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zompist bboard • View topic - Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:10 pm 
Avisaru
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…Mmmhm, it's been a while since I checked this thread, but for future reference (in response to some posts upthread): I would prefer to not have private or semi-private email discussions I have been part of summarized in places like this. Publicly-defended quackery is one thing, interpersonal friction is another entirely and does not strike me as requiring being turned into joking matter.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:48 pm 
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I don't know to what extent this is linguistic quackery or not, but I follow a Mongolian Metal band called Tenger Cavalry, and I'm forever seeing references to Turks being Mongol descendants or Mongols and Turks being related back to 400AD. You get the same comments turning up a lot with the Tuvan group Alash, but running in the other direction. I get the feeling that this is predominantly based on apparent shared cultural traits, specifically throat singing, and a spread of the idea of Altaic. Either way, it seems to be pretty common, and very little seems to dissuade people of the idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:12 am 
Sanci
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Sierra Madre Games has a game called Neanderthal... the rules can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VlX ... BCRxE/edit

On the 32nd page is an essay called "A WORD IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES." I don't know enough about cognitive linguistics to comment on his overall argument (though it looks to me more based on personal introspection than anything universal or researched [I hope I'm wrong?]), but the biggest reason I'm skeptical is this one sentence, which utterly outraged me, to the point that I felt more actual anger than is probably entirely healthy when looking at things on the Internet: "The very concept of a pronoun can’t be expressed in images, perhaps the reason why primitive tongues, for instance in the pre-Columbian New World, do not have the pronoun concept."

...Where did you even get that idea? It's not even so much that I'm outraged as that I literally don't understand how he would have the idea to say that.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:38 am 
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To be fair, I will grant them that some languages of the Americas don't have anything that Europeans might call "pronouns"...

...but only because they have all the pronominal marking they need on their verbs. Other than that, the suggestion that pronouns are "lacking" in Native American languages because of a supposed lack of easy pictorial representation, thus making them incomprehensible to those "savage natives", is basically racism.

It also fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of pronominal elements. A pronoun is only used when it is referencing something else, whether that be a speech-act-participant or some other referent. Thus, there is no separate "mental picture" of a pronoun as there doesn't need to be: if there is going to be a "mental picture" of anything, it'll be of the thing referred to, not the pronoun itself.

EDIT: oh yes, I also forgot to mention THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A PRIMITIVE LANGUAGE!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:51 am 
Sanci
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Well said!

I get that general verb-marking tendencies could be the germ of the idea... but if someone knows enough to be aware that a language might lack overt pronouns, even if they aren't familiar with polysynthesis and all, how do they miss the memo that this is because the verbs are super complicated and pretty well the exact opposite to what anyone would mean by "primitive language?" I mean... how can you learn the one thing without noticing the rest?


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 8:57 am 
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in Indo-European languages that the author derives from Arabic. Of course, there are some true cases like burnoos or cotton, but most of the paper is simply hilarious.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 1:53 pm 
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This one's a weird one. I have discovered that previously I had failed to convince my mother that Russian does not have initial consonant mutations à la Welsh. I tried to tell her of this and she then retorted by claiming that Russian had "backward dictionaries". When I said that Cyrillic is written in the same direction as the Latin alphabet, she said that this meant that they show the "root" of the word (which probably would be rather unhelpful given the noun-endings in Russian, which would certainly be removed in such a publication).

I don't know why she thinks this, but I will say that my mother does have some awareness of Welsh. She grew up on the , and remembers going on holiday to Llŷn (which, for those of you who don't know, is the most Welsh-speaking part of Wales) and that is also generally where we have gone on holiday when we have holidayed in Wales, so she is definitely aware of Welsh and its initial consonant mutations. How this got transferred over to Russian, however, I do not know.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:03 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:46 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Why didn't we think of it before? Chinese script is just not universal enough which is why it is not useful for Africans learning to read like the Maya script~~


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:08 pm 
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There are a few claims that Romani is some kind of conlang the Roma made up from random bits of various languages. There are apparently also all sorts of weird claims about Hebrew being a descendant of some Indo-European language as formerly spoken by Jews in Europe.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:51 pm 
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Here is some linguistic quackery by some guy named Jeremiah Leija.
I dunno if you can access the page/post:
https://m.facebook.com/groups/182815475 ... 5959927026

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:57 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:22 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:32 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:28 am 
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A conversation full of inaccuracies from the comment section of (I think maybe the writer of the first post meant "ample" when they wrote "applent" and "" when they wrote "chevul tamil." "Manipralaya" reminds me of , but I doubt very much that the person who wrote that had any idea what they were going on about):

"I am very proud of speaking my malayalam (kanya kumarian) language without any mixture of sanskrit words which is ancient malayalam and gate way to neo malayalam . Now, neo malayalam language can not live without sanskrit and applent chevul tamil words. Kerala Govt must protect the language of original malayalam which is still spoken in parts of Kanya Kumari and Thiruvanthapuram which are without any mixture of sanskrit."

"Sorry dear you are wrong.
Malayalam in Kanyakumari district and travancore is the one with more sanskrit words than malabar region of Kerala which has influence of urdu and arabic.
I was born in Kanyakumari district and I am a malayalee who now lives in Kochi.
Malayalam is Dravidian in grammer and script, but has 70%- 90% common words with sanskrit.
You cannot separate sanskrit and malayalam. Malayalam is a language with most words common to sanskrit, more than any other so called aryan languages.

Know your roots. of both culture and language,which is long term, not just religion and politics which is only temporary."

"Sorry dear, you are not neo malayalee, but belong to manipralaya malayalee, the one language routed in Kanya Kumari district which got transition from chevul/kodum tamil to present day neo malayalam. read and compare"

EDIT: Also, !


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:34 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:37 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:51 pm 
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Never seen anybody crowdsource spurious etymological connections but I guess there's a first time for everything.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:59 pm 
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This might fit here. Its not that it's wrong, its just that it's telling us basically nothing we dont already know, just adding a few data points that may or may not be sound.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016 ... cientists/

edit: this has its own thread now:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=44435

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Last edited by Soap on Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:14 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:19 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:48 pm 
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