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....for one of the researchers who inspired my work in computational modeling of language change, Charles Yang, has read my draft and thought the work was extremely interesting and sensible, while also providing comments that are actually useful. Hurrah!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2003 05:43 pm (UTC)
Tsk, how are you supposed to struggle for acceptance against the preconceptions of an obdurate academic world, having your ideas dismissed by those who fear that they would supercede their own, and eventually have your enduring brilliance recognised in a manner that leads to countless biographies mocking the shortsightedness of those who thwarted you in your rash impetuous youth if Important People go around liking those ideas already?
Oct. 30th, 2003 07:06 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Can you give a brief summary of what said draft is about? I am now interested.
Oct. 31st, 2003 04:04 am (UTC)
Brief Summary
Basically, there are two theories of primary language acquisition which are difficult to prove without copious amounts of empirical data. So, what I did was take a historical language change - the loss of Object-Verb order in Old English - and say, "If I simulate a population of Old English speakers and constrain them with these two theories, is the population still able to support this change in the exact manner that it historically occurred?" If so, that's empirical support. (And, lo, it worked and so it was.) Moreover, a population not constrained by these two theories wouldn't be able to support the change as it historically occurred. So ha.
Nov. 4th, 2003 12:24 am (UTC)
Re: Brief Summary
How can you tell if this is actually happening or not? (I invite the diatribe of how computational modeling of linguistics is accurate.) Is it just "if you do X, then what really happened happens"? Do you ever get what really happened happening by imposing completely bizarre constraints on it? It's neat that your model re-creates reality when you impose the correct constraints on it, and I can see how that would indeed be supporting evidence for your theory.
Nov. 4th, 2003 06:51 am (UTC)
Re: Brief Summary
Actually, at the moment, it rather is like, "If you do X, what really happened happens." The good part is that it seems these are the only constraints that work so far, bizarro or otherwise, because you have a bunch of constraints already from what sort of change it was, etc.

But yeah, a downside is that you don't have absolute proof that things work this way - you can only say they describe the phenomena accurately. (Which is how most science starts, ne?)
Oct. 31st, 2003 07:08 am (UTC)
*cheer* :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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