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Language Log

Thursday, May. 04, 2006 - 8:19 a.m.

Oh, well, I alternatingly seethed and bemoaned for a day, but now I'm mostly okay, although harboring a deep resentment, of course.

Not that other people don't deserve funding, of course, but it seems like a really dumb strategy on the part of the department. But then, this is a department of dumb strategies, if you can even call them strategies, which implies a level of thought and analysis that I just don't think is there. My favorite part was where he assured me that the decision had nothing to do with my classroom performance. "Don't worry-- this isn't based on merit at all!" Oh, well. In that case, it's all right then. As long as we're clear that I totally deserved it and just randomly didn't get it, because you want to pay for another crop of students who will go through coursework and then drop out, rather than funding people who you have good reason to believe are actually going to finish. Fund them till their done with coursework, then remove funding so most of them quit the program. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Oh, well. I turned in The Paper yesterday. It feels good, but not as good as I had imagined it would. Nothing in the way of my academic life feels secure just now, since what one deserves is so clearly divorced from what one gets, at least in this department. I mean, you expect that in normal life, but. Well, one just hopes that when it comes to one's studies, it would be a little less random. So, given that it is random, I don't know what to expect. I did my best, that's all I can say. But it's a syntax-semantiky paper on Swahili submitted for approval to one person who doesn't like syntax/formal semantics, and another who isn't interested in language description. Let's hope they focus on the parts they do like rather than on those they don't.

Inshaallah.

Oh yeah, and I was all wrong about my analysis of Swahili object markers. They don't indicate telicity at all, it really just is specificity. Which is kinda weird in and of itself given how nicely the theories out there predicted that there should exist the effects I thought I found. So, why don't they? I'm mostly just confused now, but either way there's still an acquisition problem there to look at. A little minor adjusting ought to get me back on track. I guess that's the good thing about acquisition research--- there is ALWAYS an acquisition problem.

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