Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 01:46:03 -0800

From: "Thomas L. Clark" tlc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]NEVADA.EDU

Subject: Re: Segmentals, Suprasegmentals, & Xylophones (Huh? Howzat?))

Sorry. I assumed you realized I was discussing suprasegmentals (though

my students thank you for the mini-lecture). We have been fooling around

with sound spectrographic analyses of suprasegmentals and associating

phonetic (not phonemic) features with instrumental sounds (such as, "How

does a trumpet wail," or "Why does a pan pipe keen?")

The xylophone of Prfessor Higgins (Professor Henry Sweet) was simply

another query. Sorry to have taken your time.



Thomas L. Clark 702/895-3473

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (89154-5011)


On Mon, 12 Feb 1996, Samuel Jones wrote:

To: Thomas L. Clark

Your question has not been forgotten, nor is it being ignored. Your

inquiry is, to say the least, intriguing, and it piques my curiosity.

I reckon I ought to sit a spell and think on it before attempting to reach

a conclusion or two about any possibly-relevant similarities between

1) musical harmonics (the mathematical building blocks of all musical tones

except "pure" tone generator sounds), along with musical tones'

2) amplitude or volume, duration, timbre or quality, and pitch,

AND those aspects of speech involving more than just individual vowels or

consonants (i.e.,SEGMENTALS), which are called

SUPRASEGMENTALS, whose main characteristics are accent or stress, length,

even juncture**, plus tone/pitch, and intonation, or the pattern of "pitch

changes" that occurs in a sentence,such as Eliza Doolittle's line,

"How NICE of You to Let me Come."

(** JUNCTURE can mean either the mode of relationship or the manner of


between two consecutive speech sounds.)

As I re-read the above paragraph, which I am not altogether certain makes


sense, even to me, I realize that the answer to your question may be far more

complex and involved than I at first thought. Nonetheless, "Hope is but a word,

but of all words, the only sentinel of permanence!"

Research and investigating a challenge is a lot like peeling an onion - one


off layer after layer of the problem, shedding a lot of tears in the

process; and,

at the end there is nothing left - but one is still shedding tears.




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