OT: 'Dry' textbooks (was: Re: CHAT: _Describing Morphosyntax_)
|From:||Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, August 29, 2004, 11:50|
On Sunday 29 August 2004 01:34, Mark P. Line wrote:
> J. K. Hoffman said:
> > But, I'm an almost
> > total non-linguist. I mean, I've never had a formal
> > class in linguistics and what tiny bit I know I
> > dragged, kicking and screaming, from some of the driest
> > textbooks I have ever read. Unfortunately, _Describing
> > Morphosyntax_ is one of those, for me.
> What is it exactly that makes you experience these books
> as 'dry'? I'm curious because I can easily imagine that
> most non-linguists find much of what I write 'dry' in the
> same way. But I wouldn't know where to start to make it
> any wetter...
> -- Mark
Well, you could wrap it in a nice little story :þ
I think it's just the style such things are written in --
always explanatory, no action, quite densely written so
that you must think about what you read. Like an entry
in an encyclopedia. It's a lot more strenuous (sp?) than
watching TV at least. Sometimes must I really force myself
to read explanations about a grammatical feature such as
the mails about the "Silindon Optative" word by word from
the beginning to the end. The mails about Silindon are
still unread, so are some discussions about ergativity.
Eri silveváng aibannama padangin.
Nivaie evaenain eri ming silvoieváng caparei.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince