[b-hebrew] Isaac Fried's Theory (was Karl's lexicon)

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Aug 30 06:13:58 EDT 2007


James,

I am hastening to say that Steven Pinker is not a scientologist. I  
said that his theories appear to me to be scientological in nature.  
The whole thing is irrelevant and I regret bringing up his good name  
here.
Language (vocabulary+grammar) is transmitted to us through the  
generations.
All I am interested in is the structure of Hebrew words such as  
$AMARNU. Do you agree with what I have said about its composition?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Aug 30, 2007, at 2:09 AM, JAMES CHRISTIAN READ wrote:

>
> IF: It appears to me that you are mixing up two distinct linguistic
> issues: (1) word formation (which is inherent), and (2) the use of
> language (which is invented). I am not interested in the latter, only
> in the former. Children don't invent roots.
>
> JCR: So that then begs the question "inherited from
> what"? Are you suggesting that the language was
> created this way (worth considering)? Or that it
> evolved (needs to address the cognitive problems I
> have raised)?
>
> IF: I am surprised that you are prepared to accept Steven Pinker's
> scientological fantasies as though they were God's word to Moses on
> mount Sinai, but keep asking me for a proof to something that is
> obviously true.
>
> JCR: Didn't realise he was a scientologist. I usually
> just listen to the arguments people make and the data
> behind them to consider whether they have good
> scientific basis. In any case your objections to
> Pinker are irrelevant in this case because the
> observations on cognitive development I am referring to
> are not his but are firmly rooted in the independent
> research of people like Piaget.
>
> -------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------------------------------------------
>
> James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science
> http://www.lamie.org/hebrew       -  thesis1: concept driven  
> machine translation using the Aleppo codex
> http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc  -  thesis2: language acquisition  
> simulation
>
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> -------------------------------------------------------
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> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>
> On Aug 29, 2007, at 4:43 PM, JAMES CHRISTIAN READ wrote:
>
>>
>> IF: James,
>>
>> I am terribly sorry but what you are saying makes no sense to me. I
>> know that the fault could rest all with me. I may be improperly
>> hardwired, ignorant, or possibly not steeped deep enough in
>> "psycholinguistics". I don't know. A statement such as "the only
>> natural conclusion I can draw is that for your model to work it would
>> require the ancient Hebrews to have had a cognitive system not only
>> different from modern day humans but from primates and all other
>> living animals that have eyes and ears" is truly beyond me. Sorry, we
>> appear to inhabit different intellectual worlds.
>>
>> JCR: Ok! I am beginning to realise that maybe I haven't
>> explained my objection to your model well enough. Let
>> me try again but if I fail this time please let me
>> know which parts I haven't explained well enough.
>>
>> Language is combinatorial. That is to say we combine
>> words to make clauses. We combine clauses to make
>> sentences etc. etc.This is the appealing part of your
>> theory because it introduces a new level of combination
>> - elemental consonants to form meaningful roots.
>>
>> There is no psycholinguistic problem to the observation
>> that we combine words to make sentences because we
>> have a cognitive system which is able to associate
>> words with objects, their properties and their actions.
>>
>> There *is* a psycholinguistic problem with your model
>> because there is no plausible cognitive model which
>> would enable the brain of a human child to associate
>> the elements you suggest with consonants and therefore
>> be able to use them as a combinatorial basis.
>>
>> Please be specific about the parts you don't understand
>> or take issue with in further replies.
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------
>> -------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science
>> http://www.lamie.org/hebrew       -  thesis1: concept driven
>> machine translation using the Aleppo codex
>> http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc  -  thesis2: language acquisition
>> simulation
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------
>> -------------------------------------------------------
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