Rules vs. Lists
vch468d at tninet.se
Sun Jul 6 13:04:34 UTC 2008
Rob Freeman wrote:
> We have to be careful what we regard as "examples". As I
> said to Jouni phonemes should be thought of as classes not
> examples. Similarly "roots", "lexemes", "morphemes" etc.
Well, you have to convince me why example-class is an important
distinction to make here.
I'm sorry if I seem to be running off on a tangent, but I understood the
more-rules-less-examples thing as being about lists of items and the
rules that apply to them, but perhaps you're actually talking about
Still, let me try to retract a bit, just to try to clarify to (for?) myself.
When a language user extracts rules (generalisations) from a series of
utterances, that assumes that the rule-extractor has analysed the
utterances into an abstract list, so that each uttered "Hi!" is analysed
as belonging to a set.
Each generalisation (phones to a phoneme, many uttered "Hi!" to one
abtract 'Hi!') is a rule, of course, but the abstract entities /a/ and
"Hi!" themselves become units of a list on which other rules can apply.
Hence also the rules themselves become members of lists. (Perhaps my
earlier hypothetical example was not 5 items plus 6 rules, but rather 11
items including 6 rules.)
Anyway, is "example" equal to the member of an abstract list ("Hi!"
counts as one) or each uttered word ("Hi!" counts as many)? As a
language user I make generalisations on various levels of abstraction. I
can establish lexemes and phonemes from utterances, but I can also
generalise syntactic ad morphological rules that apply to only certain
classes of words or phonemes (which requires that I have made the
example>class analysis first). So, does the distinction example-class
really matter here?
More information about the Funknet