Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Andrew Spencerism

Which is also probably only amusing if you are a linguist, sorry.

"No one has a half-way decent theory of semantics for us to interface with: you just get things in capital letters, or endless strings of lambdas to do with donkeys."

(It feels very wrong to blog about someone when they are sitting less than five metres away. I came in to class an hour early to feed my internet addiction; so, apparently, did he.)

4 Comments:

peterxyz said...

maybe he came in early to catch up on your blog :P

StyleyGeek said...

Now there's a scary thought :)

I hope he doesn't google himself in the near future.

wolfa said...

But -- but -- it's not TRUE. It *is* true that no one has a decent theory of semantics that interacts easily with Chomskyan syntax while being neither absurdly powerful nor absurdly meaningless, but one could argue it's not the semanticists' fault . . .

StyleyGeek said...

Never fear, he was even ruder about syntacticians :)

I don't know enough about semantics to know exactly what he would criticise, and he didn't elaborate, but I do suspect that what he views as a general failing of semantics is more about semantics not having goals or functions that precisely mesh with his goals for morphology or the functions that end up "left over" after his model accounts for what it can handle.