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earnest question. The syllable 'con' being an indefinite quantity, and emphatic, will be distinctly heard 10 rise concretely from a given point of pitch, to the place of the fifth or octave, according to the earnestness of the expression: and the immutable syllable 'vict,' will be heard at the height of that previous vanish. If vict' be kept down at the level of the radical of con,' and if it be there uttered, with the rapid concrete rise, carefully guarding against the descent to a close, the interrogative effect will indeed still be perceptible, but in a degree far inferior to the keen questioning of the former mode of intonation.
It is not difficult to assign the reason why the interrogative effect of the rapid concrete is enhanced, by its being taken on the higher places of the scale. For the rise by the slow concrete, is after all, but a peculiar mode of change from a low to a high pitch: and though that peculiar continuous mode is plainly distinguishable, in its degree of expression, from a discrete ascent to the same height, still an essential though not the exclusive power of the former function, is, its designating that higher place. Now this power is the sole efficient in the radical change ; and like two discrete notes on a musical instrument, when heard in immediate succession as the extremes of a wide interval of the scale, it does produce an effect closely resembling that which arises from a concrete transition of sound between the same extremes. If to this effect of the radical change, be added the coincident and co-operating expression of the rapid concrete, the combined effects become equivalent to that interrogative expression which is given by the longer concrete on an indefinite syllable.
As the rapid concrete on a short syllable, whether it be emphatic or not, does, however moderately, produce an interrogative impression, it may be used, without the radical change, in those cases which do not require a strongly marked intonation of the question. That is, all the interrogative syllables of sentences which bear the partial expression, (for a thorough expression is generally forcible,) may be kept at about the same line of radical pitch. But the syllables so disposed must still perform their rapid concrete in the appropriate interrogative interval : and it will generally be found that the moderate temper of such questions receives the abated expression which was ascribed to the Third, in the history of that interval.
Besides that certain succession of radical change which has been noted and explained, there is this other mode, in the application of the general principle of its construction. If the first part of a sentence should consist of short quantities, which resist extension through the slow concrete, the interrogative expression may be made, by the voice setting out at once on the high pitch, and descending afterwards at the first emphatic syllable of long quantity, which will bear the slow concrete. Thus, if we take the two first symbols of intonation from the preceding example, and set over the remaining notation, the following phrase, as an earnest question :
Pitt a statue with his ancestors?
the reading will have the just interrogative expression.
Perhaps the reader is now prepared to understand me when I say generally, That the current melody of interrogation, in those sentences which require the Thorough expression, is made by the use of the slow concrete interval of the third or fifth or octave, on the long and emphatic syllables ; and by a change of radical pitch, together with the rapid concrete of the same interval, on those which are short and unemphatic or unaccented : that in those sentences which are restricted to the Partial expression, the intonation is made by a similar use of the above named interrogative intervals, in connexion with the phrases of the common diatonic melody: and that in both these cases of a Thorough and a Partial extent of expression, the interrogation may be constituted solely by the Third, or the Fifth, or the Octave; or more than one of these intervals may be used in the same sentence, accordingly as the emphatic force and the sentiment of the several words require, on the one hand, the same expression, and on the other, an appropriation of the peculiar powers of the different intervals to the varying demands of those words.
Let us now learn the mode of constructing the cadence of interrogative sentences : or, as some of these sentences have not that peculiar characteristic of close or discontinuation which belongs to the cadence strictly so called, let us learn the the manner of intonation on their three final syllables.
If a sentence bears the Thorough expression, the close is made in one of the following ways.
When the three last syllables are unemphatic, or immutable, or are the unaccented syllables of an emphatic word, the interrogative effect is produced by a radical change and rapid concrete of these three final syllables: these syllables, in their exalted pitch being carried on in the phrase of the monotone or rising ditone. For since the interrogative expression should always create that perception of continuity which is contradistinguished in character from the close of the Triad, the above named phrases do add their peculiar power, in this respect, to that of the rapid concrete, in order to give the required continuation of the voice at the end of the sentence. This species of close is exemplified in the ensuing notation:
The same case of Thorough expression being supposed : if the antepenultimate syllable is emphatic, and of indefinite quantity, it assumes the slow concrete, and the two last take on the radical change and the rapid concrete; as shown by the notation of the word ancestors' in a preceding example.
If, in a like case, the penult be a long quantity, it will rise by the slow concrete; and the last will have the rapid movement with the radical change. This mode of intonation may be well understood without a notation of it; and I here take occasion to remark that it will be unnecessary to annex an illustration by the staff, to all the succeeding descriptions within the present subject.
If the last syllable of a sentence which bears the thorough expression, be emphatic and capable of the slow concrete, it will end with that continuative interval. Under this condition the three last syllables may go through the downward tritone, as in the following scheme:
triumph for his de-lay?
In such instances the final rise of the octave, fifth or third, as the case may be, will create the perception of continuity, and thus counteract the tendency of the radical descent, through three successive downward tones, to produce a close : for it is a condition of the cadence, that the vanish of its last concrete should be a downward intonation.
When the expression is Partial, and when the last clause of the sentence does not bear it, it is obvious that the melody of that clause must be of the common diatonic species, and should therefore terminate with the appropriate triad. But sentences with the partial expression sometimes have one of the three final syllables emphatic: in which case the emphatic syllable may call for the interrogative expression. Under this condition the following will be the forms of the cadence.
If the antepenultimate syllable be emphatic, and indefinite, it will bear the slow concrete interval ; and the two last will successively descend from the radical of that concrete, and form with it, a proper diatonic triad.
If the penult be emphatic and bear the slow concrete, the last syllable will have its radical pitch a tone below that of the preceding, and by its downward vanish will produce the close of the triad ; the emphatic syllable which bears the interrogative intonation, being in its radical pitch, a tone below the antepenultimate. This mode, however, is not common : for if the expression by the concrete interval comes so near the close, it is generally continued, by the last syllable taking the radical change.
When the last syllable is emphatic and of indefinite time, the cadence is made in the same manner with that of the last instance, in the preceding account of thorough expression.
The history here given of interrogative intonation embraces some leading points of its use in speech. I leave the discovery of more particular phenomena, and the exhibition of the reason and rule of their variety, for the observation of others. Upon some future extension of the principles of this work to the universal practice of speech, the subject of interrogative intonation will form a chapter of full and precise specification. I think I see its unsorted materials; but have not time to gather in, to disentangle, to harmonize, to combine, and complete. What is here done may seem to be too much. For the present age, I believe it is. But this is a concession altogether irrelative to the progress of knowledge, and to the pleasure we derive from its development. A novel history of nature, in the dignified confidence of even its humble contributions, no more asks the favor of those who read, than nature herself asks the gratitude of those who enjoy her bounties. She gives what she gives for her own purposes, without distracting her self-energized dispensations, by the subordinate and humanly contrived spring of expected approbation. The true and independent history of nature should be in all things but the image of her; and perhaps he would both do and enjoy more, in the work of discovering and describing her, who could catch a portion of the unostentatious spirit with which she bestows, and who could put on some of her indifference, to the thoughtless praise or blame of those who receive.
of the Interval of the Second.
I return from the foregoing account of the use of the higher intervals of pitch, in the construction of interrogative melody, to the enumeration and description of other intervals of more limited extent, but of no less essential efficacy in the scale of intonation.