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21
Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on November 14, 2017, 11:03:59 AM »
1. OK, what is your scientific contribution?

2. "Technical discussion" means that it assumes some background knowledge of the relevant topics.

3. Why are you still here? Don't you have better things to do?
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on November 14, 2017, 07:52:16 AM »
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The science is too bookish and nerdy to understand, oh no!
How can you call what FlatAssembler is doing science? He obviously won't change his mind no matter what others tell him.

And what do you mean by "technical discussion"? To me this is more like trying to hide the fact that the ideas are nonsensical by using a seemingly scientific language. We shouldn't accept something because we don't understand the arguments for it, which is what you guys seem to expect us to do. People shouldn't have accepted the pseudoscientific arguments made by the Nazis just because they hadn't understood them.
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by Daniel on November 12, 2017, 10:20:20 PM »
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...it makes much more sense to say that Proto-Indo-European *d meant "to shine" (that's an actual hypothesis, I didn't make it up) than it makes to say that English 't' means that, because, well, most of the English words starting in 't' weren't originally English at all.
I'd say that's probably an illusion because:
1. We don't have enough evidence to falsify it.
2. We think of PIE as "old" or even "original" when in fact it's a young language compared to the length of time humans have been talking. (It's probably among the most recent 5% of languages. Not that 'oldness' is actually a coherent notion for languages, but I'll set that aside for the moment.)

However, if there is any chance of a phonosemantic hypothesis being right, it would be statistical and for limited sounds. I am open to the arguments that "gl" somehow as a sequence seems to have a phonosemantic correlation in English: glimmer, glisten, glitter, gleam, etc. But even that is vague and probably just an illusion: glib, glum, glue, glory, gloat, glob, glitch, etc. In fact, the effect of any real phonosemantic pattern (which I'm not saying couldn't exist), would probably be so small it might not even be observable or falsifiable. You want to tell me that "snake" has an S in it because it sounds like a snake? Sure, maybe. But that has no predictive power because you could also have a word that doesn't have an S and means snake. Maybe to speakers that seems like a really good fit, so we are more likely to like it, so there is some very small increase in the probability of sound distributions, such that a small percentage of vocabulary in every language is motivated by phonosemantics. But nothing like assigning values to all of the letters of the alphabet in all contexts!
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by FlatAssembler on November 12, 2017, 10:01:46 PM »
I must admit I don't really understand such phonosemantic hypotheses. You realize that "color" is not even originally an English word, but a Latin word? Then the same phonosemantic rules should apply to Latin, and they obviously don't. In basic vocabulary, for instance, Latin 'd' corresponds to English 't' and Latin 'f' corresponds either to English 'd' or 'b'.

There are some theories about phonosemantics being applicable to early proto-languages, when the languages were not so full of loan-words, and they sound a lot less crazy to me. For instance, it makes much more sense to say that Proto-Indo-European *d meant "to shine" (that's an actual hypothesis, I didn't make it up) than it makes to say that English 't' means that, because, well, most of the English words starting in 't' weren't originally English at all.
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by FlyingRedSportscar on November 12, 2017, 04:05:56 PM »
I updated the letter 'D' (the odd man out).  It should make a lot more sense now!!  Especially the 'baby' story fork.  Currently working on the other odd man out, 'N,' which is a misquote from Shakespeare. 
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Computational Linguistics / Re: Cluster Analysis for Questionnaire data
« Last post by Daniel on November 10, 2017, 03:13:06 PM »
You should ask this to statisticians, because that's fairly high level statistics compared to what is common in linguistics, and although some linguists might know the answer you probably won't find them here.

However, I do know a bit about statistics, and I would just ask why she is trying to do it that way. What is the point in quantifying variation in the responses overall? Wouldn't it be more useful to look for particular patterns?

Best practice for significance testing is to have a single hypothesis in mind and then test for exactly that hypothesis, rather than fishing for any sort of (probably coincidental) patterns in the data. You're more likely to find noise (coincidences) if you look at the data too broadly or let a computer find patterns for you.

There are some textbooks (and other resources) specifically for how to do statistics in linguistics. But first you need to figure out what question you're asking. Then you can figure out how to test it statistically.

I'm not sure what kind of background either of you has, but if you're not used to significance testing in general (for example, a T-test, an ANOVA, etc.) then you probably should start with an introductory class (or equivalent, even if that's reading a textbook or just Wikipedia on your own). Obviously you can find specific information in research papers with a similar methodology to the project. That's a fairly safe way to do it.

One approach linguists often use is Mixed Effects models, where you have one main target variable (for example, the pronunciation of a certain sound) but you can include in your model the other ways in which the individuals in your sample vary, in order to avoid any correlations in that data causing problems. (For example, if you have boys and girls, but the boys are ages 4-8 and the girls are ages 6-10, you could try to balance that out using a more complex model. Mixed Effects is sort of like that (but read about the details beyond my oversimplified example here!), and it allows you to build a complex model).

My best advice for you would honestly be to start over entirely (you can keep the data!) and find a much simpler specific question (or several questions) to test statistically.
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by Daniel on November 10, 2017, 03:04:18 PM »
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Sorry, I used the word 'forked' like a computer programmer would, based on my old days of studying computer science.  I meant to say, there are 2 different poems in one, a fork in the path, hinged on the letter 'B.'
Makes a little more sense, but still not sure I get it.

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Color
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, realization-slowly-dawned
Colour
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, u-are-caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place, realization-slowly-dawned
It just adds a hint of British spice to the translation, that's all.
Nope, I don't believe that. Not at all. There's nothing convincing about that argument. You may as well be reading tea leaves. As you know (because you're doing this a lot) you can try to make sense of anything. You could just as easily argue the opposite, which shows this is nonsense. You're seeing things that aren't there, because you want to see them.

Also, just for your information, your 'translations' are entirely nonsensical and meaningless to me. They don't capture the meaning of "color", nor do I have any other reasonable way to interpret them. It's like assigning colors at random to the letters of the alphabet and telling me English is a rainbow. Sure.

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If I understand you correctly, you seem to be thinking that my theory has some sort of sound change associated with it, which is not correct.
No, the opposite. If your theory can't handle the fact that sounds DO change in languages, then you cannot explain anything. Words simply vary in different languages and over time. That's why we call the relationship arbitrary. "Dog" in English, "Hund" in German, "perro" in Spanish and "cane" in Italian all mean exactly the same thing.
You're left with only two options: 1) your theory doesn't work, or 2) you're describing feelings only, and nothing quantifiable. So it doesn't really mean anything, although like a fortune cookie, it seems to apply when it's really just generic. There's no way to falsify (or prove) feelings, so you make it hard for anyone to argue against you.

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Now everything is just pronounced like regular, standard English.
Which doesn't exist. Pronunciation varies by individual (and over time, and in different dialects, and in different languages). Are you suggesting to me that when I say something it can't mean the same thing as when someone with a slightly different accent than mine says it? That's incoherent.

Try reading Plato's Cratylus. It's poetic (so you'd probably enjoy it), and it's also observations that show the problems in your arguments, from over 2000 years ago.
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by FlyingRedSportscar on November 10, 2017, 11:24:15 AM »
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Those two sentences juxtaposed had me laughing. Bees, babies and forks. Not sure why that would make sense. I'll leave it at that...

Sorry, I used the word 'forked' like a computer programmer would, based on my old days of studying computer science.  I meant to say, there are 2 different poems in one, a fork in the path, hinged on the letter 'B.'

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OK. Here's one:
First, the alphabet is an inconsistent representation of English pronunciation. Surely there's no meaning difference between "color" (American spelling) and "colour" (British spelling).

Color
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, realization-slowly-dawned

Colour
chance-to-reflect-on, order-out-of-chaos, life-lesson-learned-the-hard-way, order-out-of-chaos, u-are-caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place, realization-slowly-dawned

It just adds a hint of British spice to the translation, that's all.  The meaning doesn't really change with the addition of the 'U.'  You'll notice it has reflection as part of the translation too (in case you didn't know, colour is perceived by what wavelengths are absorbed and the remaining wavelengths that get reflected, the colours we see are the wavelengths that get reflected).

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be thinking that my theory has some sort of sound change associated with it, which is not correct.  That was how the theory first started off, with a sound change to 'a' and 'le/the', however that part of it became entirely obsolete.  It's no longer part of my theory at all.  Now everything is just pronounced like regular, standard English.
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Computational Linguistics / Cluster Analysis for Questionnaire data
« Last post by rafaelh.souza on November 10, 2017, 02:54:34 AM »
Hello.
My wife is writting her Master's thesis and needs to perform cluster analysis on her data. The data basically is a list of questionnaire responses. There are 7 questions, and each question may be answerd with discrete values from 0 to 4. In other words, there will be one 7D vector per questionnaire participant, and each dimension of the vector may be a natural number between 0 and 4. The distance metric between two vectors is the following:
d(v1, v2) = Sumi in [0, 6][v1(i) == v2(i) ? 0 : 1] -- putting it simply, 1 unit per differing dimension.

I am a computer scientist and I am familiar with clustering methods, but I am not sure what kind of cluster analysis is commonly used in linguistics for this kind of data. What method would you recommend?

Thanks for any comment.
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Outside of the box / Re: The "English Code"
« Last post by Daniel on November 09, 2017, 02:05:15 PM »
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First off, I'm not a Linguist, just a layman.
Then how could you generally understand language, much less actually solve how it works? I'm not saying you need a Ph.D. to make a contribution. But your lack of qualification/experience is certainly not supporting evidence for your theory to be correct. It might be, despite that, but probably it just means it will be harder to convince you that you are wrong.

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You'll notice that the individual letters form a greater Poem, which actually makes sense.  The greater Poem describes both Bees and Babies, in 'forked' stories
Those two sentences juxtaposed had me laughing. Bees, babies and forks. Not sure why that would make sense. I'll leave it at that...

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A *ton* of public scrutiny would be the means to check which one is correct, I suppose.  Today, with all the technologies at our disposal, a 'brute force' or 'survival of the fittest' approach like this surely is feasible.
It's absurd to think that the best way to deal with a bunch of out there theories is to sort through each of them and see which holds up. Why should people spend their time on your theory in particular? And why aren't you spending all of your time reading about other theories? There are dozens if not hundreds of proposals parallel to yours out there. I've never seen one that isn't deeply flawed.

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My theory will stand serious tests thrown at it and not break down.
OK. Here's one:
First, the alphabet is an inconsistent representation of English pronunciation. Surely there's no meaning difference between "color" (American spelling) and "colour" (British spelling). I flatly reject the premise of your theory based on spelling.
Secondly, sounds change over time:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_change
The alphabet has also changed if you insist on going by spelling.
Are you really claiming that meaning changes with pronunciation? That when two dialects split into different languages and the sound change, they start to mean different things? In my opinion, that is just an incoherent, uninformed argument.
If not, why is modern English today special? And again, why the alphabet?

In the end, I'm hesitant to discuss this with you. But, you posted, so I replied. And my responses are somewhat harsh because we've been through this before. The ideas of this kind of correlation just don't work (and that has been known for at least over 100 years as a fundamental principle in Linguistics, one of the only things we can all seem to agree on, and related arguments can be identified even in the writing of ancient Greek philosophers). You're welcome to look at some of the old threads here where similar proposals were discussed. The best option probably is to not waste our time arguing about something we will probably never agree on.

And, no, you didn't provide any explanation for how your proposal could be falsified. You only stated, basically, that your theory is very good, and that the others are not. That doesn't resemble an academic argument.
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