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Language Log

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 - 6:43 a.m.

I'm in two reading groups this semester-- one is the regular old syntax group (we're reading Jackendoff and Culicover, lots of history of generative syntax and then a proposal to make it simpler. What, it needs to be simpler?) and the other is the Noun and Verb reading group over in psychology. I'm very excited about that one, and sort of scared. I think I will probably be the only generativist there. It will be good, though. I don't want to be one of those researchers who willfully misunderstands arguments and spends a career disproving straw men. I think they have a few straw men of their own over in psychology, too. "Hey," I'll say, "but what about these nifty and obscure semantic effects? Do that with verb islands, buster!" Or, "But the real universalist theory doesn't even make that prediction." I'll probably embarrass myself week after week.

I had to re-steep yesterday's tea leaves this morning because I'm out of fresh and the order hasn't arrived. It's actually much better than I thought it would be.

We bought paint to paint the living room with this weekend before the new entertainment center arrives. A mossy green for the walls and goldish yellow for the trim. Hooray, painting.

A student of mine questioned an analysis of the prof's in class, and asked me about it afterward since he gave such an inadequate defense of his position. Truly devoid of argumentative worth. I think she's actually right, though not much hinges on it. But I don't want to disparage the prof by saying so. I have to figure out how to be diplomatic.

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