Saturday, May 1, 2021

920: Language and linguistics.....

 Nothing is so obvious as language. It is part of our daily existence but we are usually not aware of it. 

Although the Mesopotamians from approximately 3200 BC. could write, the study of language, collecting, analyzing and interpreting language data only starts around 1600 BC in Babylonia. 


But that is still a thousand years earlier than anywhere else in the world. Linguistics is a diverse area with many theories, 


but you can ask the question, are there language phenomena that are recognized by all linguists and who apply to all languages? 


The phenomenon of discontinuous relationships is a serious candidate. 


Homo Sapiens starts searching for patterns in the language and around 1600 BC he discovered this phenomenon. 


Let me explain this phenomenon on the basis of a sentence: "The dog on the hill barks" In this sense, there is a connection 


between 'dog' and 'bark' and not between 'hill' and 'bark' although these last two words are adjacent, so 'continuous. 


Nevertheless, no speaker of English does not catch the sense wrong. One could say that this is because semantically a hill cannot bark. 


But that doesn't matter, because even if we take a sentence such as: "The young dog next to the old dog barks" then "barks" is only related to "the young dog" and not "the old dog." 


Apparently, relations do not have to be adjacent to relations between words in a sentence, such as here between subject and saying, but can also be discontinuous. 


What is more, relationships within a sense can extend almost randomly, such as in the sense 'the dog under the tree next to the house on the hill barks.' 


This phenomenon is therefore rightly considered one of the most important characteristics of human language, not only in English, 


but in all known languages, relationships between words and between phrases can be discontinuous.


Language is an abstraction of reality. It literally describes what we see. We see the young and old dog side by side. It is an image on our retina, a whole. 


And one way or another we succeed in creating words in which that image is described, while in that sentence the two dogs as on our retina are not adjacent to each other. 


The continuity of the image opposite the discontinuity in the language.


It now appears that this special feature of language is first described in Babylonia around 1600 BC, but not between words in a sentence but between parts of a word.


In Babylonia, it was about discontinuous patterns within words The circumstances under which the Babylonian study of language came about are comparable to what will later occur elsewhere in the world. 


The Babylonians wanted to save old literature that was written in an extinct language. In Babylonia, this old literature was not written in their own Akkadian language 


but in the Sumerian, such as the famous Gilgamesh epic from the 21st century BC. 


During the third millennium BC, there was a cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians,


in which there was a major impact of  Sumerian on Akkadian language, especially in the field of pronunciation and loan words. Furthermore, the two languages ​​were not related to each other. 


During the Babylonian period, around 2000 BC, the Akkadian slowly but surely replaced the Sumerian language. 


The Babylonians, however, wanted to preserve the knowledge of Sumerian because this language was used in ceremonial, literature and scientific works. 


Where should the Babylonians begin if they wanted to save a language, which wasn't their own language? A dictionary was seen as the first requirement. 


But the use of words in their context should also be described, both in the Sumerian and in Babylonian, so that they could serve as a translation aid. 


In addition, the conjugations and compositions of words had to be registered in both languages, the so-called morphology..


What the Babylonians discovered as a linguistic phenomenon is still up to date in linguistics, the discontinuous relationship. 


It is interesting that the phenomenon is described on the clay tablets, but no further explanation is given. 


They also discovered the phenomenon that proverbs and standard expressions cannot be translated literally. 


In English, you have the expression "It is Raining Cats and Dogs". A literal translation into Dutch would work on the smile muscles, while in Dutch we also have our ways. 


We say "Het regent pijpenstelen", (It is raining pipe stems) where you should think of that long 17th-century pottery pipes to understand the expression, but the expression is untranslatable.


Babylonian linguistics is unique. As far as known, in a thousand years nowhere else in the world appears some study into regularities and irregular in language.


Thank you for your attention again.....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): crash:(

[13:21] CB Axel: wb, Beertje.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa wb

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): dankjewel

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the cats and dogs thing we have in Sweden also

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "Det regnar hundar o katter"

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's raining cats and dogs Bejiita?

[13:22] CB Axel: Raining pipe stems makes more sense to me than cats and dogs. :)

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:22] herman Bergson: The amazing thing here is that 36 centuries ago people already saw the relation between language and reality

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): raining pipe stems sounds like something a plumber would say

[13:23] herman Bergson: Indeed CB :-)

[13:24] herman Bergson: Language depicts reality, but the words aren't in the order the objects are in reality and yet we have no problem to understand

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): context

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): whan we call grammar

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what

[13:25] herman Bergson: Another interesting thing is that it took a thousand years before people again began to think about linguistics

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:26] herman Bergson: this completely different from mathematics an astronomy for instance

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why took it so long?

[13:26] herman Bergson: But the purpose stayed the same......saving a dieing language

[13:27] herman Bergson: I have no idea, Beeertje?-)

[13:27] herman Bergson: Maybe because the Akkadian/Sumerian problem was a special situation....kind of incidental occurrence

[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, could be

[13:28] oola Neruda: it is interesting that very young children can catch on...

[13:28] oola Neruda: learn the language and grammar

[13:28] CB Axel: I think our brains are hardwired from birth to accept language.

[13:28] herman Bergson: the Greek had there own language and alphabet....

[13:29] CB Axel: Any language

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have to be like that and then that ability vanishes

[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes CB, I think so too

[13:29] herman Bergson: You may even say it in a more abstract way....

[13:29] CB Axel: I think the more languages a child hears, the easier it will be for them to learn new languages.

[13:30] CB Axel: They have to get the different sounds stored in their brains,

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be

[13:30] herman Bergson: Our brain is hardwired to be able to represent sensory experiences by symbols

[13:30] oola Neruda: the Maya ... had a really abstract manner of recording their language

[13:30] herman Bergson: And reason based on those symbols

[13:30] oola Neruda: and the Chinese is based on pictograms

[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes oola

[13:31] CB Axel: I remember hearing about a language that had 2 words that sound alike to anyone who didn't grow up hearing those 2 words, but there as something about how they were said that natives could tell the difference.

[13:31] herman Bergson: This brings us in fact back to the concept of patterns and our ability to formulate underlying principles

[13:31] CB Axel: They had grown up hearing the difference, so they could hear it easily.

[13:32] herman Bergson: Chinese has 5 different ways to pronounce a character sometimes and every way of pronouncing conveys another meaning

[13:33] CB Axel: Yes. Chinese is fascinating that way.

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess things like programming languages are somewhat made like that as well however in all of the ones i know the basic structore is the same

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if this is that to that else that wash rinse repeat

[13:33] oola Neruda: I am interested in how they formed symbols to record what they wanted kept...

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but thats just the base structure but explains maybee why i have so easy picking these up one after another

[13:34] CB Axel: I find that fascinating, too, oola.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes oola, a fascinating question.....

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa yes

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how did that start

[13:34] oola Neruda: go back to the cave man

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the alphabets

[13:34] herman Bergson: Chinese with characters, Egyptians with hieroglyphs, Greeks and Romans with an alphabet

[13:35] herman Bergson: Sumerians with cuniform

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example i can pick up japanese a lot but i cant read japanese cause characters look all different and are images rather then letters

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cant directly interpret that

[13:35] oola Neruda: yes... images first

[13:35] herman Bergson: It is so amazing and a big riddle

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they obviously can

[13:35] CB Axel: I'm the same way with Arabic, Bejiita.

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and both look cool surely but i cant read them

[13:36] oola Neruda: image/symbol

[13:36] herman Bergson: japanese uses three scripts.....teh Kanji (chinese characters) , hiragana and katakana

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting is our numbers are arabic but i dont think arabic numbers are written this way or are they

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have not tried decipher arabic script

[13:37] herman Bergson: the hiragana is a sylable script

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you can read arabic CB, the numbers of the clock fi are arabic symbols

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there are 3 of them

[13:37] CB Axel: Not  if you have a clock with Roman numerals. LOL

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): funny americans:)

[13:37] herman Bergson: That  is good for your Latin CB :-)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well TYHAT i can actually read cause i grew up with one such clock in the kitchen

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so learned how to read roman numbers at least up to 12

[13:38] CB Axel: Americans were asked if we should use Arabic numbers and many said NO! Arabic isn't our language.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): OMG

[13:38] CB Axel: The American educational system is an embarrassment.

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so you always write numbers in roman symbols?

[13:38] herman Bergson: Brilliant :-)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YES

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ITS ONLY THEM AND THE REST OF THE WORLD DOESNT EXIST IT SEEMS

[13:39] CB Axel: I'm guessing most of those people can't read Roman numerals either

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats strange (and selfish9

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:40] herman Bergson: At least we have seen today that homo sapiens already wondered about language in an early stage

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example they think Sweden is the place where they make clocks and where the LHC is

[13:40] CB Axel: Arabs gave us algebra, and I do resent them for that. Algebra is hard. LOL

[13:40] CB Axel: LOL, Bejiita.

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol CB

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well sure we also have an accelerator but its caled MAX iV

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes algebra is tricky stuff

[13:41] CB Axel: That reminds me! Fermi Lab had a bison calf born there on the 24th. The first of the season. :)

[13:41] herman Bergson: they confuse Sweden with Switserland has the same S at the start

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but can be quite interesting if u get into irt

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how it works

[13:41] CB Axel: Sw! So it's even harder. :)

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes they have bisons out there indeed

[13:41] herman Bergson: yes...very confusing CB :-)))

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): exactly herman

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but wonder if they then place it correct on the map

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or if its just the name

[13:42] CB Axel: But then, when I was a little child I got Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin mixed up all the time.

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if they know geography other then the USA map

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that is

[13:43] CB Axel: Bejiita, they don't even know US geography.

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:43] CB Axel: US education is a joke.

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:43] CB Axel: Yet, we allow those people to vote. :(

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure it was not my strong subject in school but

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): grins

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i know my way around the world for sure

[13:44] CB Axel: I'm terrible with the southern hemisphere.

[13:44] herman Bergson: Well...let's not begin a geography class here :-)

[13:44] CB Axel: :)

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:45] herman Bergson: I think it is good enough to see how man got fascinated by language

[13:45] oola Neruda: necessity

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im actually terying to model australia in Unreal, (the maps are free and have a work buddy who have lived there so downloaded them)

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and it looks great

[13:46] herman Bergson: The more you think about it, the more fascinating it becomes....our use of language and its consequences

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and we hardly think about it

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its just there for us

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why not use 1 language?   dutch f. i. it's easier that way

[13:47] herman Bergson: That is the point Bejiita....we take language as so obvious....

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but if i for ex would try speak Netherlands it would be a different story

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): grins

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): although i can snatch up a word or 2

[13:47] CB Axel: Just look at my confusion about what being a Liberal means in Europe as opposed to in the US.

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's easy Bejiita

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a bit similar to german i think

[13:47] herman Bergson: Even that is an interesting issue Beertje......those huge differences in languages....

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no not at all

[13:47] herman Bergson: Where did they come from

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:48] oola Neruda: the deep past when people were less able to intermingle

[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): react to Bejiita's it's very different from german

[13:48] herman Bergson: I spent more than 10 years on is easier to learn than Polish for instance...

[13:48] oola Neruda: stayed local

[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): polis is a pain in the b...

[13:49] herman Bergson: Oh my yes....spelling is a hell.....

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a tongue twister language although it sounds stylish

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but so do japanese

[13:49] herman Bergson: I gave up after one lesson

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): diendobre...

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and i get Japanese much easier then chinese which indeed is just TJING TJONG to me

[13:50] herman Bergson: I spent more than 1200 days without missing a day on learning Spanish :-)

[13:50] oola Neruda: I find pictographs and petroglyphs more interesting than the spoken "symbols"

[13:50] herman Bergson: So now I can read the Spanish newspaper

[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's awesome Herman

[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i learned english here in secondlife

[13:51] herman Bergson: I wonder how the read these pictographs oola

[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my friends taught me

[13:51] oola Neruda: it is not the same everywhere

[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and now german:)))

[13:51] theo Velde is offline.

[13:51] oola Neruda: lots of "local" stuff

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats nice

[13:52] herman Bergson: Language is a fascinating subject, that's for sure

[13:52] bergfrau Apfelbaum: :-))

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep!

[13:52] oola Neruda: but the blank space between when they were made and by whom... and now... make them more difficult

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems to be a sort of organic process

[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): laguage is a living thing, it changes

[13:53] oola Neruda: unless they are didactic... like hieroglyphs

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): my ancestors spoke a hole other language dutch that I do now

[13:53] CB Axel: I  was thinking about that, too, Beertje.

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): typost is my favorite;)))

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not like say programming languages where there is a specific time and a specific creator (but also these are VERY new in relation to our history, not earlier then say 1950s)

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they also have a pattern

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i learned old dutch, to read the old books from the past

[13:54] CB Axel: Shakespeare is almost a completely different language than the English that is used now.

[13:54] herman Bergson: I had to learn to read what was called "Middelnederlands", the Dutch from the 16th century

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's very difficult to read those old frases

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed old english is way different

[13:54] herman Bergson: Same issue there CB

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes me too Herman

[13:54] CB Axel: And Chaucer is even harder to understand.

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a complete different language

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): isnt it a bit like say Irish (wichh i also dont understand :)9

[13:55] CB Axel: Irish is completely different.

[13:56] herman Bergson: Try to understand Portuguese when you understand Spanish....same problem

[13:56] CB Axel nods

[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): soulds a but like pirates language ARRR HEYEEEEEE GIVEEE THA RUM!

[13:56] herman Bergson: And it all began about 3000 years BC :-)

[13:56] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):

[13:56] CB Axel: :)

[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh why did I said that! now i want rum!

[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:57] oola Neruda: learning to use the symbols that artists use...particularly abstract ones... is another language in itself...

[13:57] herman Bergson: It still amazes me

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its yummy

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:57] herman Bergson: ok...enough for today.....

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa time flies

[13:57] oola Neruda: easy example... the reaction to red ...... or reaction to black.... or soft shapes... or firm shapes... etc etc etc

[13:57] herman Bergson: Let's get ready for Thursday :-)

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and its time to learn the

[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): even here in the Netherlands are languages not everyone can understand, and we live in a smaal country:)

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): language

[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa u have dialects too

[13:58] herman Bergson: Tomorrow is vaccination day for me....!

[13:58] herman Bergson: Finally :-)

[13:58] CB Axel: Yes. I need subtitles when I listen to some US accents on TV. :)

[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some in Sweden are worse then danish to understand

[13:58] CB Axel: Yay, Herman!

[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAREYAOOOOOOO

[13:59] herman Bergson: So...on Thursday there will be standing here a completely different man :-)

[13:59] herman Bergson: More or less covid proof :-))

[13:59] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): one with a sore arm:)

[13:59] CB Axel: Do you know which  one you'll be getting?

[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok

[13:59] herman Bergson: yes...Pfeizer is the flavor of the day :-)

[14:00] CB Axel: Is this your second dose?

[14:00] herman Bergson: no is the first one :-)

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[14:00] CB Axel: Oh. Then you still have a month to go before you're fully immunized.

[14:00] herman Bergson: I already survived a whole year CB, so I don't worry too much about that

[14:01] CB Axel: You'll get the 2nd one in 3 - 4 weeks and it takes about 2 weeks after that for your immune system to be ready. :)

[14:01] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have not felt any symptoms either yet

[14:01] herman Bergson: June 2 I'll get the second one

[14:01] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also im careful around others

[14:01] CB Axel: Yes, but I can get together with other vaccinated people now. :)

[14:02] CB Axel: That seems early. The CDC recommends at least 3 weeks between the shots.

[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even i feel comfortable still around say my street dance buddies

[14:02] CB Axel: I got mine 4 weeks after the 1st.

[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and other friends, i know where i have them more or less

[14:03] herman Bergson: Let me release you :-)

[14:03] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ....^_^

[1[14:03] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[14:03] CB Axel: CU all Thursday. :)

[14:03] bergfrau Apfelbaum: very interesting again! ty Herman and class :-) 

[14:03] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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