Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Rhythmic recursion? Human sensitivity to a Lindenmayer grammar with self-similar structure in a musical task


Ravignani,  Andrea
Comparative Bioacoustics, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Vrije Universiteit Brussels;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

(Publisher version), 397KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Geambasu, A., Toron, L., Ravignani, A., & Levelt, C. C. (2020). Rhythmic recursion? Human sensitivity to a Lindenmayer grammar with self-similar structure in a musical task. Music & Science. doi:10.1177%2F2059204320946615.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0554-5
Processing of recursion has been proposed as the foundation of human linguistic ability. Yet this ability may be shared with other domains, such as the musical or rhythmic domain. Lindenmayer grammars (L-systems) have been proposed as a recursive grammar for use in artificial grammar experiments to test recursive processing abilities, and previous work had shown that participants are able to learn such a grammar using linguistic stimuli (syllables). In the present work, we used two experimental paradigms (a yes/no task and a two-alternative forced choice) to test whether adult participants are able to learn a recursive Lindenmayer grammar composed of drum sounds. After a brief exposure phase, we found that participants at the group level were sensitive to the exposure grammar and capable of distinguishing the grammatical and ungrammatical test strings above chance level in both tasks. While we found evidence of participants’ sensitivity to a very complex L-system grammar in a non-linguistic, potentially musical domain, the results were not robust. We discuss the discrepancy within our results and with the previous literature using L-systems in the linguistic domain. Furthermore, we propose directions for future music cognition research using L-system grammars.