query: metaphors for high/low pitch

Hartmut Haberland hartmut at RUC.DK
Wed Jan 3 16:24:35 UTC 2007

This is not really an answer to the query, and maybe it's trivial 
because everybody knows, but I would like to point out this book:

Ivan Fónagy: Die Metaphern in der Phonetik. Ein Beitrag zur 
Entwicklungsgeschichte des wissenschaftlichen Denkens. The Hague: 
Mouton, 1963. (Janua linguarum, series minor 25)

Hartmut Haberland

David Gil wrote:

> Dear all,
> I am posting the following query on behalf of a musicologist 
> colleague, Zohar Eitan (zeitan at post.tau.ac.il).  Please respond to 
> *me* with specific data (which I will compile and then pass on to the 
> author of the query), to the *lingtyp list* if you think your response 
> is of general interest, or to *Zohar Eitan* if you wish to discuss 
> these issues further with him.
> The query:
> In English (and other languages) auditory pitch is metaphorically 
> mapped onto spatial verticality ("high" vs. "low" notes, ascending vs. 
> descending melody).  I am interested in information on the ways 
> diverse languages designate the polarities of auditory pitch.  In 
> particular:
> 1.  Is  the verticality metaphor used to designate auditory pitch 
> poles (i.e., equivalents of the English "high-low") and  the 
> corresponding pitch changes and ("ascend-descend") ?
> 2.  If so, is  the verticality-auditory mapping applied as in English 
> (e.g., female voices and flute sound are "high", male voices and 
> double-bass sounds are "low") or in  the _opposite_ way?
> 3. Are other antonyms (e.g., small-large, young-old) used as _general_ 
> terms for the polarities of auditory pitch and for corresponding pitch 
> changes?
> 4.  Are any _specific_ terms used to designate "high" and "low" ranges 
> of  auditory pitch within certain contexts (e.g., the human voices, a 
> specific musical instrument)?  What, if any, are the metaphorical 
> mapping applied in using these terms?
> Thanks,
> Zohar

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20070103/859a6ecf/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list