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Departmental Colloquium: Manfred Bierwisch (Humboldt Universität, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akadeémie der Wissenschaften): Language and music: similarities and differences

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Language and Music - Types of Signs and their Consequences


Language and Music share acoustic signals and interesting aspects of structure, but for essentially different reasons and with crucially different consequences. Given Peirce's distinction of indexical, iconic, and symbolic signs, Language is essentially based on combinatorial symbols, while Music consists in the iconic combination of sounds, with fundamental different consequences for their respective combinatorial structure. Of particular interest is the integration of the principles of both types of signs in singing, as will be illustrated in a characteristic example.