NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1891 __ Speech, non-sense and parapraxy
Hermann Gutzmann (Senior) (1865-1922)
Comment : Hermann Gutzmann Sr. was known as the "father of the being correct and language medicine" in Germany. He developed his interest in speech disorders and therapy from his own father, Albert Gutzmann, who was a teacher of the deaf and mute and who wrote a book on the nature and therapy approaches for stuttering. Hermann studied medicine in Berlin and graduated in 1887. He developed a private practice for patients with language and speech disorders in 1891. He also founded a journal reviewing studies and events having to do with medicine and language (Medical-Educational Monthly Review for the Entire Language Medicine", later to be called "Vox"). His therapy and research related to the relationship between breath movements and speech language disturbances. Gutzmann ran a school, called the Berlin School for Speech and Voice Therapy, where he trained students in therapy and diagnostic methods. His students came from the international community, as well as from Germany. They included Nadoleczny and his son Hermann Gutzmann Jr., both of whom were to make significant contributions to the field of speech disorders. Gutzmann established speech and language therapy as an independent medical special field. He published 13 books and more than 300 articles, mostly in German. (Judith Felson Duchan, " A short history of Speech Pathology in America - Nineteenth Century Origins of Speech Therapy Services in America")Experimenting with telephones and phonographs, Hermann Gutzmann, a lecturer in speech disorders in Berlin, discovers that the prompting of nonsense words to his patients produces nothing but parapraxes. Precisely because both machines--due to transmission economy or technical imperfections--limit the frequency band of language on either end, what subjects "understand" can differ from what they "heard." Gutzmann speaks nonsense syllables like "bage" or "zoses" into the mouthpiece, the ear at the other end receives "lady" or "process." A simple question brings to light an unconscious. And the research On Hearing and Understanding is able to "answer the question what such experiments may mean for experimental psychology": « First of all, it is evident that using fake words stimulates the combinatory powers to such a degree that even against his will the listener is forced to replace the nonsense syllables he has heard with those words which are closest in his mind, in the pertinent constellation of ideas, that is, to hear the latter in the former. This can be seen very clearly in the protocol of subject 1, a fickle eighteen-year old who is deeply in love; he is attracted by everything feminine, and the many girls' names and an additional "lady" make his constellation of ideas easily recognizable. This also applies to the fake French words of the two "well-educated young ladies". If we wanted to conduct phonographic tests aimed at discovering certain suspected trains of thought, we would only need to use syllables sounding like the corresponding words as stimuli in order to arrive at the positive or negative result. ». (Friedrich Kittler)
Source : Kittler, Friedrich A. (1986), “Grammophon Film Typewriter”, Berlin: Brinkmann & Bose; and also, “Gramophone, Film, Typewriter”, translated by Geoff Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.
Urls : http://www.stanford.edu/class/history34q/readings/Kittler/GramFilmTypwriter/Kittler_Gramophone.html (last visited ) http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~duchan/new_history/hist19c/subpages/gutzmann.html (last visited )

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