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  #61  
Old Aug 3rd 2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

doesn't work that way.

"I saw an astronaut with a telescope"

did I see him with my telescope, or did I see him carrying one?

No answer to that, because words don't react and produce a definitive result like chemicals do. Your metaphor fails, too bad.

There are plenty of such examples in every language.

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But would you expect me to think you run a company from "I run...?"
You missed the point. I can infinitely add words behind "I run" and come up with infinitely many interpretations for the meaning of "run".


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have a way for you to think of it--I know you won't like it, but well, "too bad," as you say.
You seem to like saying that a lot-- "I know you won't like it".

What does whether I like it or not have anything to do with anything? If it bears any impact on what I am saying, then it's definitely not "science". How you seem to consider this integral part of someone's argument just goes to show what kind of "scientific" mind you've got.
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Last edited by WFCY; Aug 3rd 2010 at 06:46 PM.
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  #62  
Old Aug 3rd 2010, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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doesn't work that way.

"I saw an astronaut with a telescope"

did I see him with my telescope, or did I see him carrying one?

No answer to that, because words don't react and produce a definitive result like chemicals do. Your metaphor fails, too bad.

There are plenty of such examples in every language.
Not my problem. It is not my burden to decipher what you mean; it is your burden to speak clearly.
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  #63  
Old Aug 3rd 2010, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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Not my problem. It is not my burden to decipher what you mean; it is your burden to speak clearly.
lol.

syntactic ambiguity is an intrinsic feature of every natural language.

but run forrest, run.
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  #64  
Old Aug 3rd 2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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lol.

syntactic ambiguity is an intrinsic feature of every natural language.

but run forrest, run.
So is grammar, but apparently that can be thrown by the wayside, too.

If you wanted me to understand that you saw your astronaut lugging a telescope across a parking lot, wouldn't you say so?

Or would you just choose to be ambiguous and hope for the best?

Your example reminds me very much of my sixth grade science fair project. I'd put it off, and put it off, and the day before the science fair I did the classic "Which Laundry Detergent Works Best" project. I threw it together to get the grade, not to say or conclude anything of great importance.
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  #65  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

Syntactic ambiguity is a subject of study in both linguistics and computational linguistics. Although the use of language is not science, the study of language as a genetic manifestation, and as an artifact/logical construct is science. Discarding phenomena inherent in natural languages as completely user defined and customary- It's like saying if solar eclipse has a cause, then the sun will show us what that cause is. Or if there are special reasons why bats don't use their eyes when they fly, they will "say so". Or if a patient suffers from some stomach disease, he will be non-ambiguous and tell you what exactly he has and what he needs. Science solves itself, experiments and analyses are unnecessary, according to you.

Even if for a moment, we assume you are correct, that linguistic phenomena are user defined, you just proved your own earlier theise wrong, because scientific phenomena are not user defined, so language cannot be science. You are contradicting yourself to no end.

If sixth grade science project is what motivates your idea what science is really about, I'm sorry to say but you are on the wrong track.
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Last edited by WFCY; Aug 4th 2010 at 07:08 AM.
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  #66  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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Syntactic ambiguity is a subject of study in both linguistics and computational linguistics. Although the use of language is not science, the study of language as a genetic manifestation, and as an artifact/logical construct is science. Discarding phenomena inherent in natural languages as completely user defined and customary- It's like saying if solar eclipse has a cause, then the sun will show us what that cause is. Or if there are special reasons why bats don't use their eyes when they fly, they will "say so". Or if a patient suffers from some stomach disease, he will be non-ambiguous and tell you what exactly he has and what he needs. Science solves itself, experiments and analyses are unnecessary, according to you.

Even if for a moment, we assume you are correct, that linguistic phenomena are user defined, you just proved your own earlier theise wrong, because scientific phenomena are not user defined, so language cannot be science. You are contradicting yourself to no end.

If sixth grade science project is what motivates your idea what science is really about, I'm sorry to say but you are on the wrong track.
If I wanted to bake an apple pie, I would first have to create the universe--also, I would need a good recipe. If I wanted to dip my hand into liquid Nitrogen, I would want to know how the Leidenfrost effect worked, and I would want to know sans ambiguity.

I ask again, if YOU were telling ME about the astronaut and the telescope, would you choose to be ambiguous? I ask because, unlike your sun, bat, and stomach analogy, you and I speak the same language, and know the rules of said language.

I cannot ask the sun to show me why a solar eclipse occurs, but I can study it, and work it out for myself. And then I can tell you exactly how the phenomena occurs. That would not be user defined.

I'm not asking you to direct, motivate, and manipulate your astronaut and telescope, I am asking you to tell me exactly what happened.
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  #67  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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I ask again, if YOU were telling ME about the astronaut and the telescope, would you choose to be ambiguous? I ask because, unlike your sun, bat, and stomach analogy, you and I speak the same language, and know the rules of said language.
...

I'm not asking you to direct, motivate, and manipulate your astronaut and telescope, I am asking you to tell me exactly what happened.
Part of doing science is asking the right questions, through certain observations about the phenomena that occur all around us.

When I said:

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Originally Posted by WFCY View Post
doesn't work that way.

"I saw an astronaut with a telescope"

did I see him with my telescope, or did I see him carrying one?

No answer to that, because words don't react and produce a definitive result like chemicals do. Your metaphor fails, too bad.
My point was, the use of language does not behave in ways that chemicals do, it is a direct response to your metaphor:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot
Think of your linguistic brain as an Erlenmeyer flask (they're the ones that taper in). You can put in all sorts of chemicals, and they mix all different ways. By "chemicals" I mean words. You're making sentences. Outside of your flask your sodium, hydrogen, cobalt, zinc are all just elements: "I" "company "run" "a." You have to mix them together in order for me to understand what you're trying to make. Sure, it's caustic, but now I get it.
What I just did was I "put in" some words, in a certain order, and demonstrated to you that the "mix" does not produce a "caustic", causal-effect, or any kind of definitive result, unlike chemical reactions. In fact, there is no "understanding" reached by that particular use of language- and there are infinitely many such examples, all accross different subdomains of lingustics from semantics to phonetics. Language use does not bear any resemblemce to any scientific method, mechanism, hypothesis, or theory in general. So your analogy fails. That was my point. Not asking you which one it is, because I know already that there is no answer.

The correct question to ask, for a linguist, or a scientist in general, is: "what kind of framework of analysis can we apply to natural language such that we can distinguish syntactic ambiguities of this type (and perhaps others for boarder empirical coverage) and explain under what circumstances we get one reading, and what other circumstances we get another; What does this framework look like?". The question: "it's up to you, what do you want?" is not a scientific question, nor about a scientific subject ("what I want"). But that appears to be what you're interested in, which proves that on this very subject we are discussion, you are not a scientist and are in no position to make claims about "language (use) is science". "I know you won't like it"-- but it simply isn't.
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Last edited by WFCY; Aug 4th 2010 at 01:41 PM.
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  #68  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

WFCY, I'm seriously asking, if you were telling me about an astronaut and a telescope, would you elect to be ambiguous?

Here, I'll even set it up (and please don't think I'm being sarcastic):

A young woman and a slightly older man meet on a street. He says to her: "I just saw..."

You fill in that blank. Tell me exactly what you would say in that scenario regarding the astronaut and the telescope.

My point about the science fair project was not for you to question my scientific knowledge--that would be very shallow on both our parts.

I'm saying that even ambiguity is science. It's bad science, and no one likes doing bad science! (Unless it's the premise to a cheesy porno, I guess...)

Language is a tool, and just like how we use tools in science, language (and words) are rigorous--subject to very specific criteria, rules, methods, procedures, etc. Like my science fair project, you are misusing your tools.
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  #69  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

The point of my example with telescopes, and in fact, with the verb "run"- are to demonstrate to you how language use are not matters of "science". They do not exhibit any features that scientists observe in matters of science.

The examples I rasied are ambiguous on purpose, why? because if they are not, then what would have been my point? Your question here is like asking me "why are the knives sharp if they want to cut me?". Well DUH, because I WANT to cut you. You are asking me to undermine my own examples so that they cease to prove what I want them to prove?

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Originally Posted by Margot View Post
My point about the science fair project was not for you to question my scientific knowledge--that would be very shallow on both our parts.
Shallow on "both" our parts?

A more accurate term would be- your attempt at condescension backfired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot
Language is a tool, and just like how we use tools in science, language (and words) are rigorous--subject to very specific criteria, rules, methods, procedures, etc. Like my science fair project, you are misusing your tools.
I recall you said "words are science, communication is science/ language use is science". Now it's a tool! So suddenly science=tools! You can ofc argue context changed and your definitions changed. I can only thank you for proving my point. Because in science, a joule is a newton times a meter, period; modus ponens is if P->Q and P, then Q, period. and so on. They don't change. These things are fundamental.
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Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

Last edited by WFCY; Aug 4th 2010 at 06:00 PM.
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  #70  
Old Aug 4th 2010, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Literal isn’t Lazy

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The point of my example with telescopes, and in fact, with the verb "run"- are to demonstrate to you how language use are not matters of "science". They do not exhibit any features that scientists observe in matters of science.

The examples I rasied are ambiguous on purpose, why? because if they are not, then what would have been my point? Your question here is like asking me "why are the knives sharp if they want to cut me?". Well DUH, because I WANT to cut you. You are asking me to undermine my own examples so that they cease to prove what I want them to prove?



I recall you said "language is science". Now it's a tool. So suddenly science=tools. You can ofc argue context changed and your definitions changed. I can only thank you for proving my point. Because in science, a joule is a newton times a meter, period; modus ponens is if P->Q and P, then Q, period. and so on. They don't change.

You think science isn't a tool? Oh, honey. It is THE tool!


Also, you still haven't answered my question.

I'm not trying to get you to undermine your point. It undermines itself--I'm just trying to get you to admit it.


Also, what the fuck does "ofc" mean?
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