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Any excuse not to work - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Any excuse not to work [Nov. 28th, 2005|05:24 pm]
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[mood |curiousinquisative]

Over the last while, I've been doing formal syntax, and unlike pretty much the rest of the class, I like it. It's a lot of formal linguistics and the like. Regular grammars and languages, and context free languages/grammars etc. And to be honest, I think it's rather cool. I remember when Dunnion mentioned it was actually an actual field of study, I thought "Oooh, that's cool."

I think that overall, I like languages. I don't particularly want to study literature in a language, but to actually study the languages. I know that it can be argued that you can't actually appreciate a language until you see how others use it to portray delicate and powerful messages in the spoken and written word, but I want to see something baser to the language. How it actually works, how you define valid rules to make a language etc. That's potentially quite nerdy.

There again, I do also like the actual inflections and uses of a word. I was thinking about the Irish for ghost, púca (pr - p(h)ooka)- there's something more than just 'ghost' to it. It's got more mischief. It's got more of a flowing feel to it. It feels more like it could *pop* in and out of existence. There's something just puckish to it (ignoring that I just used an adjective that has nearly the same root to it). And there are similar feels to other words like "glic" which means smart, but not in a clever/intelligent way, but more in a foxish and savvy way.

What I REALLY wanna do is create a little test for people. I want to take some people who are English speakers - possibly born and bred in England, so that they don't have any home influences - and then give them a number of words from different languages for roughly the same thing. I mean, puca, means ghost, but in a certain way, just as glic does, so not everything translates directly. But it's that quality that I'd love to explore. Do people get the inflections and the roots even if they don't know the language? If they hear it spoken by a native speaker, can they get the idea of what that particular inflection is. Or simply, which do they like best? It'd be interesting to also correlate it to some basic personality tests, either Big 5 or some other fairly standard personality test.

Meh, not going to touch it in this degree. Gotta finish this one first :)