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Linguist's Lounge / Re: Opinion of Social Scientists about Prisons
« Last post by panini on February 24, 2021, 09:53:45 AM »
The name of familiar from Popper, but I will address the idea as you present it. The claim, I take it, is that "a society as a whole behaves as if every individual were rational". This is plainly false. Society as a whole does not act as if every individual were rational. The claim depends on a number of un-inspected concepts: "society", "as a whole", "behaves", and "rational" (perhaps also "individual"). Let's take these in order of occurrence.

"Society" in the singular is a false abstraction: there are thousands of overlapping societies. There are a couple hundred countries (defining one class of societies) and many of them have sub-societies (region, district, province, state, canton etc). The Roman Catholic church is another organizing principle, idem the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Islam (with subdivisions) as well as the Pastafarians; there are professional societies, literary societies, groupings that racially-based, education-based, philosophy-based and so on. There is nothing that even vaguely resembles a listing of "the societies", and a person is a member of myriad societies. Moral of the story, some societies see the world one way, others see the world another way.

"As a whole" is meaningless, since society is an abstraction over individuals and society cannot behave at all. Perhaps you mean "the majority of individuals in the society", but maybe you mean "the important members of the society", which gets us into a whole 'nother endless digression (consider "the society of anarchists" vs. "North Korean society"). Similarly, society cannot "behave", only individuals can. In addition, "behave as if" is really an idiom, meaning "the actions taken can only be explain if it is assumed that...", which results in a rationality paradox. Plainly, not all societies are fully rational. Some even make it a point to reject rationality, but most pretend to follow some
sort of reasoning w.r.t. why "they" act the way they do.

And finally, what does it mean to be rational? Disagreeing with me is irrational because I am entirely rational. So there. Bear in mind that I don't dispute that there is such a thing as rationality, I claim that there is massive disagreement over what it is: and everybody else is wrong.

Now as far as the "cancel each other out" part is concerned, the irrational forces are indeed trying to extinguish the rational forces and may well succeed. But to integrate the first query and answer it, societies behave as though there is a substantial irrational population and attempts to protect the rational portion, by any means necessary.

Prisons exist only because there are irrational members of society (who may or may not be politicians) and because there are rational politicians. The alternative is for every man to defend his interests by shooting (or otherwise destroying) threats. Every man then has to define what constitutes a threat to his interests. Actually, even wild animals have something resembling "societies" that regulate behavior.

There is no necessary relation between this "principle" and the humaneness of prisons. Rocks are naturally occurring objects, prisons are man-made. Rocks just happen, prisons are created (or not) by conscious human action. Excluding certain neural shortcut reactions (the Babinsky response, pupil dilation etc) humans chose their actions, and humans have free will. To answer the question, you have to first develop a theory of law, crime and punishment.

Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 22, 2021, 12:38:17 AM »

Like A Surgeon, "Weird Al" Yankovic


Amish Paradise (Official Parody of "Gangsta's Paradise"), "Weird" Al Yankovic

Linguist's Lounge / Opinion of Social Scientists about Prisons
« Last post by FlatAssembler on February 21, 2021, 10:08:33 AM »
I am interested in what social scientists, from various branches, think about prisons. So, I will ask you a few questions:
1) Do you believe that the Principle of Rationality (that a society as a whole behaves as if every individual were rational, because irrationality of individuals cancels each other out) is correct?
2) Do you think that it contradicts the existence of prisons, because prisons can only exist if politicians are systematically irrational?
3) Do you think the Principle of Rationality says that, if prisons exist, they are humane?
Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 20, 2021, 04:40:30 AM »
Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 20, 2021, 03:42:06 AM »

Cole Porter sings "You're the Top" (1934)


De-Lovely (Robbie Williams, The Wedding Singer, On the set), Cole Porter


Tentakel, Walter Kubiczek
/main theme from "Das unsichtbare Visier" - "The Unvisible Visor/Sight" with Armin Mueller-Stahl/

Probably the book is "The Man Who Bought London" (1915) / "Kerry kauft London" (in German) by Edgar Wallace.

Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Phonosemantics
« Last post by Pramod Kumar Agrawal on February 16, 2021, 09:10:19 PM »
I welcome all the members of the forum to look at the following site.

This site is dedicated to phonosemantics. If you have any questions, please ask me on the Linguist forum. It will be of benefit to other members too.
Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 16, 2021, 08:16:30 AM »


The surprising pattern behind color names around the world


Why The Ancient Greeks Couldn't See Blue


All The Colours, Including Grue: How Languages See Colours Differently

Linguistics Links / Essence of linear algebra
« Last post by waive15 on February 16, 2021, 06:59:12 AM »
Essence of linear algebra

/a geometric understanding of matrices, determinants, eigen-stuffs and more/




Essence of linear algebra

Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 16, 2021, 06:24:09 AM »

Why some Asian accents swap Ls and Rs in English


Possible Chinese lyrics for "Anything Goes" from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

As a native Chinese speaker (I'm Taiwanese) and a former translator myself, I always wondered that what exactly was Kate Capshaw singing in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The short answer is no one really knows, and this is my best guessing so far, based on several assumptions:

1. the lyrics were, very possibly, a true Chinese adaptation/translation of Cole Porter's original lyrics. Somebody worked for the movie did a pretty good job. (I realized this only after listening to the original song so many times while playing Fallout 4. And before me some people on the Internet already figured out the first line.)

2. Kate Capshaw was singing standard Chinese (so-called Mandarin), not Shanghainese, Cantonese or Manchu language. Apparently She only learned to imitate the pronunciation, and as westerners who never learned Chinese long enough, she had a heavy accent and I think she missed several syllables/words.

Eventually I wrote down my own guessing of the Chinese lyrics and (re)translated them back into English. (YES, I WROTE BOTH based on some source materials and countless hours listen to this song blasting loudly in earphones.)

The point is not criticizing Kate Capshaw's singing; she did sing beautifully, and this was an entertaining opening for a movie franchise we long love. It's just that this song has been a real mystery to the Chinese-speaking viewers as well. The film did has many dialogues in standard Chinese and Cantonese, and Cantonese is a language mostly spoken by people from south-eastern China, including Hong Kong.

Another recent example for you - Amy Adams, playing a linguist in the 2016 sci-fi film Arrival, spoke some similarly badly-pronounced Chinese near the end of the movie, and Amy said she only had two weeks to memorize them. Learning Chinese (or to imitate Chinese-speaking) is never easy for non-native speakers, and for most westerners Chinese are just sounded like gibberish anyway. (Although Robert Downey Jr.'s real fake Chinese lines in Tropic Thunder was so hilarious.)

Hollywood movies (for example, 2012, Gravity and The Martian) would have correct Chinese lines in order to appeal China audiences. Since this kind of appeal didn't exist in 1980s, this song was only trying to be exotic. You don't need to understand it to enjoy it. But it won't be such a mystery if Kate did pronounce the lyrics better.

For people who insisted Kate was singing Manchu - virtually no one speak the Manchu language since 19th century and its revivalism only started in the post-Mao era. Today only 50 or so people speak Manchu. For the setting's sake, an American singer working in a pre-WWII Shanghai club wouldn't know how to sing a Tungusic language originated from Eastern Siberia and Manchuria. And I don't believe people who made this movie would made an effort to find a native Manchu speaker to teach Kate.

I claim no rights for any of the original movie/music materials.

I am still waiting for someone who can sing a cover of this song with the following lyrics.


In olden days a glimpse of stockings was shocking, but now I know

Anything goes.

Authors once knew golden poems, but today all you see are garbage

Anything goes.

The mad world has gone upside down, photos would be fabricated a hundred times

People always forget how ridiculous most things are;

Although I'm not his dream lover, I always know my wish will eventually be answered

Anything goes.


there you are another "Ken Lee".


"Anything Goes", Cole Porter

Linguistics Links / Re: Language Acquisition
« Last post by waive15 on February 13, 2021, 06:53:14 AM »

contestant : Valentina Hasan

jury          : Philip Kirkorov (singer)
                  Esil Duran       (singer)
                  Villi Kazasyan  (jazz musician, composer, conductor and pianist)
                  "Funcky"         (rock(?) musician)


Hx Mx
I guess Mariah Carey got the lyrics wrong.
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