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Rhythm and melody in medieval Galician-Portuguese cantigas: connections between music and language

Grant number: 17/14463-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): March 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Gladis Massini-Cagliari
Grantee:José Francisco da Silva Vieira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


This project aims to investigate existing connections between music and language through the analysis of Galician-Portuguese cantigas. Its purpose is to examine how musical rhythm and melody of the cantigas can provide important data for studies of the Archaic Portuguese (AP) prosody, in order to expand knowledge of a period of the language from which oral records are not available. This way, the research is based on surveying rhythm-melodic models in the cantigas, by means of analysing the founded transcriptions in medieval parchments and comparing them with their corresponding present musical versions. Basically, musical and linguistic prominences which are in confluence will be mapped according to the processes of musical writing and performance that were in vogue that time (13th and 14th centuries). Since this work is part of a development of a new methodology for the prosodic study of languages, a new method for the study of intonation will be tested. This method is based on the hypothesis of that melodic curvatures could have close connections with spoken language intonation. In this perspective, the pitch of notes could suggest possible evidences about the behaviour of prosodic features, which could reveal intonational constituency of ancient periods of the language. If this hypothesis can be proved correct, it will offer some clues about intonational models of the AP, for that this type of study can be extended to other corpora, so that more precise descriptions of the Archaic Portuguese prosody can be made. (AU)

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