Essay on the Origin of Languages, Melody and Musical Imitation
Rousseau, Jean Jacques
Book ID : 30371
ISBN-10 : 81-8220-137-3 / 8182201373
ISBN-13 : 978-81-8220-137-8 / 9788182201378
of Publication :
of Publication :
Langauage : English
Edited by N.K. Singh, xi, 139p., Index, 23 cm.
CONTENTS:- Preface; Introduction; The various means of communicating our thoughts; That the first invention of speech is due not to the needs but to the passions; That the first language must have been figurative; Of the distinctive characteristics of the first language and of the changes it must have undergone; Of writing; Whether it is likely that homer knew how to write; Of modern prosody; General and local differences in the origin of languages; The formation of southern languages; The formation of the language of the north; Reflection on theses differences; The origin of music; Of melody; Of harmony; That our liveliest sensations often act by way of moral impressions; False analogy between colours and sounds; A musicians' error that is harmful of their art; That the musical system of the Greeks has no relation whatsoever to ours; how music degenerated; The relation of languages to governments; Idea of the method in the composition of a book;
Rousseau, in this book, tells us that historical and psychological problem gave birth to language and the problem of acquiring and learning of language. His approach to language is 'romantic' in many respects, but it cannot be aligned with any simplistic opposition in intellectual history. Rousseau stresses the expressive power of language in his version of the 'genie des language', and in his account of the connection between language and the passions and of the importance of metaphor. But, he does not reject the thesis of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign or the central denotatory function of language.