LINGUIST List 3.521

Tue 23 Jun 1992

Disc: Innateness; Nationalism; Bibliographic Software

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Directory

  1. , 3.492 Innateness
  2. Knud Lambrecht, Re: 3.507 Queries: Dialogues, Nationalism, Speech Synthesis
  3. Eric Schiller, Re: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.

Message 1: 3.492 Innateness

Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1992 18:52:31 3.492 Innateness
From: <GIVENsbchm1.chem.sunysb.edu>
Subject: 3.492 Innateness


 **** WHY INNATENESS WINS DISCUSSIONS LIKE THESE ****

 First of all,the entire discussion of innateness is in vain. (Its easy
to SEE that
it is in vain just by noting that it leads nowhere; I'm concerned to say
WHY its in vain.)
The same arguments have been made in detail to refute the Chomskian
approach to language study for at least a decade. See e.g.
 "Understanding Language: Towards a Post-Chomskyan Linguistics"
 by T. Moore and C. Carling (Macmillan, 1982, Hong Kong)

for a summary. But books like this change nothing. WHY?

 You can't use rationalist, instrospective, deductive,
non-empirical arguments (like the ones offered in this part of the Linguist) to
de-legitimize the idea of doing linguistics by rationalist, instrospective,
deductive, non-empirical arguments. The fundamental law of academics is:

 YOU CAN ONLY DIMINISH THE TRAFFIC FOR A SUCCESSFUL GAME BY FINDING A BETTER
GAME.

For example the psycholinguists studying language acquisition play a different
game. I get a strong impression that recent results from
this line of research leaves less and
lesss work for "innateness" to do when it finally gets here. But maybe not.
I think a debate pro and con would be exciting and profitable - but it would
at least not be FUTILE.

 As presently framed by its players, the world of innateness has two poles.
One is the essentialist, finally theological vision of language that inspires
it. The other is the *-game, the game with pairs of sentences, phrases, etc,
one starred and the other unstarred. The two hold each other in place to form a
VERY STABLE structure. There's no use complaining about it. Maybe YOU can
invent a better game. But be warned: academic disciplines are unstable against
new games that LOWER THE ANTE, i.e., that make it possible to participate
with less and less background knowledge. In this regard, the generative game
seems very hard to beat.

 JA Given
 SUNY

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Message 2: Re: 3.507 Queries: Dialogues, Nationalism, Speech Synthesis

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 92 21:00:33 -0Re: 3.507 Queries: Dialogues, Nationalism, Speech Synthesis
From: Knud Lambrecht <lambrecemx.cc.utexas.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.507 Queries: Dialogues, Nationalism, Speech Synthesis

Re: Philology and Nationalism.

Off hand, I can think of the revolutionary political activities of the
Grimm brothers in Germany which were linked to their interest in the
history of the German language and their work on German folk tales.
Another name that comes to mind is that of Herder and his interest in
language and the history of the German language. I don't remember any
specific titles of works on these authors, but I know there are hundreds
of books written on the topic. (Check e.g. Moser's history of the German
language, or similar works.)

Knud Lambrecht
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Message 3: Re: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 92 19:16:18 CDRe: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.
From: Eric Schiller <schillertira.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.

Bibliographic Software:
I understand Endnote is now in the world of Windows. I have always
preferred it on the Mac to all others. I think the version is Endnote
Plus. The only drawback on the Mac is that it does not handle Nisus
yet but I am sure it handles Microsoft Word. It is certainly the
favorite here at UC.

Eric Schiller
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