Linguistics and Numbers

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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby vivian maxine on August 10th, 2016, 7:16 am 

se aproxima un aparato a las cinco" = A machine is approaching at approximately 5:00. As for "se", it depends on whether you want an acute mark above the 'e'. "Ser" = to be. Se has the acute mark. I cannot make it on my machine.

P.S. I forgot this. "Avion" with an acute over the 'o' is "aircraft".
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on August 17th, 2016, 2:44 am 

Thank you very much, neuro and Vivian. Sorry, I was away and didn’t respond earlier, and it isn’t a big deal, just really sharing a fairly tangential train of thought I maybe should have kept to myself, but here it is. My link to this hadn’t worked, I’d been referring to the last translation here which I’ll underline -
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/o'clock
o'clock
ADVERB
1 (time)
it is seven o'clock- son las siete;
it is one o'clock- es la una;
at nine o'clock (exactly)- a las nueve (en punto);
it is just after two o'clock- son las dos pasadas; son un poco más de las dos;
it is nearly eight o'clock- son casi las ocho;
the six o'clock (train/bus)- el (tren/autobús) de las seis;
the nine o'clock news- las noticias de las nueve
2 (Aer) (Mil) (direction)
aircraft approaching at five o'clock- se aproxima un aparato a las cinco

Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

Although English has “O’clock” and uses am and pm, these might not be used all the time, unless there is some ambiguity or when talking to children who are still learning the time, for an amount of distinct emphasis, like “En punto”, or in cases of contextual ambiguity, as in, a spatial rather than temporal usage. I just wondered if there was something like that in Spanish without “O’clock” for instance, and I’ve seen similar, e.g. something like, hold thumb at the 12 hour on the arrow, and here, thank you for your help, there might be some indication of time, with a temporal verb “to be” (Ser) (?), and more vaguely with tense and subject matter that sounds to me to be more like military directions, e.g., “aeroplane approached at five” seems more temporal than “aircraft approaching at five”. (I don’t know Spanish, but also from the link -‘No direct translation for "o'clock" exists in Spanish. Whole hours are referred to simply using the number, so "four o'clock" becomes "las cuatro." Where English uses expressions such as "sharp" or "on the dot" to refer to specific times, Spanish uses "en punto."’)

I wondered more whether using Spanish when talking of time in Badgerjelly’s friend’s language, might be somehow related to a debateable use of numeratives in many languages, especially in the region, for example,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classifier_(linguistics) , “Classifiers are part of the grammar of most East Asian languages”. I’d speculated that changeable sounds which may at times be incorporated into number words in that language in other cases of number usage might be similar too, like isa/isang, but Badgerjelly’s friend will correct me. It just seemed like a nice pattern to suggest considering.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby neuro on August 17th, 2016, 6:51 am 

dandelion » August 17th, 2016, 7:44 am wrote:“aeroplane approached at five” seems more temporal than “aircraft approaching at five”.

I think this may be quite relevant to Badger inquiry.

In Italian we would say "aereo in arrivo alle cinque" (literally an airplane expected to arrive at 5 o'clock) [TIME], but "aereo in arrivo a ore cinque" (literally an airplane approaching at 5 hours) [SPACE].

Although the context might help in solving the ambiguity, when the context is identical we still have, in Italian, two distinct expressions that tell whether we are talking TIME or SPACE.

So, once more I'd suggest that the use of different numerical expressions to indicate time may derive from the fact that we "need" to internally represent time in terms of space (either a line past-present-future or a roundabout for cyclic times such as day, year, seasons), and therefore the numbers related to time become useful place-holders for specific locations (directions) in space: they lose their meaning as "numbers", they play a different semantic role. Thus, it might be useful / reasonable, if you mix two languages in your culture, that one language be used to indicate numbers when they actually represent numbers, whereas the other language be used when numbers play the role of place-holders.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby vivian maxine on August 17th, 2016, 8:54 am 

I hadn't thought of that, neuro - using the numbers to indicate direction (Space). I hear the expression often and know what it means but hadn't thought what it does to language. So we get to English (American English) and say "plane arriving at 5:00". Now is that space or time? Other languages do it more clearly? I must review my Spanish and Welsh - especially Welsh which does many a strange thing. Thank you.

Dandelion, some of your questions/thoughts do relate to simple grammar. E.g.; "Ser" (To be) has quite different spellings depending on person, for example. Other such but this isn't a grammar lesson. I think you did pick up on that. Just confirming.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby vivian maxine on August 17th, 2016, 11:45 am 

dandelion wrote:2 (Aer) (Mil) (direction)
aircraft approaching at five o'clock- se aproxima un aparato a las cinco
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011


Oh! I'd forgotten that. So, they are using reflexive for direction. "Se aproxima". Literally: "It brings itself". Thank you, dandelion, for waking me up.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on August 19th, 2016, 5:45 am 

No really, thank you Vivian, I hadn’t focussed on “Ser” and that contributed a lot that was interesting, I think. From a quick google I’d gathered that “Ser” involves telling time, origins and descriptions that have some durability, and relationships (remembered with the “acronym DOCTOR, which stands for Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Time, Origin, and Relationship”) http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/1000 ... 7bR3_mDFBc . I’ve read suggestions that this is more temporal, whereas another verb to be, “Estar” involves location and more changing actions and descriptions like moods, which could seem more spatial (remembered with the “acronym, PLACE, which stands for Position, Location, Action, Condition, and Emotion”). Ser Viejo means to be old, and Estar Viejo means to look old. I included a question mark because although I read this in some quick google, it seems arguable. I think there may be other ways of looking at these. Given the little I know it seems over-ambitious to guess at this, but I think there may be also something more like “Ser” as more atemporal, hours etc., being not time but an external measurement of it, origins too, may be outside time, and durability and relationship being more of a constant stability than subject to time, while “Estar”, could perhaps involve a moving occurrences, through action and temporary descriptions, regardless of tense. Another google gives mention of Schmidt, 2005, analysing “Ser as atemporal, Estar as having temporal reference.

Could it be that an idea that necessity to internally represent time in terms of space relies on a type of conception of time that is internally represented as space? For example, I’ve mentioned Sinha in this thread and elsewhere here before, and this is another paper, “When time is not space: The social and linguistic construction of time intervals and temporal event relations in an Amazonian culture” http://journals.cambridge.org/action/di ... 0800001058 . Although distantly removed from the region discussed here, it seems an interesting example, as there seem to about four numbers in Amondawa, and past and future are lexicalised, while numbers aren’t integrated with this.

Tagalog numbers seem quite similar to the numbers of other languages around them that have classifiers, like Malay which I think has classifiers for all number use. The numbers seem very similar to those of Malagasy, which acquired classifiers as many in the region did, and have since lost them. There is some controversial research about time conception and Malagasy. Language in Myanmar is said to have classifiers for numbers except for telling the time, because, possibly for things like indicating measuring roles, time-telling may serve a similar purpose as classifiers. This seems like ideas that time measurement logically lies outside time. Some, like Japanese involve two types of classifiers with time, one for counting measures like hours on the hour, and one for counting things like hours from any moment.

Another application of numbers is that in some Asian music notation, which may be relative to percussion intervals, and I find twin tone bells amazing. However, I think pre-Spanish Tagalog music doesn’t involve notation, said to be without repeat performance, and that a performance may be easily extended, but I’m not sure where my reference is.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby vivian maxine on August 19th, 2016, 7:05 am 

dandelion wrote:From a quick google I’d gathered that “Ser” involves telling time,


Interesting that you should say that because I had the same thought. It just seemed more fitting. But, whose to say languages were ever fitting? When I have time, I shall see if I still have a humorous piece about English.

I think you pretty well have the difference between ser and estar pinned down. As I remember, we were taught that ser was used in a more permanent situation while estar was temporary but I don't think that always works out.

Ser identifies something or someone and describes same. It is also used with prepositions. I have no idea why.

Estar shows location, as you said. It is also used with adjectives that are showing a change from what you'd expect. "The snow is red" meaning someone spilled red paint. Snow isn't usually red (except on Pern <g>)

dandelion wrote: Ser Viejo means to be old, and Estar Viejo means to look old.


Ser viejo is a permanent condition. Estar viejo could be temporary based on how the subject feels or is dressed, things that can change. Make sense?

Then there is TexMex - another whole ball game. :-) Tagalog I do not know. Would be interesting to see how it differs. Some day?

Have a good day.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on August 19th, 2016, 8:57 am 

Thank you very much, again, Vivian. That was really helpful, too. thanks :)
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on August 29th, 2016, 5:08 am 

Sorry, the link I gave before was not to a whole article readily available, so I’ll provide another similar paper that I’ve found, from 2014, http://ccl.ht.lu.se/wp-content/uploads/ ... -ANYAS.pdf not that I like all of what is said, but I like a lot of it. It discusses language, number, conceptions of time and space and in this way may be relevant.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby BadgerJelly on September 3rd, 2016, 4:49 am 

Dandelion -

That is the kind of thing I was looking for. Any way I could get access to the paper you couldn't post somehow??

You have not completely hit the nail on the head in reference to what I was looking for but close enough. What would interest me is if some physicist absorbed one of these unique languages to the point of overriding their native tongue and then attempted to answer some questions in regard to their fields of expertise.

Maybe what I was referign to about Tagalog and Spanish is simply too subtle for any kind of investigation. At least you seem to have grasped what I am getting at with numerical representations and how this can alter cognition.

To think purely about geometrical properties we can show certain rules without bothering to create a system involving unitation. With a piece of chalk and length of string we can present geometric truths. The truth to the eye though can never be represented mathematically in numbers only disproven or subtly altered to account for our sense limitation and events that involve illusions.

As neuro pointed out about "absolute" in other thread. The etymology of words can cause a reframing of meaning. The meaning of words and their colloquial use and technical use is something I personally feel needs attention in every walk of life. Sadly I think this is a long hard political struggle for us. No one likes to be told that what they say means something else in the grander scheme of things.

Btw I am going to start looking at objects and referring to them by the number of parts touching the ground.

As an example I may think something like unoquatron to refer to someone sitting "on" an chair with one leg on the floor. I will just start simple first and see how that goes for a month.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on September 3rd, 2016, 12:37 pm 

I’m fairly sure it was freely available somewhere, but haven’t been able to find it again yet, but I think it seemed a little similar to the link linked in the second last post and discussed in the last two posts here-
http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=124&t=27652

On the paper in the post above that you liked, among the things I like about it is that it may involve interpretations. I’ll also include this because it involves a bit of critique- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13452711

I looked at some translations, remembering I don't know either language nor how well the translator works etc., but there seem to be Tagalog words for earlier and later ideas, but the weekday and month words seemed to be borrowed from Spanish, some with changed spellings, which might be a rough guide to check.

Number is philosophically tricky, of course, e.g. allowing a musician, Schnable, to say to Einstein, "For heaven's sake, Albert, can't you count?":) (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/ ... ianreview4 ), but I’ll add some things that may be worthwhile thinking about, like this possibly as a rough guide- http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/201508 ... -can-count , from 2015, including, e.g., wolves while seemingly not dogs show this, although there may be various possible reasons for this.

BadgerJelly » September 3rd, 2016, 9:49 am wrote:I got to thinking about this in reference to Husserl saying that the number 1 is always the same number 1 and that across all languages the concept is identical.


I’ll also mention number in the language, Pirahã, although this may be very debateable, with researcher, Everett, having different views. Pirahã is rather geographically near Amondawa, a small group of speakers and the language has borrowed pronouns from Tupin, which Amondawa belongs with. The language may be hummed, spoken, sung, whistled, etc. in different contexts (https://benjamins.com/#catalog/journals ... ei/details ).

Check this if it is relevant to your querie, but I think involved is a word which may correspond with one object that has been written using same letters (Hoi) but different emphasis as the word which may correspond with “roughly two”. Depending on different accounts, no emphasis or an emphasis earlier in the word seems to distinguish correspondence with “One”, and no emphasis, or occurring later in the word seems to correspond with “roughly two”. The word as it corresponds with one also seems to correspond with numbers up to six and with ideas of few or fewer. With the different emphasis corresponding with “roughly two”, there is also seeming correspondence with numbers from 4 to 10. There is another word again, that corresponds with quantities from 7 to 10, overlapping quantities with the Hoi which corresponds with “roughly two” or “some”. These appear to be the extent of number terms in Pirahã. The similarity of the sounds are interesting, a bit like relying on the sound of one in order to distinguish what the other is when used. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHv3-U9VPAs
Last edited by dandelion on September 3rd, 2016, 1:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby vivian maxine on September 3rd, 2016, 1:05 pm 

dandelion wrote:I looked at some translations, remembering I don't know either language nor how well the translator works etc., but there seem to be Tagalog words for earlier and later ideas, but the weekday and month words seemed to be borrowed from Spanish, some with changed spellings, which might be a rough guide to check.


Dandelion, you remind me of something that might apply to Tagalog. I have no idea how far back Tagalog goes but there were many older cultures that did not tell time by hours at all. I'm sure you are aware of this. They told both daily and yearly time by the sun, moon and certain stars. Could that explain why their hours seem to be an offshoot of Spanish?
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on September 3rd, 2016, 1:27 pm 

Nice thought, Vivian, I'm not sure, there may be other different possible ways different systems could be involved too, and yours is nice to consider.
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Re: Linguistics and Numbers

Postby dandelion on September 4th, 2016, 12:30 pm 

Found it-

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yE1dDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Our+purpose+in+this+paper+is+twofold.+First,+we+challenge&source=bl&ots=vpVEm_1BdB&sig=RNB16UZNo76TdttOGFtRUZ5dT74&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjegoDrkPbOAhUMCMAKHQ70CHAQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=Our%20purpose%20in%20this%20paper%20is%20twofold.%20First%2C%20we%20challenge&f=false




And, sorry about the last sentence of my post prior to the last one, I was thinking of saying something like differences in emphases seem to suggest something of functions, and as well, ambiguities or similarities, echoing something of relationships between numbers, but wasn’t sure about it.
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