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Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]

on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 06:09:05PM -0500, Ron Johnson insinuated:
> On Fri, 2003-10-24 at 17:15, Monique Y. Herman wrote:
> > On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 at 22:02 GMT, Ron Johnson penned:
> > > 
> > > I didn't learn that exact method, but did learn what I guess
> > > you'd call "sentence decomposition".  It fundamental to being
> > > able to comprehend complex sentences.
> > > 
> > 
> > I don't know about that.  Having a mental map of sentences may be
> > fundamental to constructing them perfectly, but being able to
> > understand them seems to be a less formal process.  That is, we
> > may have built a diagram subconsciously, but most people don't
> > need to be able to draw that diagram to use the language.
> But the "less formal process", i.e., intuitive mapping without know-
> ing what adjectives, adverbs, participles, etc are is less efficient
> than having formal knowledge (even if that formal knowledge does not
> consist of drawing diagrams).

dude, that "less formal process" is the innate human linguistic
mechanism.  no arguing with that one.  plenty of people understand
sentences just fine every day without ever stopping to consider why --
and much more efficiently, as anyone who's ever been in a syntax class
will tell you!


    .~.      nori @ sccs.swarthmore.edu
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