Friday, May 20, 2005

Of Star Wars and expletives, separately but in simultaneity.

I got 90 minutes of work done today and I'm going to have do a little work on Sunday, but it was worth it. I located a pair of Brooks Burns in my size! I took someone running shoe shopping today the same place I took someone else last week and in between visits they'd ordered the shoes. I am delighted. Unreasonably delighted.

We saw Revenge of the Sith this morning at work. If you enjoy ineffectual driods and/or ham-fisted love scenes, this is the movie for you. Still, it was better than the first two prequels. George Lucas should stick to cameo roles on The OC.

OBlinguistics: Today I tried to take a competent but non-native speaker of English with no linguistics background through expletive infixation facts to see what would happen. It was interesting and not what I expected. After some clues he was able to spot all the relevant generalizations but he expressed them in very different terms than a native speaker would have; he was able to observe things about primary stress but noticed secondary properties associated with the stress (e.g. he could see and demonstrate the impact that the location of the stress-bearing syllable had on the pronunciation of the surrounding syllables) rather than noticing the stress as such. He also came really close to deriving the notions of foot and phonological word in some tangential discussion. It was pretty cool.

I've been thinking about this kind of intro-y stuff lately because Chris is finally reading The Language Instinct and it turns out that he's kind of a sound guy rather than a syntax-semantics guy as I expected. He has a natural insight into phonology that's actually pretty remarkable. So now we're occasionally doing little phonology puzzles using Japanese data (since he's also studying Japanese). Yes, we have a pretty normal household.


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