Poster E56, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Language and music do and do not share the merging operations in syntax
Tomomi Hida1, Hiroaki Mizuhara1; 1Kyoto University
How have humans acquired language processing? Creating a complex syntactic hierarchy with more than two words requires two types of the merging operations of multiple unit (i.e., Merge) in syntax, the pot-type and the subassembly-type. Although the syntactic operation has been considered as sharing a common operation among any domains, it is impossible to determine only from analysis of languages whether Merge shared among domains, since we acquire languages from birth and Merge is common in all languages. Hence, by comparing both musicians’ and non-musicians’ syntax in musical triads, we verified if Merge in syntax were shared in language and in music in human behavioral experiments using Merge order judgement tasks (the main effect of Merge types in the chord task: F(1, 29) = 11.914, P = 0.002, η2G = 0.600; Musicians’ Sub-Merge and Pot-Merge: q(29) = 2.785, P = 0.030, Cohen’s d = 0.895; Non-musicians’ Sub-Merge and Pot-Merge: q(29) = 1.145, P = 0.212, Cohen’s d = 0.327). We also got the similar results in the word task to the results in Musicians’ chord task (the main effect of Merge types in the chord task: F(1, 27) = 42.757, p < 0.0001, η2G = 0.125). Non-musicians without any musical training could recognize the subassembly-type but not the pot-type and only the pot-type has correlation to instrument playing period (r = -0.497, P = 0.0044). We demonstrate that the acquisition processing of the merging operations in human language is different: domain-generally in the subassembly-type and domain-specifically in the pot-type.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Syntax