Inner and Outer Speech: A Parametric Match
The reader’s mental perception of the text is holistic in nature and the meanings of the individual words used by the author only make any sense for us at all when forming complex semantic patterns with all other words in our minds in the course of reading. Some of these complexes are vivid and palpable to the reader and the author himself or herself would stand firmly on their unambiguous interpretation. Other complexes are less obvious and ‘sound’. Here the author would agree to their multiple interpretations. There are yet other complexes that are rather ‘dark’ and even the author himself or herself would allow various polyphonic interpretations (Scherba, 1957). Our inner speech, being devoid of any clear parametric manifestation is nevertheless capable of producing mental ‘symphonies’ played by hundreds of semantic and timbre strings in a text. The only instrument that makes this mental phonation possible is a foregrounding hierarchy that is also the author’s secret language in the text. The peaks of perception are ‘voiced’ by the activity of the Broca’s area in our brain, while the intersection of such peaks in our mind’s eye forms mental auditory canvases or timbres. Alas, the real phonation is never capable of producing such complex phonic pictures as those that are unravelling in our minds in the course of reading and the chapter seeks to establish this indispensable match by means of phonetic gestalts brought to life by the skilful performances of the texts and actors.
KeywordsCognitive Stylistic Voice Quality Unambiguous Interpretation Parametric Match Perceptual Phonetics
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