Thursday, March 29, 2012

Speak to me in many voices Make them all sound like one; Let me see your sacred mysteries Reveal to me the Unknown Tongue

Well buggrit. We thought we had identified a gap in the market, i.e. a dearth of Creationist Scientists claiming that the O.T. account of language divergence is as valid as the Evolutionary Linguistics version and should be taught alongside it at univesity. Not even Conservapedia goes there. So we were halfway through rebranding Riddled as Intelligible De-Sign, hoping to extract a lucrative donation from the Discovery Institute, only to discover the Institute of Creation Linguistics.* Buggrit I say again, this time with feeling.

Left: Tower of Babel. Do not confuse with

Right: Bower of Table
Also easily confused with
Below: Tower of Cable
What set us to thinking about Historical / Comparative Linguistics was the discovery that the Library pixies, not clear on the concept of a 'language tree', had filed various dictionaries and grammars among the branches of the olives in the Old Entomologist garden bar.

This was all very well until last week's gusty conditions brought the second volume of Wackernagel's Altindische Grammatik down on Another Kiwi's head causing him to forget the words of 'Mademoiselle from Armentières'.

Wheeler / Misner / Thorne's "Gravitation" -- 1279
pages, 2.3 kg. A copy fell from a tree on Steve
Jobs' head and inspired him to invent the Apple
The Whackyweedia informs me that in mainstream comparative linguistics, the grouping of languages into a family or tree is not established until their common ancestral Proto-language has been reconstructed... a laborious process that creates work for entire generations of linguists.

Greenberg's far simpler Method of Multilateral Comparison is not well-thought-of among the linguists whom it threatens with widespread redundancies. "Greenberg may be right about the language families of Africa," they say, "but his methods are unsound".

Greenberg and his chief critic Lyle Campbell square off in debate:

Evidently Blue Öyster Cult favour the traditional approach.


* Sample 1:
I mean, really: how could accident, randomness, and the *Germans* come up with a word like "schadenfreude"?? It clearly is the product of divine intention...
Sample 2:
How does evolutionary linguistics explain the irreducible complexity of the expression "irreducible complexity"... ??

16 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Every fule know the schaden freudes itself.
~

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The Whackyweedia informs me that in mainstream comparative linguistics, the grouping of languages into a family or tree is not established until their common ancestral Proto-language has been reconstructed... a laborious process that creates work for entire generations of linguists.

Fools! They say nothing of Mu and the Mother Tongue! I'm pretty sure they're descended from yetis.

mikey said...

Wait, go back.

Did anyone reach out to the Mademoiselle from Armentières for feedback?

tigris said...

I read something by Merritt Ruhlen a couple years back, interesting but seemed more wishful thinking than anything. Love the idea, though.

Smut Clyde said...

I like Ruhlen's and Greenberg's work simply because it sends Lyle Campbell into fits of coruscating anger. I am an immature person and I enjoy academic monkey-knife-fights.

Oh, and their method of clustering things into families without precisely defining the processes by which they diverged, or recreating the ancestor that things diverged from, is what *everyone* does in clustering applications outside of linguistics.

mikey said...

Actually, the qualifier is unnecessary. Pretty much ALL monkey knife fights are entertaining. Not just the academic ones.

Kathleen said...

you had me at "bower of table"

Kathleen said...

I did something similar in law school, deciding my thing was going to be arguing that the country really went to hell when we starting direct electing our Senators. then I found someone had beat me to it.

Mentis Fugit said...

"Buggrit I say again"

Millennium hand and shrimp, no less.

Substance McGravitas said...

The Institute of Creation Podiatry examines God's footprints in the sand.

Rachel said...

Nice one Subbie!

I think the Creationist Scientists are mything the point.

tigris said...

I heard Thor has a hammer toe...

Smut Clyde said...

Perhaps the Institute of Creation Podiatry can help Buddha with his verrucas.

Hephaestus said...

Does the Institute of Creation Podiatry have any sympathy for the devil?

vacuumslayer said...

That Facebook site is satire, right? I assumed it was a joke. Am I missing something? I feel more riddled than usual.

Rachel said...

Found the foot-print!

http://1funny.com/big-footprints/