bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
So far, Through the Language Glass has been enlightening. (I am on page 126, nearly done with the first part.)

The author's account of studies of how languages deal with colour starts at least a century before Berlin and Kay, and points out that their work wasn't the first to come to its conclusions, just the better known one.

I giggled at the analogy involving the "Munsell Taste Test" - I'm not sure how funny this would be without a background in linguistics of colour.

It's also given me some references for recent (2009) research about language typology and its relation to speaker population size - I'm looking forward to catching up with this.

I'm not so fond of some of his rhetoric, for example on p. 125:

For decades, linguists have elevated the hollow slogan that 'all languages are equally complex' to a fundamental tenet of their discipline, zealously suppressing as heresy any suggestion that the complexity of any areas of grammar could reflect aspects of society. As a consequence, relatively little work has been done on the subject. But a flurry of publications from the last couple of years shows that more linguists are now daring to explore such connections.

but that's just because I assume that the differences in opinions and directions of research are not as emotionally charged as "zealously suppressing" and "heresy" would imply, and I am reading more of an analogy to plucky-hero-versus-monolithic-empire into "daring" than the author probably intended.

As for academic reading, it doesn't have footnotes but it does have a list at the back that follows up references in the text, and a bibliography. Yay. :)


Apr. 29th, 2009 11:41 am
bouteillebleu: (colour terms)
Dude, when was Wikipedia's page on linguistic relativity and colour terms created, and how did I miss it?[1]

I am going to haul out my undergrad semantics thesis - which was on that subject - and PDFify it so I have a reference for it. (Expect a link here at some point.) Possibly even write a follow-up covering recent research and giving some sort of conclusion, as my thesis was almost entirely a literature review, and now I have a DRA account at the University Library I can actually read recent papers.

It may be apparent that colour terms are something I'm interested in. :)

([1]: Answer to initial question: apparently 3 weeks ago, as part of a Spring 2009 project at Berkeley where students add to Wikipedia on sociolinguistic subjects. That is quite cool.)
bouteillebleu: (colour terms)
I want a Stroop Effect T-shirt - the classic psychological experiment with names of colours written in a different colour.

Alas, I can't find a Munsell chart T-shirt. I'd imagine it might be somewhat expensive to get such a thing printed (at least, in good enough quality).

Words Affect Our Reality - On The Right. Some research done in February '06 about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The best comment is the first:

And all this time I thought the Worf hypothesis was just "Today is a good day to die.".

...the Whorf hypothesis holds for the right visual field, but not the left.

Apparently the left visual field is "without honor".
bouteillebleu: (When we invaded Rome)
I really need to stop making animated usericons. My icon page is beginning to make me dizzy.

I've figured out a vague theme for the title of last year's NaNo - something involving doors, which was one of the ideas I originally had that sparked off the magic system. (Not much remains of that original idea, though.) The working title is thus now "Threshold", which will probably be the title for a long while yet since it takes too much effort to think up a better one.

Am working on a long list of plot holes in After Forever, and beginning to see that I'll need to rewrite immediately once I finish it. I'll finish it before rewriting, though, since then I'll have something definite to rewrite. And I do need to get used to the discipline of actually finishing a story.

The "thoughts on university" were prompted by talking to a friend, and also thinking about advice I once read, along the lines of "only work on what you're interested in". This presents a problem, as often I'm not all that interested in what I've got to do. At least, I'm often not interested in sitting down and reading textbooks. Once I've started some of the reading, I can work from there, and when I know enough to write an essay plan I can work out an essay from there. Finding something to capture my attention is hit and miss, though.

Read more... )

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects." -- Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love. [Emphasis mine.]
bouteillebleu: (Kirika and tea // Noir)
First full draft of semantics dissertation done! Nearly. I have two paragraphs that I need an article for, and only two libraries in Cambridge have the journal it's in (and neither of them are near me). So on Monday I'll get the article from Experimental Psych and finish it. Until then, I'll use this weekend to write, sketch, and work on job applications and my Springboard workbook.

o/~ These are a few of my favourite games... o/~ )
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Dissertation's coming on reasonably well. Just passed 4400 words today, though I'm getting near to the end. At least I've got whole paragraphs about studies that I've only put in a sentence on so far, and I've still got another section, the introduction and conclusion to do - so I should manage to hit the 8,000-10,000 word criterion by the time I've actually finished it.

Still waiting for Katamari Damacy to arrive from the eBay seller, though it seems like I won't be playing it a lot - once the dissertation's done, I'm going to be going very light on my hands to give them some more time to heal.

And reading through random files on my computer has just given me a plan. From now on, if I ever feel angsty about life and so on, I shall write fiction rather than keeping a journal. Good lord, but my journal was full of self-indulgent angst.

The entry in question was written two years and a day ago (in a text file, not on LJ). I apologise to anyone I was spouting this angst to at the time, particularly one person who got the brunt of it... actually, let's be fair, it was just one person I was spouting angst at. Life's changed somewhat since then, for the better, and certain changes have made it much easier for me to talk rather than angst.

So, in general, I am a (mostly) happy bunny. My schedule's much more free this year, which could be a good or a bad thing - we Linguistics finalists are left very much to our own devices, and all we have to do is choose exam topics, read lots and lots on them, arrange supervisions and write essays. Next term I'll have... sixteen supervisions, I now realise. Just like last year. Whoops. (Only with more reading.) Maybe I ought to start panicking again, then.

On a happier note, the Gregorian - Masters of Chant albums are hilarious. (Though I maintain that you should not have soloists in Gregorian chant versions of pop songs. Oh, and Nothing Else Matters is probably the best of their tracks.)


bouteillebleu: (Default)

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