DepositA sociophonetic account of morphophonemic variation in Palestinian Arabic

This study presents findings from sociolinguistic fieldwork on Palestinian Arabic conducted in the Gaza Strip. The sample includes 15 speakers who are indigenous residents of Gaza City, representing three age groups and both genders. Linear mixed effects analyses are presented on the vowel raising of the Arabic feminine gender marker; a word final vocalic morpheme. The traditional dialect of Gaza City is reported to realize this morpheme consistently as [a] (Bergsträßer 1915), with all other Levantine city dialects raising the feminine ending to [ɛ, e] or [i] except after back consonants (Al-Wer 2007). Results indicate robust sociophonetic variation in the realization of this vowel across age generations. In comparison to the elderly generation in the sample, younger speakers realize this vowel significantly lower and backer in their casual speech. These results reflect what appears to be a change in progress happening across generations in the traditional dialect of Gaza City as a result of dialect contact happening in the Gaza Strip between speakers of difference varieties of Palestinian Arabic.

DepositPerception, Imagination and Leibniz’s Theory of Will

The role of insensible appetitions (similar to insensible perceptions, or petites perceptions) in Leibniz’s theory of appetite and will is sketched. Since such insensible appetitions are the medium of interaction, through the body, between the individual and the physical world, and the form in which, at a microscopic level, environmental sensations originate, it can be concluded that the internal sense, i.e. the imagination, plays to some extent the role of a channel through which such environmental perceptions are collected and organized; here the sentiment of phenomenal reality takes its form, that is then offered both to knowledge and to practice.

DepositPerception, Pitch, and Musical Chords

In this dissertation, I argue that hearing a musical chord—a simultaneity of two or more notes perceived as a single object—is perceptually different from hearing separate concurrent tones, and that the object status of chords shapes our experience of listening to harmonic music. Following an outline of the acoustic and contextual cues that promote chordal listening, I offer a series of performance strategies based on these cues that maximize the likeliness of hearing a sonority as a chord. I then argue that these strategies played a role in the development of the Western practice of harmonic tonality, and that the design and use of polyphonic instruments in the late Renaissance period enabled many of these strategies to be applied within musical practice. A further investigation of contextual and experience-based factors in chord perception is conducted in a pair of experiments, in which the listener is asked to recognize or “hear out” a tone from within a three-tone sonority. A listener who perceives a sonority as a chord is better able to perceive its emergent features, which are defined as properties of the whole that are not necessarily properties of its parts. I examine the emergent feature of pitch—a familiar property of the musical tone in both perceptual and theoretical descriptions—using the virtual pitch model proposed by Ernst Terhardt, and I outline the conditions in which a listener might perceive a chord as bearing an emergent pitch. An analysis of the opening sonority of Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms gives an example of how chord pitch may be used as a compositional resource. Drawing upon the conclusions of this analysis, I suggest how further research on perceiving chords’ emergent features—in particular the perceptual correlate of the music-theoretical concept of chord quality—could be applied to develop a more complete understanding of how we experience chords.

DepositPerceptual Politics

Moved by the pervasiveness and insistence of political forces in social life, many scholars have been drawn increasingly to recognize the strands of the aesthetic that are woven into its texture. They have gone beyond dealing with the ways that the arts are used in political propaganda and for arousing patriotic feeling. The aesthetic has come to be recognized as a perceptual domain of considerable power and influence, and some analysts have assigned it a crucial place in political theory. Making the aesthetic central in political theory may be surprising, for two such dissimilar domains of thought and experience might seem, at first, difficult to reconcile. Yet the association of aesthetics with politics has been made, and it will be illuminating to look at some applications that assign the aesthetic dimension a critical place in social and political thought. Let me then trace some of the appeals to the aesthetic in founding political theory, first considering Friedrich Schiller before moving into contemporary proposals.

DepositContemporary Perceptions of Venetian Painted Altarpieces

The present paper is a continuation of research on terminology used in the Renaissance to identify and describe altarpieces. It treats Venetian painted altarpieces from c. 1350 to c. 1500 and follows last year’s study of Florentine and central Italian altarpieces. It focuses on multi-panel works, some of which survive intact, while most have been dismembered, with surviving individual parts appreciated as separate works. The c. 1500 terminus encompasses the transition from the polyptych enclosed in a Gothic-style framework to single-panel works framed by antique-style membering. My interest resides in how such works were perceived by those who commissioned or viewed them in their original state. Geographically Venetian art is defined as comprising works produced by native Venetian artists or those who spent most of their career based in the city, as well as works made for locations in Venice by artists based elsewhere.

DepositThoreau’s Poetics of Nature

Thoreau’s descriptions of natural phenomena display the care and acuteness of scientific observation, and this may have overshadowed recognition of his aesthetic sensibility. The perceptual details of Thoreau’s observations are pervaded by a sensitive appreciation of natural beauty. Moreover, the aesthetic in his account consists not only in the visual appreciation of visual beauty but is multi-sensory and engaged. Thoreau’s writings document a rich yet uncustomary understanding of the appreciation of nature as aesthetic engagement. Moreover, we find in his work ideas and themes that carry us in the direction of Dewey’s aesthetics and existential phenomenology, and the tenor of his perceptions becomes explicit in the emerging interest in environmental and everyday aesthetics.