LINGUIST List 7.780

Wed May 29 1996

Disc: Lg & dreams, Unabomber, -y

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. Dan Moonhawk Alford, Lg & Dreams
  2. alan harris, UNABOMBER
  3. Charles Rowe, re: disc. -y: further comments

Message 1: Lg & Dreams

Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 11:27:41 PDT
From: Dan Moonhawk Alford <>
Subject: Lg & Dreams
The discussion on language and dreams has taken an interesting 
direction for this list, since we are now actively discussing issues of 
human consciousness. As far as I can tell, these discussions lie 
outside all theoretical linguistics since the ideal speaker-hearer is 
always in one particular state of consciousness: the one that 
supports the Puritan work ethic -- getting things done, revealing 
rather than concealing information, etc. 

It's fairly amazing that this entire discussion about language and 
dreaming has gone on without the slightest nod to the fact that 
dreaming is an entirely different state of consciousness than waking 
reality -- and linguistics is currently only large enough to contain one 
state of consciousness!

Am I understanding correctly? That some people want to force 
language in dreams to conform to the same properties and 
distinctions as language in waking state? The anecdote about 
dreaming in faux-Bulgarian alone might show us that different 
principles of consciousness are at work -- was that 'human language' 
in the normal sense? How was it understood so clearly, then, in the 
dream state, if it was not 'real'? Perhaps 'language' works differently 
in different states of consciousness.

I'd like to repeat (for some) a story I collected from Sakej Henderson, 
now Director of the Native Law Centre of Canada, which pertains 
directly to this topic, and which I have called the Cheyenne Tower of 
Babel Teaching: "Long ago, people and spirits and animals and 
plants all communicated in the same way. Then something 
happened. After that, we had to talk to each other in human speech. 
But we retained The Old Language for dreams, and for 
communicating with spirits and animals and plants."

So is 'human language' all there is to 'language', or is there a 
shadow complementary 'language' that links human beings into the 
rest of life? Quantum physics demands something like 'the Old 
Language' in order for the entire universe to work (see the Einstein-
Podolsky-Rosen experiment & Bell's Theory). As the 1992-96 Fetzer 
Dialogues between Indigenous and Western scientists have 
confirmed, what some call 'prayer' or 'rapport' and others call 
'telepathy' is the basis of quantum communication, which is of a 
different state of consciousness than waking reality tends to be. 
Linguistics must develop a multiple-states-of-consciousness theory 
of language if understanding what 'language' is in its entirety is still 
a priority. Or we can continue wandering around aimlessly, 
disconnected from life on this planet, moving nodes and feeling 

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Message 2: UNABOMBER

Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 12:01:26 PDT
From: alan harris <>
David Kathman's response (of the some forty that I received) was the most 
thorough with one addendum. The original FBI file was UN (university) A 
(airlines) BOM (bomber or bomb). It probably should have come out 
UNABOM-ER, but prescriptivist sentiments won out and it became in popular 
parlance and in the press: UNABOMBER
. At any rate, thanks to all for the enlightening discourse. I forwarded 
the notes to the Semios Net as well for *their* edification. cheers, ach
 Alan C. Harris, Ph. D. TELNOS: main off: 818-885-2853
 Professor, Communication/Linguistics direct off: 818-885-2874
 Speech Communication Department
 California State University, Northridge home: 818-366-3165
 SPCH CSUN FAX: 818-885-2663 
 Northridge, CA 91330-8257 Internet email: AHARRISHUEY.CSUN.EDU 
 WWW homepage:
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Message 3: re: disc. -y: further comments

Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 21:24:06 EDT
From: Charles Rowe <>
Subject: re: disc. -y: further comments

re: Benji Wald's remarks:

To clear up some possible confusion: my observation on Honky Tonk and its
origin related to the Honky Tonk rock *genre*, and not to the derivation
of the term itself. The observation I am making is that the (AAVE) Blues
*diction* is transferred to the diction used in the singing of Honky Tonk
(a genre in its own right), and that both owe their diction to the
(Early) African American lect. (I do not claim this as my own
observation, by the way; I have invoked it in this discussion as a
possible explanation of the Mick Jagger rendition of this -y.) Since
Jagger's speech does not reflect either the laxness nor the lengthening
to the degree to which he engages it in his (musical) diction, I am left
to believe that his [I]/[E] is a matter of his adherence to a particular
musical style (ie, Honky Tonk). It is furthermore not surprising that
Jagger's rendition of this allophone is "extra-long", since musical
diction tends to be particularly marked with superposed and highly
salient features (eg, as in opera diction).

To Giangola's question about the status of WSP in an analysis such as

His caveat is well-taken; the jury is still out, as far as I know, on
whether this feature can be considered a true "diagnostic" for
creolization, or simply a very strong indicator.

Charlie Rowe
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