I have pointed out above, in excerpt 1, a highly effective anaphoric
repetition of the first personal pronoun "I": But I, that am... I, that am
... I, that am ... Why, I.I suggested that this repetitive scheme may
impute a considerable degree of unity on a passage in which the
predicted predicate is postponed to the twelfth line. I also claimed that
Beale superimposed on this repetitive pattern a "crescendo" pattern. I
suggested that this catalogue can be interpreted as the speaker's
increasing amusement over his own absurd situation. Now I propose to
elaborate on this, and make an additional observation too. Consider
figure 9. The increasing thickness of the wave plots of the first three
items indicates here a pattern of increasing loudness. The intonation
plots of "I" have strikingly similar shapes, especially the last two ones.
The pitches of the four plots too yield a gradually ascending sequence.
It is this rising sequence that reinforces the "increasing amusement"
aspect of Gloucester's catalogue of his own deformities.
Now this rising sequence illuminated for me an issue that caused me
a considerable problem. I have discussed above the possible disruptive
or reinforcing effect of the pause after "Why, I" in the first line of
excerpt 2. Relying on a gestalt principle, I assumed that entities tend to
reassert themselves in perception in front of intruding events--provided
that the perceptual entity is sufficiently unified. I mentioned two types
of unifying factors: closural devices, and some perceptual force
propelling across the pause. When listening to the line, I did perceive
such a propelling force, but had difficulties to pinpoint its source. I had
a feeling that the closing intonation contour on "I" didn't fall "deep"
enough, and thus aroused strong expectations for continuation. The
trouble is that we have no criteria for deciding what is "deep enough".
The pitch curve of "I" in the last but one phrase in figure 9 rises from
107 Hz to 120 Hz, and then falls to 82 Hz. The curve of "why",
though somewhat lower, is within roughly the same range (98 Hz, 102
Hz, 80 Hz). From here, there is a considerable leap to the pitch curve
of "I", which moves from 127 Hz to 136 Hz, falling to 99 Hz. These
comparisons suggest two possible solutions (perhaps both valid). First,
the musicologists Cooper and Meyer (1960) pointed out that a steeply
rising pitch sequence or intensity sequence (crescendo) has a marked
forward grouping effect (it leads, so to speak, forward). Second, when
you listen in figure 9 to the last two phrases only, you have a feeling
that the intonation curve of the first "I" falls to a "base line", some
stable reference point of the musical scale, even if you cannot tell by