Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Human Brain & Irr. Verbs (Was: Re: Re: Language revival)

From:Roland Hoensch <hoensch@...>
Date:Friday, November 26, 1999, 18:08
A programming analogy is probably best.

Each word has a past tense form linked to it.  Note, *linked* to it.

With a program the best way to go about it would be to have each
possible past tense appear once.

1. d
2. ed
3. **aw
4. ***ate
5. **id

And each word could appear as so:

kill, 2
rule, 1
see, 3
eat, 4
chase, 1
do, 5

Therefore if we want to put "kill" into past tense we go to our linked past
tense form.  What is it? "ed" So we just "kill"+"ed" and get "killed".

Same with rule and chase.  With "see" however we have two *s.
So we delete a letter from the back for each asterisk.  "see" becomes "s"
and adding "s" + "aw" we get "saw".  With eat we go all three letters back
and essentially add ""+"ate" to get "ate".

That is just one malformed, but feasible, analogy.  The human brain is
likely even blunter than this.  But I do quite strongly suspect that
is linked for the most part.  In essence irregular verbs would just have a
different set of links than regular ones.
----- Original Message -----
From: Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
To: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: Language revival

> Patrick Dunn wrote: > > > > On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, John Cowan wrote: > > > > > Don Blaheta wrote: > > > > > > > That's not true at all. Once learned, we can remember these
> > > > forms, but we still have to learn them in the first place. > > > > > > Exactly so. I was rejecting Ed's claim that we'd rather memorize > > > than compute in all cases. Per contra, we memorize a modest number > > > of irregular forms, but we compute the regular ones, just as you say. > > > > I'm not entirely convinced. I'm not certain that I compute adding a > > dental to make the past tense in English -- I think I have just learned
> > form of the verb separate from the present tense form and that form > > happens to be the present tense form with an appropriate dental added to > > it. After all, the rule for which dental to add is somewhat complicated > > to the average joe: I suspect that most people wouldn't be able to tell > > you why they add /t/ sometimes and /d/ other times, yet they do, and > > flawlessly. They've memorized the form, not the formula. > > -- > "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - > anonymous > > > ICQ: 18656696 > AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor >