What is prosody in music
What does prosody mean?
There are many words that very few communication experts would use. Prosody (not prose style) is one of them. As is well known, in communication there is not only the word itself, but we communicate on many levels and in many forms with our environment. To put it simply, “prosody” is the entirety of those phonetic properties of a language that are not tied to the sound.
What does that count?
- the word and sentence accent
- the tempo
- the rhythm
- the intonation
- Pauses in speaking
Said or meant?
In communication theory, a distinction is made between what is said and what is meant in spoken language. It is often only through listening carefully that one can understand what someone is talking about.
You can usually get information from three different aspects of body language:
- Kinesics, i.e. the areas of facial expressions, gestures and posture,
- the proxemics, i.e. the behavior in space and even
- prosody, i.e. the use of the human voice.
Once prosody mother tongue, always prosody mother tongue
We know from research that the accent and the melody of the first language are so strongly and irreversibly impressed on people that they accompany them for a lifetime and mostly also flow into the languages learned later. When learning the first language, neural processing routines are developed that cannot be changed later and on which all other linguistic learning processes are based. You know this example of the Asians. The inability of Asians to distinguish the phonemes “r” and “l” acoustically is due to the fact that they cannot hear the difference despite their clear pronunciation. Why is that? It is because in their language area the distinction between these phonemes does not matter. As babies and toddlers, they have this ability in principle, and if they had grown up in the western-speaking area, it would be retained, but exposure to Asian languages leads to changes in the wiring that merge these phoneme categories with one another. Another example is the Scandinavian ability to hear more than a dozen different shades of A.
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