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Thinking without language?

Peter T. Daniels grammatim at worldnet.att.net
Sun Nov 21 07:48:49 EST 1999


Alexander Gross wrote:
> 
> For reasons best known to himself, one ken collins has chosen to
> send his addendum to his recent message to Larisa to me personally
> via email.  it reads in full as follows:
> 
> > thank you for posting your translation.
> 
> > i also listen to Andrea Bocelli, although i can't understand a
> > word... i understand the heart-stuff. it's enough for me.
> 
> > cheers, ken collins
> 
> Thank you, Kenneth, for your honest reaction.
> 
> It would be rather surprising to hear Andrea Bocelli sing this aria,
> since Cherubino is a "trousers role" for mezzos, though i gather he
> gets away with almost anything.  i assume your knowledge of opera
> also permits you to understand this as well and that you have no
> problem with the delightful sexual ambivalence involved if he were
> to sing this aria to you.  That would certainly be the mature way of
> looking at it.  :-)

Aside from the unethicality of posting a private communication without
permission, and aside from the insults snipped below, you seem not to
have noticed that he didn't say he listens to Bocelli singing "Voi che
sapete," but that he can't understand the words that Bocelli sings. This
is certainly not Kenneth's failing alone; it can be attributed to
various causes: inadequate articulation by the singer; the physics of
speech vs. the production of sung tones; unfamiliarity with the
particular text being sung; poor matching of vowel sounds to pitches by
the composer; and, of course, the hearer not knowing the language being
sung.
-- 
Peter T. Daniels     grammatim at worldnet.att.net




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