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Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata*



The hypothesis: The supra-segments cannot be cut off.


Sed contra: Yes, it can be cut off by using musical notation.


Existing literature on gauging intonational contours in Linguistics, mainly depends on the three parameters (High, Mid, Low) to be determined by the trained ears of the professional Phoneticians. Though there are software and machines for analyzing sound waves, those software do not provide us with a generalized picture of intonational contours with varied and specific reference points with calculated intervals. Parameters like “High, Mid, Low” (as they are used in linguistics) as reference points for intonational contours do not tell us anything as none exactly knows the proportionate distances or intervals among such naïve parameters. Therefore, I thought to take cue from music, where there is a rich system of archewriting or making notation of musical pieces.


This paper deals with the differAnce (a la Derrida) between so-called normal speech and music. The author, for the time being, is deferring the difference between speech and music. Though the melody of music is “heavy” and the melody of speaking is “light”, still both of them follows the same algorithm — the algorithm of do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti and do 2, i.e., the ad hoc hypothesis is that, any normal speech falls within the octave that has a definite range. If the lower DO 1 is x, upper Sa DO 2 is 2x and this x to 2x octave range is considered as y, the intermediate noticeable frequency-points, as per Indian musical system, are 22. Therefore, our point of concentration is Y/22. In a scale y that has a range of x to 2x (i.e., any points on y, say yp, satisfies the relation x yp 2x). And the interval between two notes follows logarithmic pattern as the gap between two notes (say yp and yq ) is 2 multiplied by root 22 (please note the human love for binary-figure in the formulated representation). Thus, this hypothesis leads to an activity — i.e., making notation of “normal” speech to understand the intonation pattern of speaking vis a vismusicking.The ad hoc hypothesis is that any normal human speech falls within the octave that has a definite range.  The speaking range must fall within the Sa (Do1) and upper Sa (Do2). If the lower Sa (DO) is x, upper Sa (DO2) must be 2x and this x to 2x octave range is considered as y, the intermediate notable frequency-points are 22. It is proposed here to follow the conventional pattern of musical notes as reference-points for gauging human intonational pattern. The other variables considered here are: metrics, speed, rhythm, moods/speech acts and context or pre-text.


From the perspective of cognitive psychology or Cartesian bio-lingustics, the formal algorithm of proportionate distances among different notes or the musicking algorithm, Npm = n.2m (12Ö2)p,  is a matter   of cognitive ability or  a genetic endowment—a competence for performing speech act. However, depending on the outside-sociality, it is either erased or proliferated, either repressed or rejected (in a form of foreclosure) or formalized (as in school or army). Therefore, a person or a society may or may not be harmony-impaired –it depends on the structure of the society that en-/discourages musicking. The crippling of creativity hypothesis is proposed in connection with empty linguistic organism and human malleability. (cf.  CHOMSKIAN LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY, CRIPPLED CREATIVITY AND PSI-PROPERTIES)




Computer Science: Text to Speech Software development; Simulation of intonated speech;


Speech Pathology: Rehabilitation of hearing impaired persons through tactile sensation—tangible intelligibility of speech.







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See also: Musicology:

Colophon: De Penning & De Penning, Raj Kumar Roychoudhuri

Digiart: Akhar Bandyopadhyay





About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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