The bird has landed. I mean, the crow flies at midnight. I mean, I’m so tired that I’m delirious. Probably, I’ll get on the A train going the wrong way. And when I step onto the platform in Far Rockaway, I might just stay there anyway, because, you know, a day at the beach sounds great after a month in the mountains.
… there is literally 1 store open selling food right now in the Denver airport; it is McDonalds. There are not enough Terra Blues chips in the entire fleet of JetBlue to satiate me.
Phonological errors. No reward for those and yet they happen all the time. Interestingly, although a person might produce a neologism, even the made up word will follow phonological rules. Even people with severe aphasia who might lose the ability to name (semantics) or to use grammar appropriately (syntax) or to use language the right ways (pragmatics)- even they don’t lose their phonology.
Tristn v. Skinner (my money’s on tristn)
As part of my project of condensing and archiving my phonology notes into one super awesome moleskine, I reviewed the arguments for the dual-level hypothesis in Kenstowicz 1994, and I found a token mention of the disutility of extreme behaviorist empiricism in phonology. YES! I exclaimed. Most of generative linguistics’ anti-behaviorist (hence psychologically meaningful) arguments come from syntax, as though the field is the discipline’s golden child. Which is a shame because the study of sound systems is the only part of linguistics that deals with real things located in reality! Words and sentences are abstract bundles of—wait for it—acoustic sound (or sign) made by the gestures of the human vocal tract (or hands)!
The argument is as follows: Strict behaviorism posits that there is no such thing as mental states and that the only thing we can know or discuss is overt human behavior. So a behaviorist theory of speech sounds can only refer to observable phonetic detail. For the untrained speaker, observably distinct sounds may all be perceived as being the same sound. /t/ has seven distinct realizations in American English: s[t]em, [tʰ]in, a[ɾ]om, in[ɾⁿ]ernet (bad IPA, I know), ro[ʔ]en, tens (tents). We perceive sounds that are not actually present or at all similar. Moreover, /t/ is not the only sound with a null allophone—e.g. tens (tends)—so there is no unique intersecting acoustic characterization of the /t/ category because (1) it overlaps with other categories and (2) has a null realization (the category intersects the empty set!). These facts cannot be adequately explained by strict behaviorism; instead we need to talk about /t/ not as a mere set of sounds but also as a mental construct that behaves accordingly to rules and information in the speaker’s mind. Our instincts allow us to recover neutralized distinctions (/t/ and /d/ can be [ɾ] or ) with categorical certainty, and the strongest theory of phonology requires abstract mental states and objects in addition to observable phonetic detail. Another nail in the coffin!
10 this morning.
50 this evening.
*Get me out of this germ-infested valley ASAP! So psyched to be going back to NY this weekend!
yet another awesome graphic depicting why america needs health care/health insurance reform. if you know me, i’m very obviously on the pro-socialist universal health care side. i used to live in france: ’nuff said.
regardless of how reforms turn out, i’m so happy that there are creative people out there who are putting their talents to use to explain a complicated, propaganda-ridden issue so that the rest of us can make informed decisions.
One of Mary’s grad school friends on the phd qualifiers and, um, life in general. (via tristn)
*I would like to add that I’m worried about grad school turning me into an asocial, unfriendly, boring hermit. There is not enough sunshine- even in the state of Colorado- to counteract how much time I’ll be spending studying under fluorescent lights, alone.
Graduate Program Owns Your Week?
no time for pictures….
No offense to the Kennedys, but I’m way more upset to see Frank Bruni go than Ted.
my boyfriend went back to ny this morning.
Long-distance relationships have an urgency that couples in short-distance relationships can only dream of. Every second together counts. Every shared meal is savored; every kiss must be good enough to last weeks, maybe even months. Have you really lived, after all, if you haven’t searched for your beloved’s face at an airport gate, cursing the flight delay because you have only a weekend before you must part again? We should all be so lucky to seal in our memories the image of our lover on our doorstep, suitcase in hand, clothes wrinkled from a long trip, skin emanating a scent that we’ve forgotten but suddenly comes rushing back, bringing with it the recollection of the last time, which was too long ago and too brief, and ended with a tearful goodbye on this same doorstep.