User talk:The Blade of the Northern Lights

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In support of the Karen National Union and their ongoing struggle against genocide.
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Why do I miss someone I never met?




Reference Errors on 21 July[edit]

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Please fill out your JSTOR email[edit]

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Genie picture[edit]

Sorry about that. The image didn't show up for me when I first visited the article or upon reloading. I even went to the commons to see if the file name had changed. At any rate it seems to work for me now. Thanks for the necessary revert. :) Buddy23Lee (talk) 20:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

For your stunningly comprehensive and conscientious work on Linguistic development of Genie, you win a Hungarian stamp! Genie is of course written up within various surveys of L1A and psycholinguistics, but I've never seen anything anywhere near as ambitious as this. Bravo! -- Hoary (talk) 08:39, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Syntax and grammar[edit]

On this: a problem with linguistics is that, even ignoring merely fringe material, theoretical frameworks can differ so greatly. So I wouldn't be very surprised if there are theoretical frameworks subscribed to by some 21st-century linguists -- people with doctorates in linguistics, teaching linguistics in real universities -- in which "syntax" and "grammar" are more or less as you describe them. (Let's ignore linguists who haven't benefited from advances made in the last half-century, let alone hapless "language mavens" and miscellaneous species of quack.) But to me, your description of "syntax" looks very narrow (though perhaps you're just sparing me talk about constituents, heads/dependents, etc, that you fear I wouldn't understand), and your description of "grammar" looks like a very wide description of inflectional morphology. The least theoretical book about English that comes to hand right now is Huddleston and Pullum's The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language; this large volume starts off by clarifying its scope and intention, and on p.26 baldly states: "A grammar, we have said, is divided into two major components, syntax and morphology." Thereafter, most of this weighty "grammar" is devoted to syntax. (Chapters 18 and 19 are about inflectional and derivational morphology respectively, and the final chapter is about punctuation.)

Just one example of other oddities. In early August Butler wrote to Jay Shurley that Genie was regularly speaking in two-word sentences, and sometimes used two adjacent adjectives to describe nouns, as in "one black kitty". In standard L1 English, "one" definitely isn't an adjective. I haven't read the literature on Genie and am willing to believe that at this stage in her (abortive) acquisition of English it does appear to have been treated as an adjective; but if so, this would merit an explanatory footnote. Did Butler really consider "one black" to be a sequence of two adjectives? Or is it possible that Rymer, whose own article doesn't suggest a linguistics background, simply have the naïve notion that anything you can stick in front of a noun to modify it is an "adjective"?

I could niggle away for hours, I suppose; but luckily for you I have other demands on my time. And I note that you say you're not yet satisfied with the article yourself, so it's probably better for me to keep out of your hair.

And however many the niggles, well done on all the good work. -- Hoary (talk) 00:12, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

More on grammar/syntax, all from pretty neutral sources:
  • ". . . grammar refers to a level of structural organization which can be studied independently of phonology and semantics, and generally divided into the branches of syntax and morphology." (David Crystal, "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics", 6th ed, s.v. "Grammar")
  • "Grammar is concerned with the structure of words (morphology) and of phrases and clauses (syntax)." (Bas Aarts, Oxford Modern English Grammar, p.3)
  • grammar: "1. The system by which the words and morphemes of a language are organized into larger units, particularly into sentences, perceived as existing independently of any attempt at describing it. 2. A particular description of such a system, as embodied in a set of rules. 3. The branch of linguistics dealing with the construction of such descriptions and with the investigation of their properties, conventionally divided into morphology and syntax." (R L Trask, A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics, s.v. "Grammar")
-- Hoary (talk) 05:46, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
No problem; criticism of any sort is always welcome. I'm not in this for some sort of ego boost, it's about writing the best possible article. And thanks for the reading, I'm certainly interested in getting a firmer hold on the subject. I preface everything by saying that I'm a historian by trade, not a linguist, so I'm a lot more at home working on the parent article; although I had some basic understanding of the subject prior to working on these articles, most of it I've learned on the fly. Furthermore, I'm more familiar with the study of the pragmatics of language than theoretical frameworks about the delineation of grammar (I find it much easier to process), so take anything I have to say with more than a pinch of salt.
In addressing the specific example, Rymer is quoting Butler's letter. Rymer today is very knowledgeable about linguistics, but I'm not sure what his level of knowledge was in the early 1990s; his own comments suggest he was fairly new to the field at the time. The trick there would be pointing out that Butler's description isn't really accurate in a linguistic sense without getting into OR territory; no one ever commented on the letter (Rymer just presented it as-is, he didn't critique it at all), so there's nothing specifically disputing Butler's analysis. There's probably a way to do it, I'll see if I can figure something out. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:54, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Now that I reread my comment it seems a bit opaque. What I was getting at was something like -- well, I'll illustrate with a different example. In normal L1A (first language acquisition) of English, we often see utterances such as "All gone sweeties." Somebody who thinks about this a bit (but not enough) may think "Oh, that's an interestingly scrambled version of 'All the sweeties are gone'. She's managed a past participle, but it's all rather scrambled." However, on analysis of the child's other utterances, we see that "all gone" is a more or less fixed formula, and also perhaps that the child never says "No [noun]". Aha! Although "all gone" is a quantifier and a participle in your English and mine (and isn't a fixed formula; we can say "all utterly gone", etc), in the child's English it's much more plausibly analysed as a single word (which we might write "allgone", though NB even in standard English "no one" and "each other" are in reality both single words), and this single word is a quantifier. In a similar way, "one" within Genie's speech might have been knowledgably analysed as an adjective (although I find this very hard to believe). ¶ A sizable chunk of Rymer's book is on view here. Unsurprisingly, it's journalism. Rymer seems to treat linguistics and linguists with respect, but it seems [I confess to skimreading; I may have missed something] he either doesn't know or chooses to pretend not to know that "star" is a common name for the character "*", which is conventionally used to label what's ungrammatical (and not merely unidiomatic or semantically strange). If he's just trying here to be amusing, fine, but I do wonder if he's up to speed on linguistics. (In the book's prefatory acknowledgments he doesn't obviously credit anybody with linguistics-related copyediting.) -- Hoary (talk) 07:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, like I said his acquaintance with linguistics at the time seems to have been less than it is now (although to be fair, he did better than Natalie Angier's horrific New York Times review; at least he wasn't outright misunderstanding Chomsky's theory, he did a good enough job of explaining that). He's written a few articles for NatGeo on dying languages in recent years, they're journalism as well but do show somewhat better understanding than his book on Genie. Anyways, what you're saying above does make a little more sense. I did tweak the wording in the article to show that it was Butler (who was a special education teacher, and had no specific expertise in linguistics) describing it as such, I have to agree with your analysis of it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:03, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Prem Rawat[edit]

Hello Blade. It is coming up to 2 years since you topic banned me from these articles. While I have some sympathy for your "nuclear" approach to a very divisive subject, it does not seem to have produced much in the way of results. As you say above it's about writing the best possible article. Neither of the two main current editors are native English speakers and they don't seem to have much access to newer sources. So the main article is now quite stilted in style and still not very informative on the subject. To save me the bewilderibng experience of appealing yet again (this time it would be for a recount of the vote last time) would you care to reinstate me now? Thank you for your consideration. Rumiton (talk) 09:25, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Sunday August 17: NYC Wiki-Salon and Skill Share[edit]

Sunday August 17: NYC Wiki-Salon and Skill Share
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You are invited to join the the Wikimedia NYC community for our upcoming wiki-salon and knowledge-sharing workshop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

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WP:JSTOR access[edit]

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Sunday August 24: Westchester County Edit-a-thon[edit]

Please check it out, and sign up if you can come: Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC/Westchester.--Pharos (talk) 12:23, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

AE appeal[edit]

I have started an appeal at Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment to lift my topic ban.[1]MOMENTO (talk) 23:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Revert[edit]

Blade, I reverted a banned user here earlier, even though their message was ok. Perhaps I should not have done but they've been the subject of various SPIs and ANI threads etc over the last few days because of their repeated avoidance of the ban. You might want to make clear to your stalkers whether or not you would prefer any further messages from that banned user to appear here. - Sitush (talk) 17:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

No problem; I'm a proponent of "banned means banned", and I'm capable of looking through page histories. I did see the comment, it wasn't unreasonable, but given the situation there it makes sense to try to keep a lid on things as much as possible. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:26, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 25 August[edit]

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Reference Errors on 29 August[edit]

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September 2014[edit]

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Reference Errors on 14 September[edit]

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October 2014[edit]

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You've got mail![edit]

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No rush, nothing serious. Church Talk 04:11, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

You have one more.--Church Talk 01:51, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Just a poke in case you didn't see. No rush :)--Church Talk 20:52, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, sorry about that. I'll get on it in just a few minutes. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:55, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
No Worries, like I said it's no rush. Take your time.--Church Talk 21:37, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Protection[edit]

Hi Blade, if/when you have a moment would you please take a look at List of Scheduled Tribes in India. I'm being driven daft there by anons adding unsourced stuff. - Sitush (talk) 10:20, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

What a mess! Indefinitely semiprotected, and if it gets too crazy on the talkpage I'll lock that down for a while too. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:51, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I doubt there will be a problem on the talk page. That is one of several lists that I didn't even want to exist: I knew what would happen and I also pointed out that the grand idea of linking the contents to specific caste/tribe articles wouldn't work. It is pretty much an orphan that aggregates information freely available on official websites. But we have it and so have to make the best of a poor job. - Sitush (talk) 20:55, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
The deletion of List of Indian castes gave me some fleeting hope that a common sense approach to this would prevail, but that obviously hasn't been the case. I'd be in favor of preemptively semiprotecting all of these types of lists, as I'm about 100 percent sure the edit histories are all jumbled messes like this one. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:58, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
That one ended up being moved to Warden's userspace. As is common, he did nothing with it. I'm not sure if he has gone completely (I have a vague idea he CHUS'd) but given that it is a userfied AfD with no real work done since, it probably should go. - Sitush (talk) 21:04, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing it'd be deleted, but I'm sure an MfD would be contentious to say the least. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Precious[edit]

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courage
Thank you for quality admin work, not afraid of a difficult category, and for supporting your peers, - you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:33, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Two years ago, you were the 299th recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:19, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 12 November[edit]

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Thursday December 4: NYC Wiki-Salon and Skill Share[edit]

Thursday December 4: NYC Wiki-Salon and Skill Share
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Reference Errors on 4 December[edit]

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2015 already[edit]

Hi Blade. No frills - just a quiet ‘’all the best’’ to you for 2015 and I hope you’ll continue to be around on Wikipedia for a long time to come. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:06, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

And I hope all the same for you. Your work is much appreciated. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:44, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Happy New Year The Blade of the Northern Lights![edit]

An old SPI[edit]

If you recall[2], sock of Highstakes00, I would like to know if you are interested in discussing his recent case of socking. Thanks. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 05:20, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 22 January[edit]

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