Onomatopoeia and Poetry Translation

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This page displays the figures and sound files for the paper:

Reuven Tsur

Constraints of the Semiotic System
Onomatopoeia, Expressive Sound Patterns and Poetry Translation

Submitted to the volume:

Uta Klein, Katja Mellmann, Stefanie Metzger (eds.)

Anthropology and social history
Heuristics in the study of literature

This page provides graphs that represent crucial features of the sound discussed,
and links to the downloadable sound files.

Figure 2 Hand-painted spectrograms of the syllables ba, da, ga.
The ba--da--ga pitch continuum of F2 is divided into 14 steps instead of three.
The two parallel regions of black indicate regions of energy concentration, F1 and F2.
Notice that the onset frequency of F2 of da is higher than that of ba;
and the onset frequency of F2 of ga is higher than that of da.

I wish to illustrate these two modes of listening through two series of sound stimuli from an unpublished demo tape by Terry Halwes. Listen to the series in figure 2, and see whether you hear the change from [ba] to [da], from [da] to [ga] occur suddenly.

ba, da, ga

Let us isolate the second formant transition, that piece of sound which differs across the series, and listen to just those sounds alone.

Glides and whistles

Figure 3 Sonograms of [S] and [s], representing the first and second formant,
and indicating why [s] is somehow "higher".
(S represents the initial consonant of shoe; s the initial consonant of sue)

Listen to the Europen cuckoo's call and the phonetic i-a-u vowels

kuku i-a-u

Figure 4 The upper window presents the the first and second formant of the cuckoo's song
and of the phonetic vowels i-a-u; the lower window presents their waveform.

Figure 5
The upper windows present the pitch contours of the cuckoo's song
                 and of the phonetic vowels i-a-u spoken by a male;
                 the lower windows present their waveform.

Figure 6 Spectrograms of the syllables ba, da, ga, in natural speech.

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Original file name: Cuckoo, onomatopoeia - converted on Monday, 28 May 2001, 09:27

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