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LS1. LanguidSlog?

56 years is a long time for doing something.  Beethoven’s age at death.  And Hitler’s.  But modern linguistics, born of Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures, is now 57.  Is it also dead or just languishing?  Anyway it hasn’t delivered the killer theory.  OK, there’s a lot else to linguistics but, as Rutherford said, that’s stamp-collecting, not physics. Read more


LS2. What does sentence structure signify?

This is the first substantive piece for LanguidSlog.  It’s quite short and should be easy for the reader.  Books on syntax typically jump straight into tree diagrams or nested brackets to represent sentence structure.  The graphical conventions are not difficult.  But the purpose of those representations isn’t self-evident.  Let’s look at some issues. Read more

Phrenology head for architecture

LS5. Mental architecture

Transient-items-with-pointers (from the analogy with computer software in the last piece) would be a blatant straw-man if it misrepresented existing theories.  But no theory really explains how sentence structure is implemented and, in this piece, knocking down the idea is perfectly legitimate. Read more

Scrabble - language knowledge

LS7. Language knowledge

Scrabble - language knowledgeI have no quarrel with the idea that a language user has a mental ‘lexicon’.  But I am impatient that no linguist has satisfactorily defined the lexicon’s logical content or its physical implementation.  This piece fearlessly tackles the logical aspect. Read more

LS7x. Comments on LanguidSlog 7

This unscheduled post contains my responses to several points in a comment on LS7 by HK.  I’ve also included responses to points about anaphor binding and agreement in an earlier comment on LS6 by HK.

Answering some of the points needed a wider range of formatting options than I’ve been able to get for comments from the WordPress software.  (If anyone knows better, please let me know.)  Therefore this is a separate post. Read more

Boyhood of Raleigh

LS9. Art imitating life?

Boyhood of RaleighLanguidSlog 7 claimed that all knowledge is held in the mind as propositions, each linking three concepts.  I can offer no supporting neuroscience.  Instead this piece presents some anecdotal evidence from my old-time software work which suggests at least that the position is defensible logically. Read more