Pedra, Papel e Tesoura

6 de agosto de 2018

Rousseau’s “Essay on the Origin of Languages”.

Filed under: Livros, Música, Passatempos — Tags:, , — Yure @ 21:15

The “Essay on the Origin of Languages” was written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Below, some notes I made about his text. Annotations are paraphrases and not quotations.

  1. The human is different from other animals also thanks to it’s ability to use words, but a human nation differs from another by language (vocabulary and grammar).
  2. It is possible to know where a person is from by listening to them.
  3. Why do we speak our language?
  4. Language could only be based on voluntary, sensitive signals: sounds and gestures.
  5. The gesture speaks more with less, in the primitive state of language.
  6. Show, don’t tell.
  7. It is possible to be eloquent without words, if you know non-verbal means of communication.
  8. The language of gestures and signs is great for communicating objective things, but words are great for communicating subjective things .
  9. The fact that animals always communicate in the same way according to their species seems to suggest that animals are born knowing that language.
  10. The first words communicated emotions (strong feelings make us scream, laugh, cry or moan), while gestures communicated concrete things.
  11. Interjections have little articulation because they are immediate.
  12. If there is tonality (accents) in the vowels, there’s less needs for consonants.
  13. The language that gains in clarity loses in beauty.
  14. The same word can be pronounced differently by people of different languages ​​or accents.
  15. The spoken language has to be spontaneous to be good, so there’s no need to speak as if reading a book.
  16. Those who do not write, but sing, tend to be better at poetry.
  17. The erudite language has no energy, compared to common, everyday speech.
  18. For some people, learning a written language is different from learning how to speak it.
  19. Cruelty is born of fear and weakness.
  20. The knowledge of the new comes from comparison with the old.
  21. Social feelings, such as revenge and pity, do not occur to the isolated people.
  22. You can forget your own language.
  23. War is a hunt with people as prey.
  24. We only progress because we perceive problems, face them and overcome them.
  25. Whoever is born in a bad country, escapes for a better one.
  26. A disaster of great proportions unites humans.
  27. The stronger people survive in times of need, while the weaker ones die.
  28. Idleness feeds emotions, but work controls them.
  29. The sonority of the voice, the articulation, the volume, finally, the way one speaks contributes to transform the listener into a religious fanatic.
  30. To be a fanatic, you have to be convinced.
  31. The earliest stories and laws were said in rhymed verses to facilitate memorization.
  32. Music was born from voice modulation, when one recited said verses.
  33. Speaking in a ” singing ” manner, that is, using voice intonations, is beautiful and helps to deliver the idea you want to deliver.
  34. Eloquence incorporates poetic techniques as well.
  35. The Greek also spoke in a “singing” way to show emotions.
  36. There is a spiritual relationship between person and work of art, which explains why different people react differently to the same work of art .
  37. Composing melody is drawing with sounds.
  38. The melody incites emotions by imitating the inflections of the human voice.
  39. A certain emotion produces a sound in the human voice, so try to produce analogous impulse with an instrument and you will speak to the soul of the listener.
  40. Harmony should not disturb the melody.
  41. Music that does not please and does not thrill is trash.
  42. Music has an effect only on those who recognize something familiar in song.
  43. The beauty of color is its permanence and the beauty of sound is its succession.
  44. There is no relationship between color and sound.
  45. Painting relates to space, music relates to time.
  46. Painting reflects nature, but music reflects the human.
  47. The problem with some musicians is that they treat music as mere harmony and something merely mechanical, often expelling the feeling.
  48. It is possible to make science of harmony, but those who worry too much about harmony and forget the melody end up making boring music.
  49. We do dubious thing when everyone else does them too.
  50. Preventing people to form associations helps government to keep the status quo.
  51. Causing emotion with monotonous language requires shouting, but in melodic languages, it is easier to excite emotions without tiring the voice.
  52. If a language is not able to speak to the crowds efficiently, then we can’t get people together to work towards a cause.

4 Comentários »

  1. Languages are in aspect of the people/culture that produced them. In a sense… they are “grown” from the Humans. So many peoples/tribes/cultures and so many languages are a reflection of each.

    Curtido por 1 pessoa

    Comentário por octaevius — 7 de agosto de 2018 @ 14:21

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