Mentilliath wrote:In that case, I wonder if some people's negative perception of Mandarin is due more to the presence of tones? I admit that when I hear tonal languages spoken, it's such a change from the way other languages I'm more used to sound (i.e. European ones), that it can be a bit jarring.
Atluk wrote:I heard Greek has tones, but I think it is more of a pitch accent.
Atluk wrote:All of the Indo-European languages AFAIK are inflecting, but some less so than others as is the case with English.
IpseDixit wrote:For example I'm pretty sure that virtually nobody in the broad public mentions Romanian among the most beautiful languages, despite it being of the Romance family, because, till a few years ago, Romania was an austere, bleak communist country of the Warsaw Pact and probably also because of Transylvania and Dracula.
Levike wrote:Dormouse559 wrote:Who are we asking?Levike wrote:Come on, Italian's always going to be considered the beautiful one when compared to Russian.
IpseDixit wrote:For example I'm pretty sure that virtually nobody in the broad public mentions Romanian among the most beautiful languages
IpseDixit wrote:For what it's worth, I tend to agree with those who say that our perception of other languages is heavily influenced by "extra-linguistic" factors such as the culture associated with a certain language.
For example I'm pretty sure that virtually nobody in the broad public mentions Romanian among the most beautiful languages, despite it being of the Romance family, because, till a few years ago, Romania was an austere, bleak communist country of the Warsaw Pact and probably also because of Transylvania and Dracula.
Saim wrote:So not always then, hey?
Admit it: people think Italian is "beautiful" because they associate it with Florence, pasta and pizza. It's not the geminate consonants and the open-closed vowel distinctions that they're enjoying.
uzferry wrote:some random static noise objectively sucks
Dormouse559 wrote:"Classic" and "beautiful" aren't objective terms by any means. Their meaning is heavily dependent on culture. Maybe Beethoven's symphonies are generally considered beautiful from an affluent Western point of view. But change the perspective at all (geographic location, time period, artistic movement, class, etc.) and they may not be.
Levike wrote:It's the same as saying stuff like "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or "everyone is beautiful in their own way".
It is relative and all... to a certain degree.
Dormouse559 wrote:But they often are. Things like race can keep one group from appreciating what another group considers beautiful. There's a long history in the United States of denigrating African American culture, simply because it's linked to black people.uzferry wrote:I doubt that the cultures are so much separate that they couldn't at least appreciate each other's art. (but I haven't done any kind of research on how similar or different the music of different cultures is and I don't really want to do it)
Dormouse559 wrote:I'll agree that different sounds will give different levels of enjoyment. But makes the difference? I say it's the person listening. There are many objectively measurable aspects of sound, music and language, but there's no evidence that beauty is one of those.uzferry wrote:And I think random static is a good example, because it shows that there is a difference in ability to cause enjoyment between different sets of sounds - why couldn't it exist in languages, too?
Levike wrote:Dormouse559 wrote:How do you know that's what most people think? What does "most people" even mean? 51 percent? 60 percent? 90 percent?
Most clearly means majority. I never heard anyone saying it's ugly, how many times have you seen people (even on the internet) going "But why is Italian so ugly?" as opposed to "Why is it so beautiful?".
Cubix wrote:I want my conlang to sound as good as possible because I want it to be attractive.
linguoboy wrote:I know people's judgment is heavily influenced by culture because the objective reasons they give for preferring one language to another are completely incoherent. For instance, the main complaint I've heard against German is that it's "too guttural" (chiefly on account of the Ach-Laut). But French in fact has more guttural sounds per phrase than German does, yet those same people will never fault French for being "too guttural". The same people who claim to hate the sound of Russian often love the sound of Irish Gaelic even though the phonology of the two languages is remarkably similar. They'll call Midwestern American English "too nasal" but rave about the sound of Portuguese. And so on and so forth.
linguoboy wrote:But Japanese has far more open syllables and a much higher vowel/consonant ratio than Italian but I rarely here the sound of Japanese described as "beautiful", and certainly not called more beautiful than Italian.
Mentilliath wrote:I often do find that English speakers will report a Romance language to sound the best (usually either Spanish, French, or Italian). While there may be some universal features they possess that could describe this (these three languages certainly do have a lot of open syllables and few clusters), I think more of it has to do with the fact that the Romance languages are often the first "exotic" languages that English speakers (in America, at least) are exposed to, and they are associated with a romantic, beautiful image of Europe.
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