[Smt-talk] One thought on Language Use (was: Two thoughts on Normal Form)

Salley, Keith ksalley at su.edu
Tue Sep 11 13:16:33 PDT 2012

Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue" really gets into this issue in English.
For anyone who wrestles with these ideas, it's worth a read(ing).

On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 10:39 AM, Dmitri Tymoczko <dmitri at princeton.edu>wrote:

> On Sep 7, 2012, at 10:38 AM, art samplaski wrote:
> > "Transition" is a NOUN, ladies and gentlemen.
> I have two things to say about this, one frivolous and one serious.
> 1. (Frivolous)  For those who are interested in issues of prescriptivism
> and language change, I heartily recommend the blog "Language Log," run by
> my friend Mark Liberman (with the help of many very smart contributors).
>  Mark recently wrote the latest in a long series of posts on "verbing."
> (The name originates with Calvin's memorable remark to Hobbes: "verbing
> weirds language").
> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4161
> It's interesting how these complaints from 1917 echo Art's complaints
> about the verb "transition" (which sounds fine to me), though with respect
> to words which have now been completely assimilated (e.g. the noun "urge").
> Mark was kind enough to send me examples of verbal "transition" from
> Science magazine, a recent presidential speech, the New York Times, and the
> New Yorker, which I will happily provide (off list) to anyone who is
> curious.  The usage originates around 1975, which means it is just shy of
> the 50 years generally needed for full acceptance (according to Mark).
>  "Younger" people (like, I suppose, me) will have been hearing it all our
> lives, while older folks may still find it unfamiliar.
> Also of interest is his recent post on "chord" vs. "cord," which have
> actually switched meanings -- "cord" comes from "accord" while "chord"
> comes from "chorda" yet we now use "cord" to mean "rope" and "chord" to
> mean "accord"!
> 2. (Serious) We all have intuitions about what is and is not acceptable in
> language.  Mostly these are reliable, but not always.  The same is true in
> music.  Some people find "I-ii-I6" to be a standard common-practice
> progression, others don't.  The goal of corpus-based approaches, in both
> linguistics and music, is to actually *check* these intuitions against real
> data.  The results can often be surprising.
> DT
> Dmitri Tymoczko
> Professor of Music
> 310 Woolworth Center
> Princeton, NJ 08544-1007
> (609) 258-4255 (ph), (609) 258-6793 (fax)
> http://dmitri.tymoczko.com
> _______________________________________________
> Smt-talk mailing list
> Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
> http://lists.societymusictheory.org/listinfo.cgi/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org

Keith Salley
Coordinator of Music Theory
the Shenandoah Conservatory
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120911/e32d6967/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list