cognitive progression

FEELINGS!

What do you do, if a child says he or she is hating you? Do you say,
“No, you are not hating me. You hate me. It is a stative verb, here, in the list… ?”

__Smiley joke PNG

 

I have come across a few languages in my life, and English grammars and grammarians remain the only scholarly entities to recognize stative verbs. Whatever order the British Council would enumerate on such special words to memorize, the couple in the picture do not look like rehearsing rote.

 

CG6F71

 

In fact, it feels quite strange to be told to parrot words from a list, for thought and emotion. It feels… a kind of a lie, and good liars do not publicize their lying rules.

 

Regardless of fact, English grammars would group the “stative” or “static verbs” and tell the learner not to use them with the Progressive, for the nature of the verbs.

 

 

The verbs themselves do not make separate groups or categories. To feel can serve an interesting example. We might say, “I feel fresh”, to speak about our senses. We could say, “I feel love”, to speak about our emotions. We also could say, possibly in another context, “I feel this is crude”, to say what we think.

__Smiley joke PNG

 

Let us compare American English at work.
This is a dream come true. And I’m loving every minute of it.
(NBC_Today Sun as in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, COCA.)

 

I’ve been loving it. But I want to keep doing different things.
(People magazine as in COCA.)

 

If we have a look at all Aspects as in a chart, we might be tempted to view grammar as made of options. Then, we might say, we can choose not to use some verbs with an option. Options can be mutually exclusive.

 

FEATURE CHART

 

However, human brains need to be live structures for grammar, and these have simultaneous processes. When we use the Present Simple, our paths for the Perfect Progressive for example do not become “switched off”. If we use the Progressive, we do not exclude a possibility for the same thing to happen also in a manner we describe in the Simple:

“I’m loving you”,
would not mean
“I don’t love you”.
Feel welcome to the Earthling basic variable.

 

Link to chapter 8.1. Earthling basic variable and proper egoism

 

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Grammar – Why think about space?

The word spatialization comes from the Latin “spatium”. It meant a place, space, as well as room or extent. All natural languages spatialize, which does not have to refer us to the outer space, however it also can.

 

odyssey-girl

Screenshot credit: Geoffrey Unsworth, Metro Goldwyn-Meyer

The little girl in the Space Odyssey says her mommy’s gone TO shopping. The girl spatializes: she relates activity and place.

 

Most children spatialize. The place may not be specified, especially if to think about big shopping malls. The child yet would reckon there has to be a place for a thing to happen at all.

 

As children, we first learn where objects, creatures, events, or people are. We learn telling when things happen later, hence the name spatialization. Our sense of time is secondary to our sense of space, and language has the process. Not only in English, there would be words we can use for space as well as time.

 

The phrase, “BEFORE the turn”, might tell about a place.
BEFORE ten”, might tell about time.

 

Spatialization remains natural, common and sane sense, when we are grown up. Association between time and place belongs with human minds. We can use it for grammar.

 

We can think about natural human mapping, as with geography and travel. We live on Earth. We usually view land or seas as extents. We give at least psychological borders to areas in which we are. We perceive routes and ways to places. We happen to be at landmarks and places. Here are a few examples.

 

_value-on

Simple: She meets him every month.
She reads a lot. [ON]

 

_value-in

Progressive: She is meeting him tomorrow
She is reading now. [IN]

 

_value-to

Perfect: She had worked hard for her success.
She will have finished the work by next month. [TO]

 

We can merge our values IN and TO, for the Perfect Progressive:
She has been  studying for hours.
She will have been studying for 10 hours then. [AT]

_value-at

 

Our variables together will allow cognitive mapping of all the four Aspects.
ALL ASPECTS MAPPED

 

Feel welcome to Travel in Grammar.

 

The role of feedback in natural language

Artificial intelligence has patterned after human structures for years. In consequence, artificial parsing has come to be used for teaching and diagnosis. Computers rely on programs. The work discusses human information processing, with focus to the role of feedback in language. Human information processing differs from artificial considerably.

 

  • Tests by Ladefoged showed speech and language dependence on feedback without exception.
  • Human DNA requires cellular feedback for active protein.
  • Human endurance under feedback impoverishment has been proved lower than for fasting.

Not only on these grounds, the role of feedback in human language processing can be posited to approximate a drive.

 

I defended the thesis in year 2000, at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, earning my M.A. degree in American English, specialization psycholinguistics.

 

British grammar nazis

Disclaimer: the adjacent — and colored meaningfully yellow — graphic piffle is not intended to mean the Union Jack proper. It is the British grammar nazis logo on Facebook.

 

Grammer

 

The logo dubious pulchritude may be seen in its full down here, also with a click.

 

British grammar nazis header

 

Let me lay out on the fundamentals of orthography. I do not spell the nazis with a big letter. Big letters, though they do not always import reverence, are reserved for proper nouns, everywhere except a beginning.

 

The proper noun Nazis were German nationalists. Their having bombed London during WWII might belong with the semantic field too, and further reasonably connote displeasure on the part of the British people. I mean, I do not have other people’s feelings, but thus I do reckon.

 

Much has been written about the second world war, including Hitler’s evident lack of linguistic finesse. Therefore, I will do some wondering only, on the British who want to be grammar nazis.

 

The Daily Mash offers observations.

 

“The way they selflessly dedicate themselves to correct punctuation, for example by pointing out to the staff of a chip shop why the term >>chip’s<< is a sloppy obfuscation, confirms they are bold and righteous individuals.”

 

 

On Facebook, grammar nazis share the article and comment.
“This pleases me. A lot!”
“We are doing a service to the world in helping people be rid of their ignorance!”
“We knew it all the time!”

 

It is only after a few lines or whiles that thought emerges.
“I suspect someone is taking the p*ss.”

 

 

Grammar nazis do not get irony. Let me think about statistics and implications. Should there be visiting nazis on this page, I promise a brief primer on irony after this indispensable piece of advice about living on the same planet.

 

The site has about 50 thousand “likes”. Taking the British population alone, that would make about 50 thousand oddly deficient, among about 63 million people.

 

Some might say it is not so bad. It is not even one percent. Still, it could be better to think literacy, going to England: the guys are permitted to have the UK flag for their capriccio, and odd types favor big towns, as London.

 

However this could not mean there only odd types in big towns, before you go to London, try for a plain passport photo, that is, without brooches, scarves, ties, anything you do not always carry. The piffle shows the guys’ attention to picture specifics. 😉

 

Wave your hand broadly, getting a taxi. It is a simple, therefore legible gesture. Get a map with statues and other tourist attractions in large icons. It is better to take a walk from the National Museum than end up the Piccadilly, owing to small print. 😉

 

In hotels, always tick the boxes. Ask for those straight, should you be provided with a form without boxes to tick. 😉

 

Mailing letters, get the recorded. They have ID strips. Seeking directions, approach people with newspapers. They could be literate. However, never ever leave your books or papers open and unattended. They might be taken for other utilities. 😉

 

Now, the primer on irony. The basics are in the affirmative and the negative. You do not take them for a yes or no merely. Let me quote the Mash:

 

“In no way are any of these people vain, arsey pedants.”

 

This does not have to mean a refutation, as Wikipedia explains. Life cannot be about affirming or denying only. Let me return to the Mash.

 

“The way they selflessly dedicate themselves to correct punctuation, for example by pointing out to the staff of a chip shop why the term >>chip’s<< is a sloppy obfuscation, confirms they are bold and righteous individuals."

 

Antonyms and synonyms are the answer.

 

Laying all out in detail to a grammar nazi looks discouragingly big a task, hence the handful of thoughts and the primary color, yellow (adjective, reference 3).

 

Grammar nazis do not offer own blogs or websites, especially with serious language work, for evaluation. Their picking on people’s works has no chance to bring anything creative, sophisticated. My attitude to them as well as critics will remain the same: Where is your own, better stuff?

Apples grow on noses: two languages – two minds?

“Speaking a second language can change everything from problem-solving skills to personality. It is almost as if you are two people”, says Catherine de Lange.

 

“Mon espirit paratage — My two minds”, appeared in the New Scientist of May 5th, 2012. Ms. de Lange compares monolingual and bilingual children. The Washington Post has included the article online.

 

 

Ms. de Lange describes her testing children on syntax. Syntax is about the way we phrase our talk or writing.

 

“Both monolinguals and bilinguals could see the mistake in phrases such as “apples growed on trees”, but differences arose when they considered nonsensical sentences such as “apples grow on noses”. The monolinguals, flummoxed by the silliness of the phrase, incorrectly reported an error, whereas the bilinguals gave the right answer”, says Ms. de Lange.

 

Monolingual or multilingual, children get to hear or read fairy tales. It does not matter, if the kid speaks one or more languages. It is important that the child comprehends the words: there was a fairy land, a long time ago, where apples grew on noses.

 

Figurative thinking does not disturb syntax, and more, children learn early that words can have more than one meaning, also when the talk is for real. Whether in one or many languages ― but dependent on pragmatics ― we could or could not count any noses in picture 1. The Big Apple Corner in picture 2 only might have apples.

 

Language pragmatics deals with talk in context and with work on ambiguity.

 

 

PICTURE 1. IS THERE EVEN ONE NOSE IN THE PICTURE, IF WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT NOSES COUNT?

 

Noses

 

PICTURE 2. DO APPLES GROW SQUARE, IF WE HAVE BIG APPLE CORNERS?

 

apples

 

Thinking psycholinguistics for the science, the task was most probably deictically misconstrued. The children did not know what noses the talk was about, and thus if to focus on syntax or pragmatics.

 

 

Ms. de Lange says she speaks English and French. Humorously, but to follow her observations, with English and French, we would have to imagine monolingual people carrying shields instead of umbrellas, for heavy rain. They would be the people to get “flummoxed” with figures of speech, and it rains halberds in French, when it rains cats and dogs in English (in which latter case we would have to think monolingual people cannot keep appointments, staying home).

 

We would have to dread multilingual medics, fearing they would be the people to take cardiac cases for a game of opinion. They would be the people not to care what a matter literally might denote.

 

Quite seriously, both English and French have spoken and written forms. What we write as “bread” in English is “un pain”, in French.

 

 

Boy eating bread

 

Not only to a child, a test to neglect word sense would be a sort of mal a l’oreille. Without semantics, a multlilingual person would be left with some “phonological interface” only, for linguistic discernment.

 

What is likely to happen then (and I believe happened, in Ms. de Lange study), people go “surfing” the language form. The “surfing” is not a developmental stage. Monolingual or multilingual, very young or more advanced in age, people can learn to “surf” ― for a joke.

 

Natural language progress for syntax is more likely to have virtual or invented words. They have an extra advantage. They let exercise speech sounds without the flummoxing that verbal associations might bring, especially to very young minds:
[th] is the sound in mother;
[th] is the sound in father
[th] is the sound in brother;
[th] is the sound in… pother. 😉

 

We do not have to depend on nature; we can encourage syntax, in children as well as grown-up people. A car rolls, a doll dances, a troll hops, and a ball bounces. Toys are things. They can be “phimos”. Every phimo can bimo. Before long, a learner may tell easy, if we are correct saying,

 

The phimo bimo;
or if we should say,
The phimo bimoes. 🙂

 

Phimos can bimo.

 

Multilingualism is becoming an everyday thing in more and more countries and cultures. I like that.

 

I do not like bias about language and mentality. The simple, common sense fact of life is that bread is bread, whether a person speaks one or more languages.

 

Generally, experimentation on children raises ethical concerns, and honestly, for language acquisition, there is no need to experiment: it is enough to listen and talk. I have never experimented, and I would have mixed feelings. When you experiment, you introduce factors that naturally would not be there. A very serious ethical concern comes with Ms. de Lange reporting infant brain scans for experimental purposes. There is no way to obtain informed consent from an infant. Feel welcome to read why I do not see sense about such scans.

 

 

Naturalness does not require we never try anything novel. The method here would not fit an experiment well. I invented it in childhood, worked on it for some 30 years for own language progress, it is complete, and it does not have the “open ends” that experimentation explores. Feel also welcome.