[Corpora-List] Stubbs' analogy?

Ramesh Krishnamurthy r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Wed Dec 14 16:34:00 CET 2005

Hi Jörg,

>Could you tell us more about this?

Not a lot, unfortunately, although your question
has prompted me to find out more....*

(I think it was) John Sinclair (who) once
described lexis and grammar as looking at
language through opposite ends of the same telescope...

Somewhere or other, I picked up the idea that if
lexis and grammar were looking at the same
phenomenon (language) from different points of
view, the dichotomy might be similar to one that
has confronted physicists: looking at light as
particle and wave at the same time.

I'm sure this is an ultra-naive understanding on
my part, but if you can help, I'd be grateful.

*e.g. Queen Mary College London (http://www.qmw.ac.uk/~zgap118/1/ etc)
has some information that might help:

Energy and matter we have learnt from Einstein's
theories are analagous, matter can be simply
described in terms of energy. So far we have only
discovered two ways in which energy can be
transfered. These are particles and waves....
Particles are discrete, their energy is
concentrated into what appears to be a finite
space, which has definite boundaries and its
contents we consider to be homogenous (the same
at any point within the particle)... [lexical
item?] Particles exist at a specific location. If
they are shown on 3D graph, they have x, y, and z
coordinates. They can never exist in more than
one place at once... [so "token" rather than "type"?]
Waves unlike particles cannot be considered a
finite entity. Their energy cannot be considered
to exist in a single place since a wave by
definition varies in both displacement and in
time.... In an area of space, unlike a particle,
a wave can propagate until it exists in all
locations and at all times... [grammar?]


At 11:00 14/12/2005, you wrote:

>I also use the 'particle/wave' analogy for the 'lexico-grammar'




>Could you tell us more about this? I have never heard of it.




Ramesh Krishnamurthy
Lecturer in English Studies
School of Languages and Social Sciences
Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
Tel: +44 (0)121-204-3812
Fax: +44 (0)121-204-3766
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