[b-hebrew] Cognate languages - limitations
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Sep 5 08:17:15 EDT 2005
On 05/09/2005 08:39, Read, James C wrote:
>A young student with little experience with English, but good linguistic instincts comes along and feels that the
>accepted view just doesn't feel right. He finds it difficult to reconcile this idea with the examples where, according to
> him, the context demands the idea of 'accademic schooling' to be understood. He is abruptly laughed out of class
>and fails his exams for agreeing with the scholarly concensus which is firmly based on the majorit of extant
> examples and a well attested cognate proof.
>Undettered he goes home and takes it upon himself to compare every extant example of the phrase and to put his
>theory to the test. After seeing that his interpretation fits every single occurence of the phrase and also seems to
>throw a clearer light on previously misunderstood examples. Not wanting to jump the gun he tries to prove his
>theory wrong but the more he does so the more his good linguistic instincts show him that his first instincts were
>As a last shot he searches throught the archives of italian literature and stumbles across an overlooked rosetta
>stone. He finds two parrallel newspaper articles talking about the increasing bad manners of youngsters with
>each passing generation. He notices that the term used in the italian version is 'maleducazione' where English
>talks of 'bad manners'. He now feels that he has conclusively gathered enough evidence to show that the
>'scholars' got it wrong.
Good example, James, but if the young student had quoted this evidence,
or even a reasonable amount of it, in his exam, he would not have
failed. For the examiner would have recognised that he was presenting a
good case even if he was not personally convinced of the truth of the
case. Of course the student would need to demonstrate familiarity with
the standard interpretation and good reasons why the new one was to be
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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