I notice there are no forum discussions under the applied linguistics - anyone want some discussions with linguistic focus?
First tell me what it is, then maybe we can talk about it.
Or not, I have to sleep anyway. Have a great evening.
Sorry, Faybe Bay, I went off to sleep just after I posted that. Applied Linguistics is about understanding how languages work and incorporates teaching English as a Second Language.
Still want to talk?
Faybe, jump in it is always exciting to learn something new it can expand a person's horizon and knowledge.
I'm a linguist. My two latest hubs have linguistic topics. What specific area of linguistics do you want to discuss?
I'll be reading your hubs soon! Being limited in my knowledge of the field - but unlimited in my curiosity - could I impose upon you to share something you find interesting about linguistics, or that you think everyone should know, for my (and, I hope, everyone else's) edification?
GlassSpider, thanks! I hope you find something of interest in my hubs on linguistics.
Here are few quick thoughts that I can share while standing on one foot.
Linguists are not necessarily people who speak a lot of languages and people who speak a lot of languages are not necessarily linguists. In the recent past, too many linguists knew too few languages, and this created a lot of bias in the field.
An important concept to keep in mind is that a language can be represented in many different ways, and that what makes it distinct from any other language as a language is not what it sounds like when spoken nor what it looks like when written, but the system of contrasts of which it is composed.
Hi Aya! Thanks for chiming in
I understand that linguists are people who understand the structure of language? Am I close?
"the system of contrasts of which it (language) is composed." Now, there is something I would like to know more about. Since you're "standing on one foot," so to speak...can you recommend some reading that might amplify this concept for me?
GlassSpider, that's very close. I wouldn't say linguists necessarily understand the structure of language, but they certainly study it in the hopes of understanding it. There are many areas of linguistics: synchronic, historical, cognitive. Some linguists study very narrow fields, like phonetics of a single language, and some try to look at the big picture.
Saussure's course in linguistics might be a good place to start for language as system of contrasts.
Thank you! I will look into that (I've already got a wikipedia article about it...this stuff might be over my head--what a challenge!)
BTW: I am truly enjoying your hubs about Bow and teaching him language! What an amazing experience - when I was younger, one of my favorite books was Coco's Kitten. Even back then I thought it was amazing that someone could teach an ape to communicate with us (or perhaps it's that we could learn to communicate with the ape). Either way - Wow! What great work you're doing. I'm looking forward to reading more!
Hi Aya Katz,
I agree with Saussure as a good place to start - but his ideas are (or spring from) the structure of language I think. His ideas of signifier/signified (etc) surely break down the word to expose structure?
I'm not a linguist, but I have a strong background in anthropology, philosophy and English. I'll jump in as a layman if ya'll fire something up if I can.
I don't consider myself a linguist by any stretch of the imagination...but I do know the meaning of the word philology, I have been known to play around with more than one language, and I'm definitely interested in whatever someone with more knowledge than I has to say.
What excellent company! Hello Shades and AEvans! (And Faybe if you're around). And Victor - Welcome to HubPages!
Thanks a lot! I've found about Hubpages very recently and I'm already hooked!
It's quite addictive around here. We're glad to have you aboard! I'll have to check out some of your hubs when I get an extra moment...I shouldn't even be here now - I should be writing LOL! But this is a good thread. Hope to see you around more. Happy Hubbing - there's a lot to do!
Good evening alternate poet and welcome to HubPages!
I'm not sure...Umm...Is anyone else familiar with wordsmith dot org? They have a word a day email, and people discuss the origins and uses of words.
Last week their theme was "words that have crossed over into English from German." They send an email with an interesting discussion of the words at the end of the week.
I'm not as much into etymology as I am into meanings of words as they relate to social modals and stuff. BUt I'll play along with etymology too.
Sweet. Well, then...I'll paste a little tidbit from last week's wordsmith email.
I first heard the word "schadenfreude" on an episode of the Simpson's and found it curious that 'there's a word for that!?' haha...Interestingly, as the following thoughts (from wordsmith) convey, it's a concept in languages everywhere.
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day—gotterdammerung/ schadenfreude
Where else can you find a single word, schadenfreude, for example, that conveys the whole concept of 'pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others'?
Well, in the Dutch language! Leedvermaak denotes exactly the same concept, in even fewer syllables. There is even a saying "Geen schoner vermaak dan leedvermaak", there's no joy like schadenfreude.
BTW, the Swedish word "skadeglädje" also means 'pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others'. Probably related to the German word in one direction or another, but still...
Re schadenfreude, some Indian languages (I can vouch for Marathi) have a similar word derived from Sanskrit -- vighnasantosh -- which means exactly the same thing. Of course, it is more commonly used in its adjectival form, vignasantoshi.
Hungarian copies German in its love for stringing words together to form new words - for example, the calque "kàröröm" (harm + joy) to mean Schadenfreude.
The Chinese equivalent for schadenfreude is "xing zai le huo" (幸災樂禍), also a mere four-syllable word. In this perspective, we are also speaking a language with syllabic parsimony like the Germans.
The website FailBlog and the term "fail" are probably the closest thing in English we have to this concept.
Yes, see, that's the essence of linguistics that I understand. Cultures that have no word for something don't have the thing for which the word describes (or they don't have it in such a way that it has been formally recognized). That's the point I tried to make in my "Begging the Question" hub.
That's a great cut and paste. Very interesting. I love that stuff.
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I love this stuff too.
I think one of the most frightening concepts I've ever come across is that of Orwell's "Big Brother" encouraging the destruction of language so that people literally can no longer think things or convey them. *shudder*
Plus, it's simply interesting to know that the Inuit language has a huge number of different words for "snow" that describe its weight and texture, and Greek has 5 different words for different types of love...And did you know that the Latin "Ludo" means both "I work" AND "I play"? That tells us how the Romans thought of their duties.
*runs off to read that hub*
Yes, yes, yes. You totally get it. That's so awesome!
Once the word is gone, the concept is gone, and if the concept is gone, those who still hold it can use it against those who have no way of "coining" it.
Just think of that word... "coining." What is a coin? It's not just the metal. It's so, so much more. The word coin means something that you would need many, many, many words to explain to someone who had never heard of it.
Hah, see, I'm all stoked to find another word geek.
Hahaha! Me too! Stoked that is...
I liked the "Begging the Question" hub. I know exactly what you mean. How to get something into agreed upon symbolic form when no one is aware of it.
Your "coin/to coin" example is a good one. A coin, as far as currency, is one thing, but "to coin a phrase" is another; interestingly each has a connotation having to do with imprinting. The former is metallic discs imprinted with official information, while the latter has to do with imprinting an expression into a language (or people's minds), usually through - as you mentioned in regards to love - repetition.
LOL...I'm just ramblin' on now...LOL Good stuff.
Stuff gets agreed upon when ONE person (usually an artist) distills an idea into a form that codifys the larger idea. I truly believe that is why art continues to a large degree. We need people who have that macro view of what we do.
Anyway, I will ramble too, so I'm hitting the hay.
I hope your tomorrow (or today) is a good one.
But isn't this exactly what is happening right now! The vast amount of words that are written through the web, come through the tv and news etc are devaluing the meaning of words. I have taken a tour of the forums and the level of meaning appears to me to be very low. I went back a fair way and the arguments in the threads are mostly the same at mostly the same level. Every time a valuable point is made, and maybe some people get convinced, then the 'loser' starts up the argument in another thread and it starts again as though it had never happened before. This would seem to mirror the world and the conversations I hear around me.
I do not mean the subject of the conversations, I can accept that discussions about the tedious TV shows are people exchanging views in a format suitable for them, just as valid as a discussion about the climate. It is the apparently low intelligence level of the conversation, the word use itself, between people that I know are intelligent.
One of the things that makes Orwell's concept so frightening, at least in my opinion, is its realism.
I think we are bombarded with media. I think all this information (and all this disinformation) helps produce short attention spans. Sometimes it seems people don't think about things much, words don't seem to be given much weight...so why try to use them properly? Shouldn't people just "get the gist" of things? (sarcasm). Perhaps people just don't have (or take) the time they need to communicate as well as they can.
I know I often find myself overwhelmed with...how much there is to process. Does that make any sense? It all gets very slippery as you say.
For me it is deliberate dis-information that is the issue at the moment; from moronic posts that are intended to simply disrupt normal conversation to the serious issues where nonsense is constructed as fact and promoted by volume and quantity over reason. I am thinking primarily of Creationism myself but there are many other false-fires around politics and social issues where the more obviously unfounded the allegation or the more unsupportable the idea the louder some people shout and the more material they put up.
The late (and in my opinion great) Derrida is a case in point - people do not like his thinking that exposes religion and the facade of politics etc. When I was recently looking for original Derrida material for a class I found that it is 'google' buried under thousands of articles - all trying to tell us what he 'really' meant, and 99% of them wrong in most respects including mis-quoting.
As far as the Internet goes...I wonder how much is deliberate and how much is simply ignorant or shoddy work that, for whatever reason, becomes popular or "ranked"?
As far as the forums go, I think it's partially the nature of the beast - there's an element of anonymity for one thing, and for another people are pressed for time...I'm not sure everyone considers what they say here important enough to weigh and think about. Some people, of course, are just regurgitating something or another. Also, what is 'normal' conversation when it comes to a forum? I find it difficult to always follow all the "threads" in the "threads." It seems that forums are, by nature, easily disrupted. I think someone mentioned that an "ignore" button might be dreamed up...haha.
Whaddya gonna do? At least we've got a relatively civil and rational discourse going here...for the moment.
You're right for the most part the forums here. Sophistry and really bad attempts at it abound. Precise diction will get you called out as a pedant, etc. However, there are a few shining lights that make for meaningful conversations here and there.
It must be trying for those who are convinced of their superiority to have to suffer the presence of lesser beings around their attempts at enlightened discourse....
It's almost as lame as attempts at egalitarian pandering that not only bloom hypocritical for anyone paying attention to what people say over the expanse of the forums as a whole, but that, in that hypocrisy, actually favor the simple, popular "cause" over the possible from one possesed of intellect.
It's okay to be stronger than someone else. It's only in picking on them unprovoked that makes you a bully.
Your poetry promises so much more than that comment suggests.
Oh, I actually had one of my hubs on this very subject nominated for a hubnugget a few weeks ago!
I am enjoying one of your hubs. I've read it once and will read it again.
You would enjoy the hub that Shadesbreath mentioned earlier in this thread about Begging the Question.
In your hub (Why We Must Preserve Our Linguistic Resources http://hubpages.com/hub/losing-linguistic-resources ) you wrote, “Around 1000 B.C., the ancient world experienced a series of natural disasters that stressed existing social structures beyond their abilities to maintain themselves. In order to survive, people had to adapt, and one of the ways in which they adapted was to become aware of their thought processes as belonging to them, rather than to a god, demon, muse, or other external being. This is the beginning of modern thinking as recorded in surviving literature and is the kind of thinking we experience today.”
This sounds interesting to me. Can you explain a little more about it? What natural disasters? How did the adaptation about which you speak help people to survive? I'm looking forward to hearing more. Thanks for telling us about this Hub.
That is a GREAT hub. Wow. And check out the ONE person he's a fan of. Just, wow. Just when I get to thinking I'm a smarty pants, the universe reaches down and says, "STFU and pay attention."
Thank you so much for your kindness in leaving such complimentary comments here and on my hubs, and for taking the time to read them. As soon as I finish my current projects which have deadlines, I will be back to read your hubs and add my paltry thoughts. I have to be selective in fanning, simply because running five businesses (and I may take on another) just takes up most of my day. Add to that my volunteer work and I don't have much time to spend mindlessly . . .
Dear Glass Spider,
As soon as I finish up the two projects I am working on currently, I will be back to write a hub on Julian Jaynes' excellent book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. I may even try to figure out a way to include a timeline or make a slideshow, as I did in another history-related hub, to show the disasters. Unfortunately I have deadlines at the moment, but it will get done! Thank you for giving me the inspiration to write it!
I certainly understand! It sounds like you are very busy, and I know how deadlines can be. Either way, I very much look forward to that Hub when ever it comes out, and I'm following you now, so I'll know when it comes out.
Heh heh...that sounds kind of creepy, doesn't it..."I'm following you now...mwahahahaha!"
Seriously. Best of luck with all your work and keep up the great hubbing when you can.
And we know how the Romans thought of their children: Tertius, Quintus, Sextus, Septimus, Octavia . . . #3, #5, #6, #7, #8. Very unromantic after the first few.
Admittedly, I have no idea how this might apply to teaching the structure of English...but...perhaps it's at least something to...start conversation. ?
I like your discussion. Find it very interesting.
Though I'm not a linguist or philologist or semiologist or whatever... I suggest some field work :
Who or what is a "Florentine Pogen" ?
Does he / it have any children ?
Is he / it wealthy ?
Maybe there are some historians among us...
I'm very fond of word routes. I like to trace how words arrive in the English dictionary, and I like to compare similar words in related languages. English is such a hotchpotch of Latin and Germanic and Celtic influences. I like the way that Welsh uses 'eglws' for 'church' and 'pont' for 'bridge', whilst the French equivalents are 'eglise' and 'pont'. How did the Welsh acquire these words, yet the English have adopted words which are closer to the Germanic style 'kirk' and 'brucke'?
The French word for horse is 'cheval', the Italian is 'cavallo', and it is easy to see the link. Here in England, we use the word 'horse', which is unrelated, yet we use the word 'cavalry' for our horse mounted troops. Fascinating stuff.
The Welsh are the remains of Briton before it was over-run by Angles, Saxons - Briton until around 600 AD were the same people as in what is now the south west of France (roughly) they were the same people and language. The Romans left Briton around that time and in the face of the first Saxon invasion (of the mainland from Thanet that they had earlier been given) many people fled to their family in (now) France.
The French words now are from the Normans who ran the place for a couple of hundred years (or so) - they were only ever the boss - so the natives had sheep that became moutton when the boss got it, cattle became bouef, and pig, porc. They were the government and so . . . the Anglo Saxon words, with a few old British words, survive in the fields and kitchens, hence tools etc are more likely to have the native names, even some that sound welsh from the old briton.
I'm a linguist studying French, German and Chinese at University (I'm a native English speaker) and adore learning other languages. I also studied English Language up to A Level and what interested me the most in my English course was etymology, the roots of words. When you study other languages, you see just how many of our words are borrowed. Lexis from the semantic field of cuisine and government, for example, is mostly derived from French (armee, chevalerie, gouvernement, restaurant etc). It's all really interesting stuff!
I guess most of us will die ignorant...
But nothing keeps us from being curious.
It is a fact that when you become over serious about some subject, your mind gets more vulnerable to your own natural stupidity, often concealed behind well structured speeches.
And sometimes it just flows off.
I am still expecting to learn something from this thread.
I love jokes and funny stories. Jokes are a very important element for liguistic studies and for the understanding of the collective unsconscious of a group.
Are there non translatable jokes ?
"I guess most of us will die ignorant..."
All of us
Some brilliant ones remain immortal by their work.
And their alive minds cross through time to our benefit and pleasure.
But I'm still a bit disappointed no linguist is interested in Florentine Pogens.
There has never been a human so brilliant he didn't die mostly ignorant, and there never will be.
But his work remains and others will build upon it.
These latter, will die "less ignorant" than their predecessors.
I like to look at it this way.
It isn't that someone's not interested in it/them...it's just that I can't find much for it. It's apparently the name of an Italian cookie that was used in a Frank Zappa song...I can't find anything more "historical" about it than that.
Yes, I've known it from Zappa years ago. In a time there was no google or wikipedia. So, for years, it has been like a Italian renaissance fantasy in my mind.
I think pogen comes from north europe.
Maybe for you, native english speakers, that is so common that you just don't bother about it.
But for foreigners like me, just the fact that you can have lyrics like :
She was the daughter of a wealthy florentine pogen...
is somewhat sensational, exciting. I was hoping some liguist would rationalize a bit about.
That's why I called it field work.
Well, I can hardly call myself a linguist...LOL. In all reality I thought I must be missing something more serious about the word. I had never heard it before, and something about "pogen" reminds me of Latin, but I can't think of what. I would say it's not very common at all...unless you're a fan of Zappa.
I thought you were looking for something else.
Most puns are non-translatable, the exceptions being either puns in languages that are very closely related and using cognate words both in the joke-meaning and the literal-meaning, or puns in languages that happen by chance to have words that sound alike in both the joke-meaning and literal-meaning.
Try telling an English knock-knock joke in pretty much any other language and you'll see what I mean.
And, I'm an amateur linguist (2 years of postgraduate study under a disciple of Chomsky) but didn't finish the degree for various reasons. I'm most interested in sematics, etymology, and what used to be called philology, and now seems to be called "historical linguistics."
I know just enough about the field to realize how ignorant I am, but I still love to play with words.
Hi Jeff. I wish you lots of fun playing with words.
I love to do that also.
Some time ago, I used to work for a computer corporation.
We were a bunch of well humoured fellows.
And we had this way of evaluating the good or bad shape of one of the fellows in the morning, by the way he reacted to a pun or a play of words lauched by one of us. And it went on and on.
And it was pure fun.
If it is jokes that you seek, I suggest you try the Speculative Grammarian!
Well, whaddaya know...here's a site that tells the difference between Italian and Swedish florentine pogens... And gives a recipe...http://www(dot)mahalo(dot)com/florentine-cookie-recipes
Frank Zappa must have enjoyed playing with words as well.
Hey, someone should have woken me up! I gave up looking for replies on this thread, and you all had a fantastic conversation without me - now I know that I'm dispensable!
Anyway, I'm here now, and picking up the threads of the conversation so to speak ...
Check out my article on how to Have fun with the English Language! I think you might find it amusing if nothing else. I love to see people getting fired up about linguistics!
http://hubpages.com/hub/Frabjous-words- … h-Language
Oooh! I'm so happy to know of many people who are interested in linguistics! I am, too, and am hoping to learn a lot from lotsa people here. I posted something related to applied linguistics if anyone wants to read.
http://hubpages.com/hub/Second-language … strategies
I am a linguist, MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics. I am a researchist, however, not an English teacher. My areas of research have nothing to do with teaching languages or language acquisition. I began in oral tradition, discourse analysis, and finally ended with research into consciousness (psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics). I look at linguistics sites, and all I see are ESL topics. Does anyone else follow or work in theoretical, psycho-, or neurolinguistics? I incorporate principles established by Bakhtin and Vygotsky, and also work with "self-referential anecdote", an oratorical style among Canadian indigenous peoples.
I have been a Chinese Mandarin and Taiwanese voice language analyst for much of my life. Much of my interest and work has been in the transcription and translation of these dialects of Chinese into English. I would like to see a discussion about the arts of translation and interpreting. They seem so hard to master.
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