Re: [xmca] Inside Outside

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Wed Apr 02 2008 - 20:46:33 PDT

Welcome back, Mike!
  I think part of the confusion comes from a difference in PURPOSE. You want to see the Russian Civil War as an analogy for the developmental crisis. (I can actually think of better analogies: Caravaggio, Rembrandt, the Black Panther Party, etc.) I want to see the Russian Civil War as the concrete context in which LSV experienced Marxism, as a living and deadly reality with direct implications for the immediate future rather than simply a guide to history.
  The physical presence of foreign troops on Soviet soil was certainly real enough. Interestingly, it was the WESTERN allies who saw the allied expeditionary forces as outside interventions. Churchill said that Bolshevism had to be strangled in its cradle. Baron Wrangel organized his legionnaires according to the country they came from and the language they spoke. In Seattle there was a general strike which successfully blocked Woodrow Wilson's dispatch of arms for Vladivostok.
  If tomorrow morning fourteen countries landed Arabic-speaking expeditionary forces in and around California in support of embattled Muslims, I doubt very much if the LA Times would talk about outside help arriving for a locally led movement. Yet that is how the Russian government, under the influence of Marxism, chose to see the matter and portray it in the papers, papers which LSV must have read. (I still have this idiotic idea that if I read everything that LSV ever read I will be able to think everything that he thought.)
I don't think I ever said that Wolff-Michael overgeneralized his results from Praat. But it seems to me that the reality of language is VARIATION and not SYSTEMATIZATION, even as a system of words and rules it is over-free rather than overdetermined. This is nowhere so true as in intonation.
  Even fairly coarse generalizations such as "yes-no questions tend to come up" and "wh-questions tend to come down unless they are requests for confirmation" fall apart very easily (think of Irish intonation). I don't think it's the case that we can simply "read off" an emotion from an intonation; intonation has a quite mutable relationship to both temporal and spatial context. Intonation is not like grammar or vocabulary; it's more like proxemics and eye-contact. Intonation was what Wittgenstein must have had in mind when he said that to mean something was to go up to somebody and tap them on the shoulder (Philosophy of Grammar).
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Wed Apr 2 20:48 PDT 2008

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