Date: Sun 27 Oct 2002 - 20:18:20 GMT
> > > But is that, in the real sense of the word, a problem !?
> > > Talking about the rain forest doesn 't mean we deny the existence
> > > of other forest in the world !? Each forest has its name, place
> > > and function in the total picture of what we see as nature, and
> > > IMO if I talk about the trees which are standing in the
> > > neighbourhood where I live I talk about specific trees, not about
> > > those trees of the Amazone. So in that sense am I not talking
> > > about those in the individualistic type/ token distinction !?
> > You could not use words like 'tree' or 'forest'; they are
> > type-words. True, you could use words like 'amazon' and 'tongass' to
> > describe forests, and you might be able to remember all the
> > different terms, since there are not a plethora of forests (although
> > it would then not be possible to use the word 'amazon' to describe
> > the river); the major problem comes when you talk about individual
> > trees. Imagine seven trees, each sprung from the same parent,
> > growing in a grove. Each would have to have its own name,
> > nonrelational to the others (eng, thran, volub, etc., etc.), and in
> > fact, every tree on the planet would
> > to be designated in such a nonrelational manner. Besides the
> > problem of memorizing billions of words just to describe the trees,
> > we would have the additional problem of having to view every tree
> > (or a portrayal of it) in order to apply the proper name to each
> > entity. To call such a linguistic system impossibly unwieldy is a
> > massive understatement.
> Joe, comes Chinese not close to what you propose here !?
Chinese is very unwieldy, but it, too, uses type/token structures. It is unwieldy because it does not use the phonemic principle of language or the phonetic (alphabetory) principle of text. It has wood radicals and water radicals and other typographical signifiers.
> After all, they use a lot of signs/ markers to express what they
> think, feel or want to desicribe !? If we say waterfall and we want to
> express that it is the Niagara Falls, we would say something like ' a
> big waterfall '_ we use an adjective, the word where it refers to,
> waterfall, remains the same.
And what about Horseshow Falls, or Angel Falls, or any one of a number of others? We could not even use the type-designation of 'falls' to describe them.
>In Chinese, for what I understand of it,
> people use a different sign for each waterfall they want to describe
> or at least a combination of some signs. What is expressed is not
> waterfall anymore, but ' a little waterfall ', ' a big waterfall ',
> Niagara Falls, three different words...No !?
No, they have names for sizes of waterfalls, but they also have names for individual waterfalls; however, all of them are modified by the Chinese fersion of the type-designator "waterfall". This would not be possible under Wade's schema.
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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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