Had this discussion moved when a move was first suggested, the likely result is that it would have died. It is not always the case that you find a conversation partner and leave. It is also not always appropriate to collate responses off-list and summarize. It is the diversity and interaction of opinions which creates the value. I was not interested in the debate as originally framed in terms of evidence vs. intuition, but I did think there was an alternative way of interpreting Chomsky's rejection of the phoneme. Yorick Wilks may not have been interested in Chomsky's rejection of the phoneme but he certainly did have things to say about early and later computational linguistics, and was able to greatly help me by directing me to awareness of completeness within generative theory. Mike Maxwell was able to bear out my perspective of "observational insufficiency", and later challenge me with the distinction between syntax and semantics.
John Sowa I think would follow a discussion on the sufficiency of "categories" anywhere, so I don't count you John ;-)
As a crude democracy of attention, the sheer volume of posts the topic generated created value in itself, and caused people to look at the implications for their own interests.
Would Paula Newman have forced me to consider the broader implications of ideas about grammatical incompleteness if discussion had been limited to a smaller group of more technically focused participants, elsewhere?
Anchored by its basis in data, the Corpora list has a unique reach. If we divide it we lose something. I don't think that the cost of a minute effort to ignore what does not interest you is too great. I ignore 99% of the list 99% of the time, while still being glad of the chance to pay attention if I wish. . But perhaps everyone who will consider this particular issue (grammatical incompleteness), has considered it by now. I hope there is no-one who might become interested later who is not equipped to decide if they want to follow it elsewhere.
So since David has offered to host further discussion. As a courtesy, and since, de facto, some of the more interesting discussion has already moved off list as people write to me privately, so the conversation is becoming fractured. I told him I would be happy to cut back my posts to the list, and respond to the questions he asked me only on his bulletin board.
I hope that everyone on the list, whether they can see an immediate relevance or not, will take a look at the discussion there and consider participating. The ideas are of broad relevance for linguistics and particularly for those who use corpora to study language. The conversation will be much richer if everyone joins in.
Of course I can't speak for others. It is just I personally will be giving my posts to the list a rest on this particular topic for the next week or two.
Best to all,
On 9/19/07, Bob Parks <bobp at clarityconnect.com> wrote:
> In the most open minded spirit I can muster, could I suggest that we
> all follow our own lights, and live our credos? For those who feel
> discussions should be taken off line, could they please take that
> discussion off line, to set an example for others? And for those who
> feel open discussion is important - could they please continue to
> participate in the best spirit of their commitment to the advance of
> understanding and courtesy to those who are affected?
> At 6:17 PM +0100 9/18/07, David Brooks wrote:
> >Przemyslaw Kaszubski wrote in (Re: [Corpora-List] corpus linguistics):
> >> Should the practice be established that longer discussions are
> >> supposed to move off to other venues, I would appreciate if
> >> the main discussants informed the subscribers of that.
> >Well, in this instance you are in luck! I have copied the contents of
> >the thread on "corpus syntax (and how we can use it to code meaning)"
> >off the corpora-list to a bulletin board here:
> >It's not ideal because threaded discussions don't view very well, and
> >any technological suggestions would be welcomed (I trialled MediaWiki,
> >and ended up with phpBB2 -- if anyone knows of a threaded BB then let me
> >know and I'll try it out). However, it should be adequate for new users
> >to post, and for discussion to continue. You'll have to register to use
> >I'll try and keep spam(bot) postings to a minimum, but I'm not too
> >concerned with keeping traffic volumes down as I don't really use the
> >main site much at the moment. Anyone with immediate concerns or
> >suggestions should feel free to email me directly. Also, if anyone wants
> >other topics (that perhaps they don't feel were adequately concluded)
> >ported across, I can do this but it takes a little while.
> >I hope this brings peace to those fatigued inboxes, while maintaining
> >the breadth of interest/participation in the discussion!
> >And I'll start it off with a reply to Rob expressing my concerns about
> >corpus syntax...
> >Corpora mailing list
> >Corpora at uib.no
> * The best dictionary and integrated thesaurus on the web:
> * Robert Parks - Wordsmyth - (607) 272-2190
> * "To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life." (LW)
> * "Philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however,
> is to change it." (KM)
> * In communicating - speaking and writing - we create community.
> Through this participation we can hone our words till their meaning
> potential taps into the rich voice of our full human potential.
-------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: http://www.uib.no/mailman/public/corpora/attachments/20070919/b903cde9/attachment.html