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.
And each word could appear as so:
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 theseirregular
> > > > 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 learneda
> > 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." -
> ICQ: 18656696
> AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor