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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Fasulye
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 Message 1249 of 3959
19 August 2009 at 10:42pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I don't feel that I have languages that in se are declarative and others that are procedural - which could be the outcome if it was important how the different languages were learnt in the first place. For me it is simply a question of level: at a certain stage a certain language functions at a certain level of automation, and the better you are, the more of the language has been automated, leaving time for thinking about the content.


Iversen, I am not familiar with these technical terms. Could you please define what a "procedural language" and what a "declarative language" is?

Fasulye
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Iversen
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 Message 1250 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 1:51am | IP Logged 
It is not two kinds of languages, but two sides of each and every language.

According to this model declarative elements are those that can't be derived from other things, - i.e. wordstems, irregular verbal forms, unpredictable but fixed combinations (such as verb + preposition in English) and probably also idiomatic expressions and quotes.

Procedural elements are those that can be derived through automatized rules, - and these are everything from regular verbal forms to complete sentences. So in a sense you can say that you memorize the chunks of a language with the brain structures that deal with declarative elements (and these include the wellknown Hippocampus), and then you apply some regular rules to them using the brainstructures that deal with procedural elements (including Broca's area - Wernicke's area isn't mentioned in the article).

However the border between the actual language elements in these two groups is more fuzzy than the article suggests. For instance etymological residues, partly irregular derivation and inflexion and mangled expressions are all a fact of life for a language student. This also applies to the happy feeling that everything gets more and more automated the better you know a language. Ironically native speakers don't inflect as much as beginners according to some studies, - instead they remember each verbal form as a separate entity because they have seen it so many times before. But as a general rote memorization becomes less and less important for the learning process, and derivation - including the formation of complete sentences - take over.

Another link to the article : http://www.psy.ed.ac.uk/research/lang/lprg/Ullman2001.pdf


Edited by Iversen on 20 August 2009 at 10:50am

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Iversen
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 Message 1251 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 9:19pm | IP Logged 
GR: Σήμερα προσπάθησα να μάθω αν είναι εύκολο ή δύσκολο να διέλθει το σύνορο μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Αλβανίας. Είναι εύκολο να λάβει το πλοίο από την Κέρκυρα στο Sarande, και φαίνεται να υπάρχει πούλμαν από (ή μέσω) την Ιωάννινα στην Αλβανία. Το πρόβλημα είναι ότι θα προτιμούσα τα ανατολικά σύνορα, αλλά δεν φαίνεται να υπάρξει δημόσιες μεταφορές πάνο στο σύνορο εκεί. Θα πρέπει να ερευνήσει όταν έχω έρθει στην Φλώρινα.

RO: Prima parte a mea itinerar este fixat: eu plec cu trenul de Bucureşti la Porţile de Fier, unde am o noapte la un oraş cu numele "Drobeta Turnu Severin" (!), unde trebuie să visitez "Muzeul Regiunii Porţilor de Fier". De acolo va continua la Timişoara, unde din păcate am doar o singură noapte. De acolo pe la Belgrad cu un tren de dimineaţă.

SER: У Београду, тамо је карневал бродова за време моје посете. Од Београда до Солуна возом.

GR: Στην Ελλάδα θέλω να παραμένω μια νύχτα στη Θεσσαλονίκη, και τότε θα τρέξω στη Φλώρινα και την Καστοριά. Η περιοδεία τελειώνει στα Τίρανα.

--------

These are my plans for the next trip: I'll be travelling by train from Bucureşti to the 'Iron Gate', a place where Donau is squeezed into a narrow gorge, and here I have reserved a room in a town called "Drobeta Turnu Severin". Then I go to Timişoara (where the uprising against Ceaucescu started) and onwards to Beograd, where my visit is timed to coincide with a 'Boat carnival' (whatever that is - I found it on the internet while looking to Serbian texts). From Beograd to Thessaloniki by night train, and after that a few nights in Flroina which is very close to the Albanian border. The problem is that I have grave doubts about transport into Albania. I'll have to ask the locals when I get there, and otherwise it may be possible to cross the border to the North of Ioannina, or even go to Corfu which has an excellent ferry connection to Saranda. Because I don't know where I enter Albania I can't fix my first night(s) in Albania, but I will end my journey in Tirana.

There are a couple of linguistical problems involved in such an itinerary, - first and foremost that I don't speak Albanian, not much Greek, even less Serbian, but at least basic Romanian. And I can't carry my usual arsenal of dictionaries and grammars so it will to some extent be "swim or drown" (or speak English, which is humiliating). I may be listening more than speaking. I will try to write in this log if I can find some suitable computers (i.e. NOT Cyrillic and NOT Greek keyboards!). And insofar I can find scientific or touristical magazines in the local languages I'll of course buy them.

Edited by Iversen on 20 August 2009 at 10:15pm

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Felipe
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 Message 1252 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 9:30pm | IP Logged 
Esp: Ya sabrás que estoy estudiando rumano otra vez. Al leer esto me di cuenta de que lo entiendo más que antes, pero aún así, no lo puedo hablar. Con el tiempo voy a escribir en mi propio log multilingüe y aquí en rumano. Por cierto, buen viaje.
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Iversen
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 Message 1253 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 9:34pm | IP Logged 
Gracias.
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Fasulye
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 Message 1254 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 9:52pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
There are a couple of lingustical problems involved in such an itinerary, - first and foremost that I don't speak Albanian, not much Greek, even less Serbian, but at least basic Romanian. And I can't carry my usual arsenal of dictionaries and grammars so it will to some extent be "swim or drown" (or speak English, which is worse). I may be listening more than speaking. I will try to write in this log if I can find some suitable computers (i.e. NOT Cyrillic and NOT Greek keyboards!). And insofar I can find scientific or touristical magazines in the local languages I'll of course buy them.


Hmmmmmmm, scientific magazines in Serbian and Albanian? Sure you can read and understand them in Romanian and Greek. I think, it's more meant as an inspiration for the future than that you could understand them right now. As I am collecting the Turkish magazine "EKIN", which is on sale in Venlo, but I haven't the language level yet to benefit from it.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 20 August 2009 at 9:58pm

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Iversen
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 Message 1255 of 3959
20 August 2009 at 9:59pm | IP Logged 
Well, I have already read articles from the internet in Serbian about astronomy and medicine and other subjects, - although I do cheat: I have a Google translation, but I can see that I'm getting closer and closer to being able to understand the content without looking at the translation. After all the languages in popular scientific articles is full of international loanwords, which makes them much easier to deal with than ordinary literature. If you want some really comprehensible input, then try nuclear physics!

On my night table (which is in fact a common chair) I have a number of printouts of such articles, so I can follow my daily progress rather closely. And as you may have noticed above I have just concocted my first two sentences in Serbian (though admittedly very simple Serbian). So far just an experiment, but there will be more later.

Edited by Iversen on 20 August 2009 at 10:05pm

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Lingua
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 Message 1256 of 3959
21 August 2009 at 10:10am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I would like to draw the attention to an article called "A neurocognitive perspective on language: The declarative/procedural model".

The main point in this article is that "Language depends on two mental capacities: a memorized 'mental lexicon' and a computational 'mental grammar'.


This model fails to account for the idiomaticity of language. To account for this a model must rely less on syntactic computation and allow a much larger role for stored (i.e."memorized") "chunks" of language.


"The growth of corpus linguistics (see McCarthy 1998: Chapter 1 for a brief
historical sketch) has convinced linguists that vocabulary is much more than
the ‘unordered list of all lexical formatives’ which Chomsky (1965:84) referred
to it as. Pioneering studies of large corpora by linguists such as Sinclair (1991)
have shown lexis to be a far more powerful influence in the basic organization
of language and of meaning than was ever previously conceived. Corpora reveal
the regular, patterned preferences for modes of expression of language users
in given contexts, and show how large numbers of users separated in time and
space repeatedly orient towards the same language patterns when involved in
comparable social activities. Corpora reveal that much of our lexical output consists
of multi-word units; language occurs in ready-made chunks to a far greater extent than could ever be accommodated by a theory of language insistent
upon the primacy of syntax."

http://www.cambridge.org/elt/touchstone/images/pdf/Explorati ons.pdf



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