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Title: From speech to song : an interdisciplinary investigation of rhythm in English and Spanish
Author: Rodríguez-Vázquez, Rosalía
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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The general theoretical frame of this dissertation has to do with the study, from an interdisciplinary point of view, of the typological dichotomy between stress-timed and syllable-timed languages, inasmuch as this distinction is valid at all. As a preliminary step I carry out a comparative examination of the basic prosodic characteristics of English and Spanish, in order to then analyse the standard versification systems of these two languages. In the central part of my dissertation, I explore the most important text-setting Optimality Theory constraints as applied to a corpus of English and Spanish folk and art song. My main objective in carrying out these three-level analyses is to check whether the actual setting of verse to music responds to some kind of underlying rhythmic constraints common to language prosody, verse prosody and music, and whether those constraints are ranked differently from language to language. My conclusions have to do with a correspondence between the timing typologies of language and rhythmic typologies of music. I find clear inconsistencies or mismatches between speech prosody, on the one hand, and verse and music rhythm, on the other. These inconsistencies work differently in a syllable-timed language like Spanish than in a stress-timed language like English. While in the first type of languages I find a natural counterpoint or dialogue between speech prosody and musical rhythm, in the second type this counterpoint tends to be considered arrhythmic. In other words, I establish a difference in kind in relation to the dialogue between prosody and music for each of the two types of languages. In English, the level of agreement between the two-stress patterns is really high, while in Spanish the counterpoint between the two stresses is actually used as an expressive device.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available