Re: (why is high high) (Biao Tian PhD )

Subject: Re: (why is high high)
From:    Biao Tian PhD  <biao(at)GICCS.GEORGETOWN.EDU>
Date:    Tue, 1 Sep 1998 18:37:30 -0400

Dear Pawel and list, I was following the discussion on the list with great interest, though I have to admit that I was not able to read every remark made by the participants. Now that Chinese was explicitly called upon, I feel I have to throw in my token, whether it is inane or not. :-) Indeed, it is referred to "high" or "low" also in Chinese for high or low pitch, respectively, as far I as know. First I thought this could be borrowed from one of the western languages, as modern science terminology in China is introduced from Western. Last night I consulted some references in Classical Chinese and found the same thing. As for the association of pitch with physical phenomena, has anybody listened to the sound when filling up a thermos, a routine activity in China and one which I now do occasionally when making coffee for the lab? As the water level rises in the thermos, the pitch also rises continuously. It is well-known that people in China used a type of water clock to mark time; the same phenomena can be observed here: as the water container is filling up, the pitch of the sound also rises higher and higher when the dripping water hits the surface. Biao Tian PhD Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences Georgetown University Medical Center The Research Building WP24B 3970 Reservoir Road NW Washington, DC 20007 ph: (202) 687-6438 fax: (202) 687-0617 email: biao(at) McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8c on Windows NT). Information is available on the WEB at

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