ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 2043-2051.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.02043

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Processing of hierarchical structures in language and music

ZHANG Jingjing1(), YANG Yufang2()   

  1. 1 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
    2 CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of psychology, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2019-03-20 Online:2019-12-15 Published:2019-10-21
  • Contact: Jingjing ZHANG,Yufang YANG;


In language and music development, smaller elements combine into larger units, which eventually form hierarchical structures. Previous studies have found that listeners can segment continuous stream of speech and music into hierarchies and represent them in a hierarchical way. On the basis of perception, listeners can also integrate incoming language and music events into hierarchical structures to form a coherent understanding and ultimately complete the communication smoothly. Future studies should analyze the role of boundary clues in hierarchical structure perception, examine the influencing factors of integration processes at different time scales, and further explore the relationship between language and music hierarchical structure processing.

Key words: language, music, hierarchical structure, perception, integration

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