[b-hebrew] Linguistics

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 27 17:52:58 EDT 2008

Dear Isaac,

As always, you maintain ideas which allow you to retain your views
without modification. As always, they are unsubstantiated views
container error.

Sure there is areas of linguistics that is not exact, pragmatics for
one. But there are areas of linguistics that are much more
bland-and-white. The study of phonemics is one such area. While there is
disagreement between various theoretical approaches to grammar, in
phonemics there is agreement between them in terms of methodology and
outcomes. As I've consistently maintained, phonemics follows a coherent
and clear methodology and the results may be reproduced or falsified.
Where is your evidence that none of this is true?

True, we don't need linguistic theory per se to provide us with a method
on how to define meaning. However, since linguistics is the study of
language and language use, why shouldn't someone look here if seeking to
conduct etymological study? Thus linguistic methodology is not simply
for linguistics students as you want to assert. Whether you ditch
mainstream linguistics, you still have the problem of how to define
meaning and how to posit meaningful contrasts. The problem with your
method is that you do not deal with these issues at all.

Isaac, I do not make a mistake in rejecting your ideas. You've started
by making big mistakes about language so it is not surprising that big
mistakes are made in results. Since no one has made such fundamental
errors before, no one before you has made such big mistakes. Because you
mistakes are so fundamental, your results are so divergent and fanciful.
You may see them as "the most significant, if not the ultimate,
contribution to the understanding of the Hebrew language in the last
1000 years", but they are really only such a departure because no one
has made such basic methodological mistakes before and so end up where
you have. No one misses anything by neglecting them, other than a good
confused chuckle.

David Kummerow.

> David,
> 1. We moving in circles and becoming, I am afraid, tiresome. This
> discussion may also belong in a Linguistics forum not here, but it
> has, nevertheless, at its core, a fundamental issue pertaining to
> Hebrew.
> 2. Linguistics is not an exact science, if at all, and one can not
> "demonstrate" anything by the force of its use.
> 3. The assertion that "general linguistics can define meaning/
> semantics" is patently and thoroughly paltry. We don't need "general
> linguistics" to DEFINE something.
> 4. What you call "linguistic methodology" is of concern to students
> of linguistics only, it has no bearing whatsoever on the study of
> Hebrew etymology and grammar. For example, the question if a certain
> "linguistic unit" is a morpheme or not is of interest to a
> linguistics student only, wanting on a test to please his professor
> and get a good grade. Otherwise, the correct answer to this question
> 5. You are making a grave mistake in spurning my ideas on the
> structure of the Hebrew word. They are possibly the most significant,
> if not the ultimate, contribution to the understanding of the Hebrew
> language in the last 1000 years. If you miss them it will be your own
> great loss.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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