locality

Jan 29, 2013

He also says language is not primarily used for communication. He says it all existed in the mind first, and using it for communication came after. I don't see any reason to doubt that. 

HottieUnlimited

Jan 29, 2013

Chomsky admitted that he said all that stuff to troll people.

beingme22

Jan 30, 2013

Chomsky also thought that all the words in our heads really looked something like Proto-Germanic. He had some good ideas but generative theory is very outdated.

crashcrossroads

Jan 30, 2013

Eighteenth century prescriptive grammars

 

Robert Lowth, Bishop of Oxford and thereafter of London, scholar of Hebrew poetry, and for a short time professor of poetry at Oxford, was the first and the best known of the widely emulated grammarians of the 18th century. A self-effacing clergyman, he published his only work on English grammar, A Short Introduction to English Grammar, with critical notes, in 1762, without the author's name on the title page. His influence—extended through the works of his students Lindley Murray and William Cobbett—would last well into the late 19th century. He would also become, among prescriptive grammarians, the target of choice for the criticism meted out by later descriptivist linguists.

Lowth's chief aim, shared with that of most eighteenth-century grammarians, was to present a standard English grammar that taught its readers to express themselves with "propriety" and to accurately evaluate constructions for correctness. Written in a spry and unpretentious style, the book contained a large number of worked examples, whose popularity, especially among the self-taught, made it a big commercial success. Lowth employed footnotes in a new way. He used them not merely to expand on the finer points, but also to offer a critique of errors. Consequently, the book offered a two-tier discourse: elementary statements of rules in the main text, and more nuanced analyses of errors in the footnotes. However, since the samples chosen for the error analysis included those from authors such as Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Joseph Addison, readers were sometimes discouraged by the immensity of the task before them.

[edit]Nineteenth century to present

 

It was during the nineteenth century that modern-language studies became systematized.[6] In the case of English, this happened first in continental Europe, where it was studied by historical and comparative linguists.[6]

crashcrossroads

Jan 30, 2013

21st Century: "My name iz Nelly and Ebonics be my grammar"

Intense_City

Jan 30, 2013

"I'm happy for you.... an imma let you finish..."

locality

Jan 31, 2013

Chomsky also thought that all the words in our heads really looked something like Proto-Germanic. He had some good ideas but generative theory is very outdated.

Citation needed on that Proto-Germanic thing. I call bullshit. 

Generative grammar is not outdated unless there's something wrong with it. What's wrong with it, exactly? Do tell. If you think language isn't produced through a generative process via an innate faculty in human brains, then I'd love to hear your alternate suggestion. 

Unless you don't have one and you're just a doofus who studies Linguistics full time without ever having even thought what about language is, and you're just parroting an empty non-criticism that you hear someone else say. But surely that's not it, right

 

locality

Jan 31, 2013

Like how people say "Freud had some really good ideas, but it's really outdated" despite having never read any Freud whatsoever. I don't know what that's about. Trying to sound smart to feel smart I guess. Or trying to reduce your cognitive workload by writing off things as useless without working to know what they are first. I bet people who actually study Freud get really annoyed by that, though. Everyone has an opinion on it and almost no one has any fucking idea what they're talking about. 

Kair

Jan 31, 2013

What exactly does he mean by "language has no semantics"? Because in reality, language is crippled with all types of semantic problems. Language, being an invention of human beings, is not perfect and it is open for many misinterpretations and misunderstandings. That's a problem of semantics. It's the reason we have found ourselves in countless situations where we are forced to explain what we said earlier because it was misunderstood. The fact that there can (and most of the times there are) be misunderstandings between human beings, is proof that it is mostly an issue of semantics.

What9Thousand

Jan 31, 2013

Like how people say "Freud had some really good ideas, but it's really outdated" despite having never read any Freud whatsoever. I don't know what that's about.

Neither do I. Freud didn't have any really good ideas.

beingme22

Jan 31, 2013

locality:

Obviously you don't know what I meant by "generative theory" and misunderstood what I was saying. I would explain but since you're coming at me like a jerk, forget about it. I stand by what I said and don't have to explain myself some loser who gets offended if someone disagrees with him.

beingme22

Jan 31, 2013

What exactly does he mean by "language has no semantics"?

Could you post the context where this was stated? I've heard generative folks (well... at least Peter Culicover) say that phonology (the combining of sounds) and morphology (minimal units of sound with meaning) are all simply a part of the syntax, but not that there is no semantics (the relationship between form and meaning). It might make more sense if you post the whole paragraph where this was stated.

 

HottieUnlimited

Jan 31, 2013

Bigfoot 

locality

Jan 31, 2013

I stand by what I said and don't have to explain myself some loser who gets offended if someone disagrees with him.

I'm not offended. I'm doubting the truth of your factual claim (regarding Chomsky saying that about proto-germanic) and I'm challenging you to support your claim that "generative theory is outdated". 

If I'm wrong about the factual claim, show me. If you have support for your second claim, give it. I'll eat my words gladly. Otherwise I'm going to dismiss what you say based on the perfectly reasonable assumption that you're talking out of your ass. 

locality

Jan 31, 2013

Could you post the context where this was stated? I've heard generative folks (well... at least Peter Culicover) say that phonology (the combining of sounds) and morphology (minimal units of sound with meaning) are all simply a part of the syntax, but not that there is no semantics (the relationship between form and meaning). It might make more sense if you post the whole paragraph where this was stated.

Well, the specific instance of him saying this that I have in mind was in a talk, so not written. I can link to the youtube video. It was recent. 

His states the distinction between syntax and semantics as symbol manipulation on the one hand (syntax) and "reference" to something outside the system of symbol manipulation on the other (semantics). He says that human language does not in fact refer to anything outside of the language. 

Search "Chomsky 60 years of generative grammar" on youtube. That's the talk. It's long, though. 

Edit, here I googled it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgd8BnZ2-iw

locality

Jan 31, 2013

Neither do I. Freud didn't have any really good ideas.

You are wrong, of course, but that is not the point. Freud was a scientist. In science it's a good thing to be usefully wrong. The only way to fail is to be useless.

You, for instance, are useless.

Your useless comment is also useless.

Everything you have ever done was useless and everything you ever do will be useless. Think of it, you might as well not even bother living.

Rejoice. There's a kind of profound liberation in that. You are good for absolutely nothing. You are not smart, you are not athletic, you are not good looking, you have no talent or spiritual insight or great cultural contributions to make, ever. You have nothing to lose, no potential to squander, no expectations to live up to, nothing. You cannot fail because there is no way for you to succeed, ever, at anything. Enjoy that. 

Don't think of yourself as a wasted life. Think of yourself as a bonus life. Excess. Runoff. Filler. 

beingme22

Jan 31, 2013

^^ OOps! I just realized that it's the headline for the forum that says language has no semantics, so Kair can't go get that context I requested. Sorry!

 

Ummm... I'd say that since the relationship between form and meaning is arbitrary (e.g. there's nothing inherent about a chair that makes us call it a "chair".), Chomsky is saying that semantics is not a part of this so-called language faculty. So, just because semantics has its place in language, does not mean that it's a part of that language faculty that humans use to generate grammar.

But like I said, generative theory is outdated. There probably is no "language faculty". There are some universal tendencies across languages, but there's more to it than some section of the brain meant for language production.

beingme22

Jan 31, 2013

My bad locality. I didn't read your posts until after I'd written my that last one. Read The Sound Pattern of English if you'd like to see what I was talking about. The fact is, Chomsky believes that there are at least two separate levels of phonological processing (This model is also outdated. see Laad 2006)): an abstract level followed by phonological rules which lead to the phonetic level. 

First of all, these rules need to be categorical in order for them to work. They're not. That is, they cannot account for variation in language, which is EVERYWHERE. Read Labov's 2008 paper: Quantitative Reasoning in Linguistics if you'd like to see what I mean.

Second of all, on the abstract (phonemic) level, many of the words in the English language today would look like anything from Proto-Germanic to Old English after running the phonological rules required from Chomsky's model in reverse, i.e., before you run all the rules, you have this phonemic form that looks a lot like some ancient form of the language. Now, as a historical linguist, that sounds pretty neat to me. But it's just not the case. This is mainly because Chomsky didn't know much about the difference between diachronic and synchronic phonology. He was trying to account for changes across time from a synchronic-only perspective.

Moreover, generative grammars cannot produce alternations, e.g. man --> men in the plural. This is not a syntactic phenomenon. It's a word-and-paradigm (morphological) phenomenon. No addition or subtraction of a segment (syntax) can account for it.

There are still some amazing Linguists out there who believe in generative theory, but in my department we don't refer to it very much. We read some of Chomsky's work, tear it to pieces, and begin discussing what the possibilities are for real language production.

This is all me just farting around. If you really wanna know, read the Handbook of Phonology or virtually any Morphology textbook.

HottieUnlimited

Jan 31, 2013

I agree with locality. That guy is useless. Problem w/ all these useless people who aren't ever going to contribute anything of value 2 the world is that they take up resources. Resources that could have been used for good. Because that guy is alive, a few dolphins somewhere aren't. Because that guy consumes food and air, a scientist won't be born. F*** that guy & millions of other people like him. We can't even measure how evil their existence is, because we don't know what the world is missing out on by having them in it, instead of others.

Chaeddd

Jan 31, 2013

Sin is bad. there should be a tax on it.

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