious superiority of many enterprising pursuits which one can not help but notice that apparently ran into a brick wall, or perhaps is better described as a wheel placed into a hamster cage or a swing in a bird cage. In short, progress did not continue along those lines which are now very much coveted all over the world and for which many, many, many Chinese and other tonal language peoples seek out to be educated in some Western culture or at least some culture deeply invested in the Academics of Western thought. So, what happened? Indeed, why not have Western ideas become a standard in the Chinese education system, or all cultures in which tonal languages are dominant or even the day -to- day lingua franca, though the government prefers the adoption of a non-tonal language?

Let me state it again in another way: Non-tonal languages which initiated the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions in the West require some proficiency in a non-tonal language because the ideas being fostered are a reflection thereof. This does not mean that Tonal-speaking people are stupid. They simply do not have the type of language needed for better conceptualizing ideas developed by non-tonal language patterns. If we say that Tonal-languages were the first form of human language to be developed, then a supposed "Mother Tongue" of human language will be found in its proto-formulas. If we accept this conjecture, then non-tonal languages came afterwards, or in second place. In addition, if we accept the idea that language can and does influence thought... which afterward can influence language in a sort of tit -for- tat exchange over time and between cultures, then we need to be thinking of a third place language. The idea of a 1- 2- 3 developmental sequence for language is not without precedent. Since there are multiple anatomical, biological, philosophical, sociological, etc., examples which may be offered as references, it is not a far-fetched idea to consider the possibility that a 3rd kind of language is waiting in the wings for the appropriate conditions to blossom... unless it already exists but is unrecognized and overlooked (like many an actor/actress, creativity, invention, homeless person, etc..) and is thus being cultured by oppressive circumstances to reveal itself in a crude, unpolished model of its true potential as a Natural, and not as some artificiality.

In speaking of a distinctive third type of human language, I am not referring to the situation in which someone learns another named language that is already in existence, though one might well think in terms of a Native language, Non-native language and a made-up language (let us say pig-Latin) as a three-way ensemble of 1st, 2nd and 3rd languages. What I am describing, that is if it is not already apparent, is a language that super-cedes both tonal and non-tonal languages, if such a language with present human physiology is even at all possible. And I don't care if you think what I am describing is some concocted notion best suite for a Science Fiction story, Fairy tale, or some crazy idea... just so long as the notion "gets out there" and people start to think about it and form some relative approximation of what it might be and how to look for it if it is in some fledgling state of inception. while someone familiar with Fairy tales may see in my view about a third language the idea of The Three Languages story involving the languages of a dog, frog, and bird,; a "proper" correlation would have to be surmised if we could say that one of these three was a tonal language, another non-tonal and the third an entirely different model of language. If we view the dog as a land language, the frog as a sea language, and the bird as an air language— then summarily view in them the sequential representations of matter: solid (land language), Liquid (sea language), Gas (Air language); we are left to consider Plasma as a distinction from the three... all of which is an ensemble that has multiple examples: Three -to- one ratios page A. But such a profile is not the typical associations made by those studying Fairy tales because it involves a theory of development human cognition not yet having entered into Academic settings for teaching such a subject to prospective teachers. Such a view is related to cognitive development of the species which enters into it a discussion of Pagan ideas related to Nature correspondences relative to fertility rituals and observations which suggest that the idea of a stork bringing a baby may have been fanciful for some, but others in an age of widespread ignorance, if not a state of social semi-consciousness had to create some era-specific reasonable answer to the question of conception, pregnancy and birthing and various trinity-like ideas were relatedly developed such as birth- life- death, maiden- mother crone, dawn- noon- dusk, son- father- holy spirit/ghost, hell- purgatory- heaven, 3 roots of yggdrasil, etc...

Let me put the 3 roots of yggdrasil in its more familiar context:

Yggdrasil tree and related text of Norse mythology

Let us ask again. While didn't the obviously superior Chinese not continue to grow along those lines of thought and industry which are coveted today? Whereas one might want to argue that there was an ideological shift from the Earthly realm of "things" and means to get them, to those ideas which appeared to supply a means of achieving a more profound realization by a process of religion, spirituality and/or philosophy (name it as you will), why then do so many tone-language peoples seek to emulate the toneless language cultures with there supposed decadent Capitalism? Is not Capitalism a part of the same ideological disposition of a non-tonal form of conceptualization? (Then again, Capitalism like hunting rifles, fishing rods, picks, shovels, hammers, saws, etc., is a tool that can be used for either constructive or destructive purposes depending on the person.) Or is Capitalism a means by which a non-tonal language born form of Conceptualization is allow to play hookey (from school, form work, from life), to participate in an act equivalent to slumming by an otherwise Aristocrat inclined towards a baser model of recreational activity that no current religion, legal system or philosophy can intervene because they too honor such a tradition of slumming based on embraced traditions they refuse to abandon so that a 3rd language and its accompanying ideological influences can come to dominate and rid the world of so many different kinds of predators that the present kinds of phony Democracies in the world protect because of a standardized policy of protecting Most predators and keeping them in cages so as to remind everyone that a baser model of humanity is allowed to run free so long as it abides by a certain tally sheet of accommodations, does not get caught doing anything wrong, or is enabled to get out of jail for free because of political/social clout, financial backing, or other loophole deliberately carved into a justice system practicing a double... and sometimes triple standard of law?

How do we insist on the assistance of a better language to emerge for humanity if the present morass of problems can not be seen as a result of the primitive forms of language being used and characterized as standards or Nationally required? How can humanity proceed along the ladder of development if it continues to paint its two rungs and wait for the paint to dry, only to repaint them because the former shift of painters wants to justify its existence by repainting them and placing a wet paint sign on them, thus preventing any would-be travelers to the next rung to defer to the sign or else be stigmatized, ostracized and never permitted to slum on the lower level rungs unless they can walk the walk and talk the talk of the prevailing locals who only think that anything better than what they have is to be achieved by observing some ritual in cadence with others who either paint the rungs or hang the wet paint sign?

While some think that Language is innate and inevitable (studies of feral children not withstanding), others lean towards nurturance as the initiator of the phenomena we call vocal speech, ... though let us note there are multiple forms of language. However, many, if not most of us would agree that humans at the very least humans have a physiologically prescribed ability to learn language during a sensitive or critical period of their childhood development. The problem is, the occasion of infant babbling, but it is a topic being reserved for the Language series. Nonetheless, the point to be raised about features of what are described as higher cognitive functions for which we might cite the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions as an expression thereof along a given trek of cognitive expansion; is that not all peoples have developed along this same path either equally or at all, and that if one such expansion has occurred, can not another... requiring yet a different type of language that some may argue "HAS TO BE" an artificial one, because they have somehow refused to believe anything more is humanly possible, or that they have a stake in preferring an artificial language be used because they are personally poised to be advantaged by such an adoption.

Whereas it is customary to view non-tonal languages as a result of vocal pitch and this is to be distinguished from language tones, an understanding of the differences in context is essential. Basically I want to point out that while pitch can be found in a spectrum of tones (like a large palette or crayon box of artistic colors, or in the variety of interpretations one might derive form Calligraphy), Pitch can occur as a single color or single letter in an English alphabet. Pitch is not bland or colorless, it is typically static, while tone can be dynamic.

Tone: in acoustics, sound that can be recognized by its regularity of vibration. A simple tone has only one frequency, although its intensity may vary. A complex tone consists of two or more simple tones, called overtones. The tone of lowest frequency is called the fundamental; the others, overtones. The frequencies of the overtones may be whole multiples (e.g., 2, 3, 4, etc., of the fundamental frequency, in which case they are called the second, third, fourth, etc., harmonics of the fundamental tone, itself known as the first harmonic). A combination of harmonic tones is pleasant to hear and is therefore called a musical tone. ("sound." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

Tone in linguistics, a variation in the pitch of the voice while speaking. The word tone is usually applied to those languages (called tone languages) in which pitch serves to help distinguish words and grammatical categories—i.e., in which pitch characteristics are used to differentiate one word from another word that is otherwise identical in its sequence of consonants and vowels. For example, "man" in Mandarin Chinese may mean either "deceive" or "slow," depending on its pitch.

In tone languages, pitch is a property of words, but what is important is:

  • Not absolute pitch...
  • But relative pitch.

Tone languages usually make use of a limited number of pitch contrasts (dualities). These contrasts are called the tones of the language. The domain of the tones is usually the syllable.

There are two main types of tone languages:

  1. Register-tone, or level-tone: Register-tone languages use tones that are level; i.e., they have relatively steady-state pitches, which differ with regard to being relatively higher or lower. This is characteristic of many tone languages in West Africa.
  2. Contour-tone languages: In contour-tone languages at least some of the tones must be described in terms of pitch movements, such as rises and falls or more complex movements such as rise–falls. This is characteristic of many tone languages of Southeast Asia.

("speech." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

Pitch: in music, position of a single sound in the complete range of sound. Sounds are higher or lower in pitch according to the frequency of vibration of the sound waves producing them. A high frequency (e.g., 880 hertz [cycles per second]) is perceived as a high pitch; a low frequency (e.g., 55 Hz) as a low pitch. ("pitch." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

Pitch: in speech, the relative highness or lowness of a tone as perceived by the ear, which depends on the number of vibrations per second produced by the vocal cords. Pitch is the main acoustic correlate of tone and intonation. ("pitch." Encyclopædia Britannica.

Intonation in phonetics, the melodic pattern of an utterance. Intonation is primarily a matter of variation in the pitch level of the voice (see also tone), but in such languages as English, stress and rhythm are also involved. Intonation conveys differences of expressive meaning (e.g., surprise, anger, wariness).

In many languages, including English, intonation serves a grammatical function, distinguishing one type of phrase or sentence from another. Thus, “Your name is John,” beginning with a medium pitch and ending with a lower one (falling intonation), is a simple assertion; “Your name is John?”, with a rising intonation (high final pitch), indicates a question. ("intonation." Encyclopædia Britannica.)

trying to account for differential changes in ideas between cultures

Language Narrative Origination: Monday, 21st November 2022... approx. 4:00 AM
Date of Initial Posting (Preface): Tuesday, 28th November 2022... 8:00 AM
Updated Posting:Tuesday, 6th December 2022... 7:55 AM, AST (Arizona Standard Time); Marana, AZ.