Monday, January 24, 2011

human throwing / language link

"The idea here is that our speech and throwing capabilities came as a package," said Bingham, director of the Perception/Action Lab at IU. Language is special, and we acquire it very rapidly when young. Recent theories and evidence suggest that perceptual biases in auditory perception channel auditory development, so that we become attuned to the relevant acoustic units for speech. Our work on the size-weight illusion is now suggesting that a similar bias exists in object perception that corresponds to human readiness to acquire throwing skills."

Another way of stating the size-weight illusion is that for someone to perceive that two objects -- one larger than the other -- weigh the same, the larger object must weigh significantly more than the smaller object. Their study findings show that skilled throwers use this illusion of 'equal felt' heaviness to select objects that they are able to throw to the farthest, maximum distance. This, says Bingham, suggests the phenomenon is not actually an illusion but instead a "highly useful and accurate perception."

Neanderthals, which co-existed with Homo sapiens long ago, lacked the more developed cerebellum and posterior parietal cortex.

D - LOL, where I have heard that before?
Neanderthals had larger brains. But.
It's not how big it is, it's how you use it? Or can use it? <:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

texting may help the spelling of kids

Critics have suggested that text messaging can blur the boundaries between colloquialisms and standard English, with some teachers claiming that slang is now creeping into children’s school work.

But academics from Coventry University said there was “no evidence” that access to mobile phones harmed children’s literacy skills and could even have a positive impact on spelling.

D: having written 100s of essays, I can testify that one learns to write formally with practice.

D - I admit that I began to use lazy abberviations once I started texting. Doing so on a standard phone interface is onerous.
Unlike most users, I wanted to default to phonetic spelling.
"Yer" as opposed to "you are" or "your" proved popular.
Then ending "-er" became just R, and "-ing" became N.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

bilingual toddlers have better attention control

"By 24 months, we found bilingual children had already acquired a vocabulary in each of their two languages and gained some experience in switching between English or French," says senior researcher Diane Poulin-Dubois, a psychology professor at Concordia University and associate director of the Centre for Research in Human Development. "We found the cognitive benefits of bilingualism come much earlier than reported in previous studies."

These new findings have practical implications for educators and parents, says Dr. Poulin-Dubois. "Exposing toddlers to a second language early in their development provides a bilingual advantage that enhances attention control."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

valley girl speak.

Or 'sociolect' apparently.

A certain sociolect associated with Valley Girls, referred to as “Valspeak,” became common across the United States during the 1980s and 1990s, and much entered teenage slang throughout the country.

Qualifiers such as “like”, “whatever”, “way”, "as if!", “totally” and “duh” were interjected in the middle of phrases and sentences as emphasizers. Narrative sentences were often spoken as though they were questions using a high rising terminal.

Valspeak is often spoken with a heavy accent sometimes associated with Californians. Words are spoken with high variation in pitch combined with very open or nasal vowel sounds.

D: Heh, "whatever" was rated the most annoying response one can have.

* Like - Used as an interjection: "That was, like, the worst thing ever!" or to indicate speech: "And she was like 'Get out of my way!'"
* As if – lit. "yeah, right" or "as if" except it does not use a subject; expresses disbelief.
* Bitchin' - adj. slang for excellent; first-rate. Though a derivative of "bitch", bitchin' is sometimes not considered profane.
* Whatever! - short for "whatever you say"; sarcastic interjection often emphasizing the final syllable.
* Fer shur – lit. "For sure", often used in agreement.
* Totally – "I agree" or "completely."
* Oh my God – can be used many ways; expresses shock.
* Tre - A synonym for "very" (derived from French "très")
* So - Very; used frequently and said with strong emphasis.
* Seriously - Frequent interjection of approval.
* Gnarly - expression of seriousness. can be a word for very intense or very pleasing
* Are you serious?- expression of surprise.

D - frightening how pervasive this has become.
These halve the apparent IQ of the speaker...

Totally. Like. Fer Shur.

In linguistics, a sociolect or social dialect is a variety of language (a dialect) associated with a social group such as a socioeconomic class, an ethnic group, an age group, etc. (image)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

panini- the 4thC BC originator of linguistics

D - and he influenced Chomsky's works on linguistics.
What is amazing is that his contributions were basically allowed to lie fallow for so long.

He is known for his Sanskrit grammar, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules[2] of Sanskrit morphology, syntax and semantics in the grammar known as Ashtadhyayi (अष्टाध्यायी Aṣṭādhyāyī, meaning "eight chapters"), the foundational text of the grammatical branch of the Vedanga, the auxiliary scholarly disciplines of Vedic religion.


Ferdinand de Saussure (French pronunciation: [fɛʁdinɑ̃ də sosyʁ]) (26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss linguist whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. Saussure is widely considered to be one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics,[1][2] though modern linguists and philosophers of language all but universally consider his ideas outdated, inadequate, and misunderstood or deliberately distorted by literary theorists.[3][4] [5][6][7][8] [9][10][11][12][13][14] Saussure's concepts receive little or no attention in modern linguistic textbooks.[15] Saussure's concepts—particularly semiotics—have nonetheless exterted a monumental impact throughout the humanities and social sciences.

Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of cultural sign processes (semiosis), analogy, metaphor, signification and communication, signs and symbols. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which in its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically. Semiotics is usually divided into three branches, which include:

* Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning
* Syntactics: Relations among signs in formal structures
* Pragmatics: Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them

D: a supergenius friend of mine, a "God in ruins" to borrow from Emerson, keeps all his notes in coded logic form.
Hopefully, I'll manage to ground a language firmly enough in such precise terms that notation will be optional.

Note: I'm revising musical notation to get back into piano.
It's looking like a vertically scrolling system that matches the setup of a piano. I'll be tweaking the chromatic notation system.
I see why so many musicians don't /can't / won't use our standard musical notation system. It is far removed from the playing of music itself by a number of mental stps.
CVN. Seven. 7. An octave of 7 whole notes lends itself to a naming convention derived from consonant voiced/voiceless pairs.
Chords could be expressed in my variant-prime # scheme for compound concepts. (See earlier blogs.)

The Ashtadhyayi is one of the earliest known grammars of Sanskrit, although he refers to previous texts like the Unadisutra, Dhatupatha, and Ganapatha.[2] It is the earliest known work on descriptive linguistics and generative linguistics, and together with the work of his immediate predecessors (Nirukta, Nighantu, Pratishakyas) stands at the beginning of the history of linguistics itself.

I imagine the fact that his book is in Sanskrit served as a barrier to further dissemination.

Pāṇini's work became known in 19th century Europe, where it influenced modern linguistics initially through Franz Bopp, who mainly looked at Pāṇini. Subsequently, a wider body of work influenced Sanskrit scholars such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield, and Roman Jakobson. Frits Staal discussed the impact of Indian ideas on language in Europe.

Monday, January 10, 2011

musical beats, 4/4 time and syllable stress

In music that progresses regularly in 4/4 time, counted as "1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4...", the first beat of the bar (down-beat) is usually the strongest accent in the melody and the likeliest place for a chord change, the third is the next strongest: these are "on" beats. The second and fourth are weaker - the "off-beats". Subdivisions (like eighth notes) that fall between the pulse beats are even weaker and these, if used frequently in a rhythm, can also make it "off-beat".[7] The effect can be easily simulated by evenly and repeatedly counting to four:

D: Well it lines up with some English words, at least with the 3rd of 4 syllables containing the primary stress.

Four Syllable - Second Syllable Stressed

Listen to the general pattern and these specific examples:


Four Syllable - Third Syllable Stressed

Listen to the general pattern and these specific examples:


Sunday, January 9, 2011

babies process language same as adults

"Our study shows that the neural machinery used by adults to understand words is already functional when words are first being learned," said Halgren, "This basic process seems to embody the process whereby words are understood, as well as the context for learning new words." The researchers say their results have implications for future studies, for example development of diagnostic tests based on brain imaging which could indicate whether a baby has healthy word understanding even before speaking, enabling early screening for language disabilities or autism.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

twitter keepin' regional dialects alive n well

In northern California, something that's cool is "koo" in tweets, while in southern California, it's "coo." In many cities, something is "sumthin," but tweets in New York City favor "suttin." While many of us might complain in tweets of being "very" tired, people in northern California tend to be "hella" tired, New Yorkers "deadass" tired and Angelenos are simply tired "af."

The "af" is an acronym that, like many others on Twitter, stands for a vulgarity. LOL is a commonly used acronym for "laughing out loud," but Twitterers in Washington, D.C., seem to have an affinity for the cruder LLS.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Globe and Mail verb fail


I've been watching this verb, past tense, get simplified for years.
To plead. Did plead. Pled.

This is one I used to struggle with regularly in my day-to-day work, until I got used to it.

Someone pled guilty or pleaded guilty?

The rule for us in journalism is pleaded. The lawyers like pled.

D - I see how the author could be confused.
Plead sounds like Plea-ed. Like past tense.

But it is wrong.

Not sure about a past tense?
Just say did + XYZ.