Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University in Bratislava

Seminar of Cognitive Science - Mihailo Antovic (20.3.2018)

Tuesday 20.3.2018 at 16:30, Lecture room I/9

19. 03. 2018 16.39 hod.
By: Igor Farkaš

Assoc. Prof. Mihailo Antovic, PhD. (Centre for Cognitive Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, Serbia):
How Can the Joint Study of Language and Music Matter for Cognitive Science

Since the mid 1970s connections between music and language have been widely studied in cognitive science. The first part of this talk will present the main directions such studies have taken in recent years (structural, neurobiological, evolutionary, and semantic). In particular, I will discuss major breakthroughs from linguistics that made an impact on music cognition and then reflected back on the study of language. In the second part, I will provide a precis of four recent studies by my group. The first of these looks into the relative weights of perceptual clues for constructing well-formed metrical and melodic patterns in music; the second suggests that seemingly disparate cross-linguistic conceptualizations of music-theoretic constructs, such as scales ''moving upward'' or ''getting thinner'', do not necessarily support the strong case for linguistic relativity, but may rather emerge from more universal, higher-order schematic invariants; the third study revisits the referential power of program music, suggesting that in constructing musical meaning participants are highly sensitive to contextual priming; the fourth segment integrates such results into a larger-scale theoretical program on the nature of musical meaning, vouching for ''multi-level grounding'' in (musical) semantics. Altogether, I hope to suggest that some constructs originally defined in linguistics and then taken over by music cognition can help shed additional light on some major dilemmas of cognitive science in general.

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