‘the problem with linguistics’ – a google corpus

September 24, 2009 § 1 Comment

Apparently linguistics is not a universally loved discipline… Google tells it like it is …

Language Sciences : The three-dimensional sign – Published by ElsevierThe problem with linguistics is first, the way in which metalinguistic terminology drawn from the Western tradition has been removed from its original …
linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/0388000195000240 – Similar
by DR Davis – 1997 – Related articles – All 4 versions

Polianiac: The problem with linguistics is no matter how hard you want to cloak it; paradigm shifts are un-cloak-able when examined as text in discourse. …
polianiac.today.com/ – Cached – Similar
What does it mean to be Maori? – maori.org.nz Papa Panui – Notices …16 posts – 7 authors – Last post: 19 Nov 2006
The problem with linguistics i have is that sometimes i wonder if there may happen a domino effect on words, especially throughout the …
http://www.maori.org.nz/…/forum_topic.asp?… – Cached – Similar

UrbanSurvival » Blog Archive » Tuning My OutlookThis underscores the problem with linguistics: While we can catch BIG things, when there are a whole bunch of similar items (as in the three/four/ quakes), …
http://www.urbansurvival.com/blog/?p=1334 – Cached – Similar

Sha Xin Wei – Resistance Is Fertile: Gesture and Agency in the …It is this concept that inspired Deleuze and Guattari’s remark that the problem with linguistics is not that it is abstract, but that it is not abstract …
muse.jhu.edu/journals/configurations/v010/10.3sha.html – Similar
by SX Wei – 2002 – Cited by 16 – Related articles

Invented Usage: eh, so so expectations.15 May 2005 … And there’s the problem with linguistics as an empirical study: the speaker (or writer)’s intended meaning has to be known when an …
inuse.blogspot.com/2005/05/eh-so-so-expectations.html – Cached – Similar

15.1506, Review: Cognitive Science: Banich & Mack : msg#00138 …propose that the problem with linguistics modeling stems from the fact that linguists try to model sets of expressions rather than the …
osdir.com/ml/science.linguistics.linguist…/msg00138.html – Cached – Similar

Who dugg or blogged: Curing like-itis : admitting the problem is …dailygleaner.canadaeast.com — I recently saw this picture on the web, and taught it was perfect to describe the problem with linguistics today. …
digg.com/arts_culture/Curing_like_itis_admitting…is…/who – Similar

kero’s Site – [ Translate this page ] The problem with linguistics is that as we try to identify certain qualities like racism we lose the underlying cause of its existence of that behaviour. …

Your challenge is to complete each sentence and then argue against it.


Supervision award to our head of school

September 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Research Award (Supervisor) Professor Cynthia White

Professor of Applied Linguistics Cynthia White is a regular contributor to workshops, seminars and staff development sessions on research, supervision and academic career management within Massey University, the Centre for Academic Development and e-Learning, and the Graduate Research School.

As college representative on the Doctoral Research Committee (2002-2005), Professor White made an active contribution to doctoral studies in the University, contributed to the successful resolution of difficult supervisory relationships, and acted as a mentor for three chief supervisors in different schools.

Professor White serves on the review boards of seven international journals and two national journals, regularly reviews research proposals for funding bodies such as the British Academy, and has been an active researcher and co-leader in collaborative projects with Oxford University, Britian’s Open University and Nottingham University.

In the past five years she has given eight international plenary addresses at major conferences in Hawaii, Germany, Britian, China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Massey News

Buffalax much?

September 22, 2009 § 1 Comment

So I am quite behind in new media fads, but I stumbled across Buffalax the other day on youtube. Apparently it was all the rage all around the internets, as Bush said, back in 2007. Buffalaxing is the provision of spoof translations for songs from Bollywood movies and (South) Asian pop music. By spoof translations you should read massaging the phonetic stream of Hindi into recognisable but nonsense English expressions. A linguist might say deliberate ‘slips of the ear’.
Here’s an example …


While perhaps amusing to the English speaking viewer, what is this really about? Possibly the formal linguist would care to examine how English-speaking ears process the phonetic stream – interpreting the signal as English must involve assigning syllable boundaries, word boundaries and possibly reconfiguring phonetic elements of the consonants themselves. The discourse analyist/linguistic ecologist might however take another view and see buffalaxing as indicative of language attitudes. Are these spurious translations put downs to Hindi, Urdu and Tamil speakers? Is Buffalaxing evidence for the dominance of English in the new media?

Admittedly according to Wired (http://www.wired.com/entertainment/theweb/news/2007/11/buffalax) the first song buffalaxed was in German it seems that South Asian and East Asian lyrics are most frequently targeted. Try as might though, I can’t find the sub continent striking back. There appear to be no youtube clips mishearing English lyrics in languages of India.

It seems the power or buffalaxing is so strong that all Indian pop videos to which kind youtubers have added English subtitles are assumed to have been buffalaxed:

“Kiss me like a hungry cow eats the grass.
I thought this was being ‘buffalaxed’ or something but the translation is the real thing.. my god.. ”

Whanganui cont’d

September 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

The Geographic Names Board has reccomended a name change for the river city, replacing with – a decision that ultimately will be made by Land information minister Maurice Williamson. Should he make the change law, this willl restore meaning to the Maaori name, ‘Big Bay’. However those opposed apparently are not willing to accept the reccomended changes. Controversial mayor of the city Michael Laws suggests the change is racist and undemocratic. He also argued that the name was not a Maaori word but had a culture and mana of its own according to the Dominion Post, 18 September 2009.

the development of alphabets

September 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

Professor Radkin at the University of Maryland has developed a rather charming page on the development of various alphabets illustrated via animation. I recommend viewing the cuneiform and the Latin alphabets!


bangers and mash from a machine? Language and variation in Cockney

September 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

Looked in your davy cockett to discover you’re hearts of oak? Never mind, just head to the ATM and get some bangers and mash! That’s right, Cockney rhyming cash machines have been rolled out in East London.


What is interesting about this ishow the rhyming expressions change. If this site is to be believed, new forms are still being invented.


Take terms meaning rotten, for exampe, this site suggests a classic form reals of cotton. However two new forms include Dot Cotton and Nick Cotton, both characters that appeared in the early years of the soap Eastenders. Pop culture then is influencing the formation of the rhyming slang associated with the dialect.  One ofthe most well known examples of classic cockeny rhyming is barnet fair  for ‘hair’. This has been acknowedged by the readers of the website, but new forms appear to have been contributed. It is not known though how well attested the following are:  fred astaire, bonny fair, tony blair, yogi bear.

Given that adept users of the slang only give the first part of the expression, i.e., ‘I like your new barnet’, interlocutors must presume a shared knowledge to retrieve the elided element which produces the rhyme.  Presumably when the connection between Barnet and its fair was lost, new expressions needed to be found to make the rhyme.  At various times over the last century Tony would have strongly invoked  blair and Fred – Astaire.  From there, it would not be too difficult to get to the rhyme , hair.

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