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LINGUIST List 17.1991

Fri Jul 07 2006

Qs: 'Nor' in the World's Languages; Sample Rates

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        1.    Maarten van Wijk, 'Nor' in the World's Languages
        2.    Ian Logan, Sample Rates

Message 1: 'Nor' in the World's Languages
Date: 04-Jul-2006
From: Maarten van Wijk <m.p.van.wijkumail.leidenuniv.nl>
Subject: 'Nor' in the World's Languages

For my dissertation on the emergence of logical connectives in natural language
I'm trying to debunk an argument by Gazdar and Pullum (1976) on what they call
non-confessionality, which is supposed to be principle that rules out nand, but
also nor as a natural language truth-functional connective.

The basic argument runs as follows:

There is psycholinguistic evidence that negations are hard to compute for human
minds, and computation time increases exponentially for each extra negative
element added (Hoosain 1973; Clark 1974, both cited by Gazdar and Pullum 1976).

Therefore there can be no connective C that causes the truth value of a
proposition conjoined by C to be true when both of the arguments of C are false.
This is supposed to explain why NAND, IFF and IF are not natural language
connectives. After all, A if B is true if neither A nor B is true.

However, NOR would be non-confessional as well, and still it is found in many
natural languages.

Gazdar and Pullum acknowledge the existence of neither...nor in modern English,
but they accommodate this by proposing that neither...nor is derived
syntactically from either...or by incorporation of NEG. Such syntactic claims
have been made. (I don't have the citations handy).

This seems like a bit of an argument out of convenience to me. I can see that
English nor certainly gives the impression of being composed out of not and or.
I'm wondering whether this is true in other languages of the world as well,

Does anyone know of any language in which the word for NOR doesn't look at all
like the particle for negation? And what is your general take on the
'incorporation of negation' argument? How seriously should I take this
generativistic argument? I myself work in an evolutionary linguistics framework.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Message 2: Sample Rates
Date: 04-Jul-2006
From: Ian Logan <ilogan34hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: Sample Rates

Dear colleagues,

All acoustic information needed to distinguish two phonemes can be found below

So, in automatic speech recognition (ASR) why do acoustic models trained on
speech data sampled at 22kilohertz work better than acoustic models trained on
speech data sampled at 11kilohertz? What information above 4kilohertz helps ASR?

Thank you all.

Ian Logan

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

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