Semantic prosody lesson needed?Actually I was meaning to type 'dribble', to link back to 'drool', but now that you've bought it up, what's so unforgivably nasty about 'drivel'?
Here's the bit that I was thinking of specifically, from that paper of Beaugrande's:fluffyhamster wrote:I suggest you try to get hold of Corpus-based Language Studies: An Advanced Resource Book (McEnery et al, Routledge 2006) for the paper it contains by Robert de Beaugrande, in which he defends empiricists from...
The McEnery book only quotes from the beginning of the paper until the end of the above excerpt. You can read the paper in its entirety at:Another of Widdowson’s polarities we might deconstruct is the one between ‘knowledge’ in ‘the mind’ versus ‘behaviour’, the latter term perhaps reminding language teachers of behaviourist pedagogy and Skinnerean behaviourism.5 But linking a large corpus with behaviour and behaviourist methods would be flawed for at least two reasons. The more obvious reason is that the behaviourist ‘audio-lingual’ method with its pattern drills and prefabricated dialogues was based on mechanical language patterns more than on authentic data; it equated language with behaviour in order to reduce language, whose relative complexity it could not grasp, to behaviour, whose relative simplicity seemed ideal for ‘conditioning’, ‘reinforcement’ and so on; and the method was backed up by heavy behaviourist commitments with in general pedagogy and by the prestige and authority of American military language institutes, where ‘drills’ are literally the ‘order of the day’. Nor does Sinclair advocate a teaching method whereby learners parrot back corpus data; on the contrary, he has expressly counselled against ‘heaping raw texts into the classroom, which is becoming quite fashionable’, and in favour of having ‘the patterns of language to be taught undergo pedagogic processing’ (1996).
The more subtle reason is that corpus data are not equivalent to ‘behaviour’ in the ‘externalised’ sense which Widdowson’s polarities imply and which is often encountered in discussions of pedagogy, e.g., when a ‘syllabus’ ‘identifies’ ‘behavioural skills’ (Sinclair 1988: 175). Instead, they are discourse, and the distinction is crucial. External behaviour consists of observable corporeal enactments, of which the classic examples in behaviourist research were running mazes, pulling levers, and pressing keys. Discourse is behaviour in that externalised sense only as an array of articulatory and acoustic operations, or, for written language, of inscriptions and visual recognitions; and no one has for a long time — certainly not Sinclair — proposed to describe language in those terms, nor does a corpus represent language that way. When discourse realises lexical collocability and grammatical colligability by means of collocations and colligations, the ‘performed’ continually re-specifies and adjusts the contours of the ‘possible’. In parallel, ‘knowledge’ in ‘the mind’ decides the significance of the ‘behaviour’. Sinclair’s true position is that these operations are far more delicate and specific than we can determine without extensive corpus data. Moreover, analysing corpus data is less equivalent to observing behaviour than to participating in discourse.
Ideas have consequences. One group thinks that logic uses language as a tool to express its own [i.e., logic's] entity. The other group thinks that language itself — through culture and interaction, etc. — forms our logic and thoughts, which don't have their own entity apart from language. Why is that attractive to some people? Because if logic were an entity on its own with no human power — i.e., language — to form it, then that gives credence to the idea that there is right or wrong and that one carves a path to that which is right through the function of logic, which can't be easily manipulated by humans through words, and so becomes immoveable. Inherent in the concept of logic is truth. Those whose positions end up on the "wrong" side of the coin when logic is applied will naturally be attracted to theories that downplay the concept of innate, immoveable logic and that give credence to fluid, evolutionary relativism. Theories asseverating that words are superior to, mold, and give rise to logic will win their respect.fluffyhamster wrote:But I suppose we could still ask why Chomsky seems to consider (or why anyone would consider) it so awful that we be products of our cultures as much if not moreso than our genes (regarding the language(s) that we come to speak in our lifetimes).
In case anyone's confused, this isn't Ayn Rand's sentiment. She's demonstrating how governments can go amuck embracing and honestly following the train of this kind of thinking — which she despises — to their natural end...or one of their natural ends. Ideas have consequences.Genius is a superstition, Jim...There's no such thing as the intellect. A man's brain is a social product. A sum of influences that he's picked up from those around him. Nobody invents anything, he merely reflects what's floating in the social atmosphere. A genius is an intellectual scavenger and a greedy hoarder of the ideas which rightfully belong to society, from which he stole them. All thought is theft. If we do away with private fortunes, we'll have a fairer distribution of wealth. If we do away with genius, we'll have a fairer distribution of ideas.
It was actually in the works, maybe in the 70s (she died in 1982). She was very implacable: she wanted to make sure her philosophy shined in the movie, and that they didn't just show the plot. Because she was so unwielding, I think the producer decided to do away with the project or something. So they couldn't do anything until she was dead, I guess. Another of her famous novels, The Fountainhead, was made into a black-and-white movie in 1947. It contained important philosophical speeches, and the director at that time worried that audiences couldn't bear or handle it. I loved that courtroom speech: it was the best part of the movie for me. I wish she were directing the upcoming movie. I'm afraid Hollywood will put more emphasis on plot than philosophy.metal56 wrote:If it was the most popular novel of that century, why did they wait so long to turn it into a movie?
That designation of the dialogue would be correct. That was what she (and Chomsky) were fighting at that time — and more successfully in the USA. She wrote the novel in 1957. During this period, (before Reagan's denunciation of the evil empire), many American intellectuals were admiring the communist Soviet models (and the socialist German model previously). Of course Ayn Rand herself isn't behaviorist; she's just showing dialogue of people spouting off that philosophy because she saw it around her every day, and it still exists today, uncomfortably common — though not as popular as it once had been.Sounds like a Behaviourist writer.
My opinion of most of Hollywood actors' and actresses' personal philosophy and life isn't very high. My point was only to show that it won't be some little unheard-of, documentary-like movie no one ever watches. It's influence and reach could be significant.Stephen Jones wrote:The fact that jotham thinks it significant that a piece of cultish rubbish should be starred in by the leading PR man for an even more rubbishy cult, founded by another second-rate novelist, tells us quite a lot.