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[Xmca-l] Re: dappled

We had the exact same realization - before we added a fourth child (she's
an outlier), our son pointed out to us that all three kids had the exact
same three vowels (a, o, i)! This was totally non-intentional on our part
as well. And no, there aren't a ton of a, o, i names out there - something
we discovered with our fourth. (with the fourth, we were running low on a,
o, i girl names since we had used up a third a, o, i girl name with our
third child's middle name; we contemplated "Fiona" but in the end we went
with an a, e, i name that has other poetic resonances with the others even
if it lacks the exact same vowels - that time we did indeed think about it).

I think this points to an important quality of meaning - it is highly
non-intentional in its form and structure.

A second point follows and speaks to Andy's question - the nature of the
structure is not always apparent to speakers but we can nonetheless
reproduce it. We were reproducing a, o, i in names without knowing it.

It is for this reason that we can understand a passage such as this:
"“Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian
generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her
luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting
by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her
aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her
potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to
mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid
delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of
her isolated dominant resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of
calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the
admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when
visible: her attraction, when invisible.” "

Or a phrase like this:
“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.”

Evocative, no?


On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:44 PM, Rod Parker-Rees <
R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:

> This conversation has been playing on my mind - Henry's comments about
> language in the other thread (Fate. Luck , Chance) tied in closely with my
> own ideas about the ways in which language is dappled with varieties of
> knowing. There are meanings which we can be pretty confident most speakers
> of a language will know and recognise but then there are also etymological
> remains which nuance the meaning of some words and word families and then
> there are the 'Bouba' and 'Kiki' effects of connections between the
> physical act of speaking and the felt meaning of sounds/words. What
> particularly interests me is the middle ground of word families which have
> a resemblance which most speakers will recognise but which very few will
> 'Know'.
> Dapple belongs to one such family - words which suggest repetition by the
> addition of the '-le' suffix (spark - sparkle, crack-crackle, drip
> -dribble, dab-dabble) and this family includes words like dapple and
> freckle, drizzle and giggle which are clearly members of the family but
> whose lineage has faded (who knows what a dap, freck, driz or gig might
> be?). I suspect that perished might also belong, at least in part, to a
> family of 'dying fall' words which share the 'ished' ending (finished,
> demolished, extinguished, famished). I tried to think of more positive
> examples but could only come up with 'nourished' (I'm sure I will be proved
> wrong on this!).
> The point is that words have many shades of meaning and association but
> ALL of these depend on the fact that these shades are shared. Some may be
> shared only within a very small group (and than gives them a special
> cachet) such as those which a family preserves from the mis-speakings of
> children. It is the fact that we know that we share our knowledge which
> converts knowing into understanding and I would argue that the knowing
> together aspect of con-sciousness is absolutely essential (our thinking is
> an internalised form of our social interactions and we learn to think
> together in our 'own' heads).
> I was honestly surprised when I realised that all three of my children
> have names which include the same two vowels (my daughter is Sophie) and no
> others. This was not planned, in fact Sophie's name was chosen by her
> brothers (which might explain their preference for a name similar to
> theirs) but this has constructed a family resemblance which doubtless gives
> these vowels a different 'feel' for us.
> I have to say how much I love the thinkles which dapple this forum!
> All the best,
> Rod
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Ed Wall
> Sent: 26 November 2014 03:41
> To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: dappled
> Just a note, the term 'perished silk' is reasonably common term (and
> possibly older than 'perished rubber') although not given space in the OED.
> It refers, it seems, to a sort of worn and faded look.
> Ed
> On Nov 25, 2014, at  8:36 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> > David, thank you very much for your patient and extended response to my
> question. At the very great risk of even further humiliating myself, I want
> to say that you have nonetheless failed to give a satisfactory response to
> my enquiry.
> > Firstly, all the stuff about my name is misplaced. Although there are
> several Andy Blundens around, "Andy Blunden" is a proper noun and is
> therefore not listed in the dictionary any more than David Kellogg or Seoul
> are listed. In the sense in which Vygotsky rightly said "All words are acts
> of generalisation" "Andy Blunden" is not a word; its referent is an
> specific entity. But in any case, my enquiry was meant to be about
> adjectives, not nouns proper or otherwise.
> > As to "dappled" I was gloriously wrong there, but it was "perished"
> which set my mind going  in the first place, and I cast around for other
> examples, and our lovely back garden which has far too many trees for its
> tiny size reminded me.
> > But let me try this single instance, which is after all, all I need.
> > Meaning 2b in the OED of "perished" is "*b.* Of rubber or a similar
> material, or an article made from it: having lost its characteristic
> elasticity and become weak, sticky, etc." dating from 1922. Admittedly,
> meaning 2a is "*a.* Of a material object or organic substance: decayed,
> rotted; damaged, in a poor physical state" dating from 1587. So etymology
> aside, the writers of the dictionary recognise that in 1922 "perished" was
> given a new, specific meaning.which generalises only to the extent that any
> rubber or rubber-like object may "perish."
> > So I fully accept that being a word of the kind I am asking about is
> never going to be a cut-and-dry matter, but it still seems to me that my
> enquiry was not entirely nonsensical. :) It was great how Rod responded,
> because the reflections which led me to ask about it was actually that such
> words have great literary, rhetorical and poetic potential. The Gerard
> Manley Hopkins poem confirmed this in spades, with not only dappled, but
> pied, brindle, fallow, freckled.
> > Perhaps I ought to have phrased my question in terms of adjectives
> which, when used, evoke a specific kind of referent, only implicit in the
> adjective? Remember in West Wing, when the candidate calls his opponent
> "sprightly" - cleverly praising his fitness while reminding us that he is
> an old man. That's what I was interested in.
> > Andy
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >
> >
> > David Kellogg wrote:
> >> So, as Andy must realize by now, his question has to be
> >> de-metalinguist-icized. The original question is, do we linguists have
> >> any meta-linguistic term (that is, a term about terms, a terminology)
> >> to describe the situation where a word has a single, unique referent?
> >>
> >> Before we can answer this (and I'll do my best) we have to determine
> >> whether any such situation ever exists. That is, is there a situation
> >> where a word meaning (which is, Vygotsky tells us, always and
> >> everywhere an act of generalization) has a unique referent? Here the
> >> answer appears to be no, since generalization always presupposes that
> >> you are taking one context of situation and applying it to another.
> >>
> >> You might say that a proper noun like "Andy Blunden" is an exception
> >> that proves the rule--Andy is always Andy, no matter what situation we
> >> put him in, and the longer period of time we take the more general the
> >> generalization "Andy Blunden" becomes. But this is not so, both
> >> externally and internally: externally, speaking of the name in context
> >> as a whole, Andy the supposed Referent of the name changes as he and
> >> we age. Internally, speaking of the structure of the name itself
> >> alone, we notice that "Andy" specifies which Blunden in the Blunden
> >> household we mean.
> >>
> >> This suggests that "Blunden" is more general than "Andy"--and on the
> >> other hand if we google the name we find that in the English language
> >> as a system, "Andy" is far more general than "Blunden". Needless to
> >> say, names and nouns are quite a bit more unique in their supposed
> >> referents than verbs--we have proper nouns which are supposedly closer
> >> to Andy's ideal of a unique referent than common nouns, but there is
> >> no such thing as a proper verb describing a unique and unrepeated
> >> singularity: all verbs are common verbs.
> >>
> >> But we can de-metalinguistic-ize still further. We can ask whether
> >> there is a situation where a word meaning has a concrete referent. Do
> >> word meanings always indicate, not some thing in the world (the sort
> >> of thing that Andy was calling "matter"), but rather some
> >> generalization we make about it?
> >>
> >> Here the answer appears to be yes, but once again it's really a matter
> >> of degree. At one end of language we find grammatical morphemes like
> >> the "~ed" in "dappled" and "perished" are more grammatical than
> >> lexical. That is, they have the three grammatical properties Halliday
> >> calls "closure", "generality" and "proportion". They come from a
> >> closed set of morphemes--a user of English has a lot of freedom, but
> >> those freedoms do not include the freedom to invent a new past tense
> >> morpheme and have it adopted into the language. They are general--you
> >> can apply them to a wide variety of verbs across the system. And they
> >> are proportional, because every time you do this you achieve more or
> >> less the same effect.
> >>
> >> In contrast, you find that the roots of the words "dapple" and
> >> "perish" are more lexical than grammatical. That is, they are not
> >> closed class words--you are free to invent new words and to make big
> >> changes to the pronunciation of old ones, as Gerard Manley Hopkins
> >> reminds us with his use of "sprung rhythm". They are not general; they
> >> apply to much narrower and more local, more restricted situations
> >> (though never unique ones, as Hopkins reminds us insistently with his
> >> use of the plural). And of course they are not proportional--"dapple"
> >> means one thing applied to ponies and another applied to mackerels
> >> (and I find the idea that for Andy the prototypical meaning of
> >> "perish" has to do with rubber tells us rather more about Andy than
> >> about rubber).
> >>
> >> And this is where the thread on "dappled" and "perished" meets the
> >> thread on "Fate, Luck, and Chance", and begins to form some answer to
> >> Vera's and Martin's twenty thousand dollar question on how
> >> consciousness develops. If we go back in time to the moment when Andy
> >> was an infant, we can imagine that Andy engaged in infant activities
> >> like ostension and indication. Because the objects the infant Andy is
> >> picking up and holding are completely new, we can imagine that in his
> >> undifferentiated consciousness they are in fact singularities. He
> >> doesn't use words to indicate them (because in order to do this he
> >> would have to generalize), but his act of picking up and holding do
> >> have unique referents.
> >>
> >> We can't call this consciousness as we know it (which is why we cannot
> >> say that "Andy Blunden" refers to any singular context of situation).
> >> But we can certainly call it consciousness, and we can even see
> >> fossils of this primitive undifferentiated consciousness in Andy's
> >> adult language (e.g. his use of "he he", which is what we call in
> >> Korean "ouiseongeo", that is words that only mean their sounds--Korean
> >> also has a category of "ouitaeeo" which are words that only describe
> >> the sound of the way actions look, such as "hurly burly" or "hanky
> >> panky"). And that, in my humble de-metalinguisticized linguist's
> >> opinion, is the origin of consciousness.
> >>
> >> My original question on Fate, Luck, and Chance was--it seems to
> >> me--related. "Luck" is the way I (as an individual) generalize
> >> unrelated chance events. But "fate" is the way we (as a speech
> >> community) generalize the notion of "luck".
> >>
> >> David Kellogg
> >> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >>
> >> On 26 November 2014 at 01:38, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I am coming late to this, but I think "collocation" would be of
> interest. Wikipedia has some good stuff on that.
> >>> Henry
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> On Nov 25, 2014, at 12:00 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> I have a trivial question for the linguists on this list.
> >>>> Do you have a word for words like "dappled" and "perished" (or dapple
> and perish) which can describe only one thing (shade and rubber
> respectively)?
> >>>>
> >>>> Andy
> >>>> --
> >>>>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> *Andy Blunden*
> >>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
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