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Re: Sawilan Constructions

From:Ed Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 17, 1999, 22:27
From Http://Members.Aol.Com/Lassailly/Tunuframe.Html wrote:

[lots of explanation and examples from Mathias snipped]

I'm sorry.  I tried to respond point by point to your explanations
here but it just ended up being me repeating "I don't get it" over and
over again.  I'm afraid I just do not seem to be able to follow your
criticisms, though from what I understand of it I find your view of
semantics reasonable and insightful -- I just don't see how it negates
F & T's ideas.  I apologize.  You said you would respond "aggressively
and stupidly" to this paper but I seem to be the stupid one because I
just don't see what you're talking about even though you have tried to
kindly and carefully explain it to me.

> they pinpoint a few examples and don't even try > to list them to see how many them come up with.
Well, this is only one paper; they've done quite a bit more work on the topic. For more of their work, please take a look at: Though I must warn you that some of the papers that page links to have circles and arrows.
> > Ah, I think I am starting to understand. You are, I think, saying > > that Turner and Fauconnier's analysis is too open-ended, and ignores > > the idea of a fairly small core of abstract action-patterns, with > > their activities and roles, which undergird all verbs? Is that > > correct, or close to it? > > > > yes.
You know, I'm not sure that F&T would object to that claim at all. In one of Turner's books, he makes a very roughly similar claim.
> > > the only condition to map this out is to look and dream and stop > > > intellectualize what billions of people understand instinctively. > > > > I think trying to attain a clear description of what it is that > > people do instinctively is precisely what they want to do. Asking > > them not to describe it is a little beside the point -- like asking a > > painter not to paint the flowers, but instead to stop and smell them. > > A useful thing, but a painter wants to paint, no matter how nice they > > smell. > > > > they don't describe anything. > they just pinpoint obvious possible semantic roles > of vocabulary taken as predicate and pertaining > to different cognitive fields. > any all-noun-for-fun conlanger can do that.
Again, the paper I pointed you to had a specific point: it was intended to refute a simplistic view of semantics, which would suggest that when you put two words together the meaning of the compound is a trivial function of the meanings of the two words. They want to say that on the contrary, the processes by which meanings of compound words involve non-trivial, context-dependent processes of meaning construction. They happen to be particularly interested in non-trivial processes of meaning construction, as am I. The question of whether or not there are a limited set of basic action-frames with associated roles does not, I think, particularly concern them in this paper. Ed Heil .. .... ...... "Heads of state who ride and wrangle Who look at your face from more than one angle Can cut you from their bloated budgets Like sharpened knives through Chicken McNuggets." --Cake, "Nugget"