[Smt-talk] Geno- and phenotype musical structures

Victor grauer victorag at verizon.net
Sat Jan 12 19:51:23 PST 2013

This sounds very interesting indeed. However I'm 
wondering whether the author is familiar with 
Chomsky's generative grammar, which seems based 
on a very similar concept. Shaumnyan's genotype 
reminds me of what Chomsky calls "deep structure."

Victor Grauer
Pittsburgh PA

At 11:43 AM 1/12/2013, Serge Lacasse wrote:
>Content-type: text/html; charset=Windows-1252
>Content-language: fr-FR
>Hi all,
>I would like to have your opinion (that has most 
>probably already been proposed) on a possible 
>analogy. Reading Sebastian Sumjan's linguistic 
>grammar theory (itself derived from Bateson's 
>genetic model, see below), I was wondering if 
>one could draw an analogy between his 
>geno-/phenotype grammars and Set Theory. Could 
>we, for example, consider sets as genotypes that 
>may then give rise to different forms of 
>realizations (phenotypes)? Conversely (and this 
>commutative property of Sumjan's model is 
>crucial), one can of course deduce genotypes 
>from existing phenotypes. Just an idea, but 
>again, not being a music theorist, I suspect 
>many have already explored this avenue: you 
>would be very kind to guide me towards relevant sources.
>Here is a quote from Sebastian Shaumyan 
>[Sumjan], A Semiotic Theory of Language, 
>Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1987.
>"[97] We can think of the syntactic structure of 
>a sentence as something independent of the way 
>it is represented in terms of syntagmatic units. 
>In this way we come up with two levels of 
>grammar, which I call genotype grammar and 
>phenotype grammar. Genotype grammar comprises 
>functional units—predicates, terms, 
>modifiers—and abstract operator-operand 
>relations between these units. Phenotype grammar 
>comprises syntagmatic units—morphemes and 
>words—and connections between them in terms of 
>linear order and their morphological properties. [
>The rules of genotype grammar are invariant with 
>respect to various possibilities of their 
>realization by phenotype grammar. The terms 
>genotype and phenotype are borrowed from 
>biology, where genotype means a definite set of 
>genes that is invariant with respect to its 
>different manifestations called phenotype."
>Thanks for your help,
>Serge Lacasse
>Professeur titulaire de musicologie
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>et du LARC
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