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  1. What do you guys think, where do people get that idea that linguistics is not a real science from? I got into that annoying discussion twice on two different Internet forums by now. http://linguistforum.com/outside-of-the-box/croatian-toponyms/msg27816/#msg27816 https://philosophicalvegan.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4518&start=50 (My nickname there is Teo123.) So, what do you think, where does that idea come from, and how to fight it? I don't know how about you, but that idea sounds insane to me.
  2. Hey, guys! So, I've been thinking about making my own programming language that can be both interpreted and compiled and can run on web. For now, I've just made a web-app that converts arithmetic expressions to i486-compatible assembly and interprets them. http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/compiler.html So, what do you think is the next step? I only have a vague idea of what the syntax should look like right now, I am planning to make it possible to use both S-expressions and infix notation for arithmetic expressions and only LISP-like syntax everywhere else.
  3. Anyway, I contacted Dubravka Ivsic (perhaps the most prominent Croatian linguist these days) via e-mail and posted her replies on the web-page. You can see them by clicking the "show/hide details" links. I've also edited the web-page to present my theory better, perhaps it's a bit easier to understand now.
  4. So, guys, what are your thoughts on Noam Chomsky? Regarding his linguistic work, I am not a linguist, but I happen to know something about linguistics, so perhaps I an have some opinion about that. I don't really see why is he so famous. Linguistics, like any science, should be based on falsifiable theories, and I don't really see what would falsify his theories. Also, his claim that languages are not learned primarily by experience and inductive reasoning, but by some innate linguistics capacity, really bothers me. The simple fact is, a layman who tries to reason about language usually gets things wrong. For example, the names of some Croatian rivers are Krka, Korana, Krapina, Krbavica and Karasica. To a layman, it's very tempting to conclude that there was a language spoken in Croatia in which *kr meant "to flow", yet we have good reasons to think that's not true. That is, "Krapina" and "Karasica" come from Latin fish names "carpa" and "carassius", "Korana" probably comes from the Celtic word "carr" meaning "stone", "Krbavica" was originally probably not a hydronym at all, and "Krka" is of unknown etymology, but almost certainly unrelated to any of those other hydronyms. To a linguist, even if he wasn't aware of the etymologies of those river names, the explanation that *kr meant "to flow" wouldn't seem convincing at all. There are hundreds of hydronyms in Croatia, so an element of two consonants apparently repeating itself in few of them doesn't seem unlikely at all. Also, if there really was such a language, we would expect the suffixes and the root vowels to be the same, or at least coordinated. Yet, we have apparent zero grades of the root yet different suffixes, in "Krka", "Krapina" and "Krbavica". That's really not what we would expect if they come from the same language. Yet, to a layman, it seems tempting to conclude that they do. Maybe even a better example, to a layman, it would seem obvious that the toponyms such as Issa, Balissa, Almissa, Certissa and Iasa are related, when it's linguistically almost impossible that they are. If an element repeats itself at the end of many toponyms, it's much more likely that it's a suffix than that those are compound words. "Issa" and "Iasa" are very unlikely to be related, because what would the change in the root vowel be triggered by, when both the root and the suffix are the same? Why it is like that? It's quite obvious that we are not using some innate knowledge of languages, but that we are using inductive reasoning alone. Chomsky is often credited to be influential in the natural language processing. However, I would argue that the opposite is true. Thinking that it's impossible to acquire grammar through inductive reasoning alone might have even held the research in natural language processing back. As for his political work, I agree with his defense of absolute freedom of speech. However, I don't think he understands economics. In his view, if I correctly understand him, there is no difference between government owning the means of production and one person owning the means of production. He would say that both of them are authoritarian, and that the means of production should be collectively owned, that is, decided about by democratic means. Well, I think there is a huge difference. An individual owning the means of production has an incentive to make informed decisions about them. Government and people participating in the democratic elections? They may also have it, but much less so. I also don't quite understand why exactly he was praising Hugo Chavez. My best guess is that he didn't really investigate what was happening in Venezuela, since what Chavez was doing wasn't quite in line with the Chomsky's political philosophy. In my opinion, it was rather reckless of Noam Chomsky to say those things, since that, without a doubt, had a profound influence on what happened later in Venezuela. Many people took him seriously, and he didn't really know what he was talking about. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
  5. No. So what? Ideas are right or wrong independent of their creators. Me not being an expert in Slavic historical linguistics doesn't mean my interpretations of the Croatian toponyms are wrong.
  6. Though, almost all of those comments mentioned they are not experts in that specialized field.
  7. I've made a thread about my theory on linguistforum.com, and the comments there aren't really so negative. Well, Proto-Germanic was spoken around 500 BC, and Proto-Slavic was spoken around 450 CE. Besides, as far as I know, of the Slavic languages, only the South Slavic languages were ever spoken in Croatia. So, that puts the date even later. If a Croatian toponym really has a Slavic origin, chances are, it would be transparent in modern-day Croatian. Yet the majority of the Croatian toponyms aren't.
  8. Which particular journal do you have in mind? Well, they are mutually intelligible to a much greater extent than, for instance, Germanic languages. Yes, of course there are, but not the vast majority of them, as in Croatia. In Croatia, almost no toponyms make sense to those who speak Croatian, yet mainstream etymology connects them to Slavic roots. What exactly do you not understand? Perhaps I can clarify if you specify.
  9. Does my simulation of an electric field produce convincing results? Why? Why not? How can I improve it? http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/electricity.html
  10. So, what do you think about my alternative interpretation of the Croatian toponyms? http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/toponyms.html I think that knowledge of Croatian isn't necessary to evaluate it, but that knowledge of linguistics is.
  11. For instance, the sound change "'b' between two vowels turns to a 'v'" can be described in JavaScript as, for example: var str="haben" //Or whichever word in a language before that sound change. var regular=/(a|e|i|o|u)b(a|e|i|o|u)/; //In the syntax used internally in some places of the code of the web-game, the character 'V' represents all the vowels. str=str.replace(regular,regular.exec(str)[1]+'v'+regular.exec(str)[2]); See the Part #3 of the web-game, there are some more examples there (using a different syntax for regular expressions, so that they can be both easily generated randomly and converted easily to JavaScript regexp objects).
  12. When it comes to semantics, human languages certainly aren't regular expressions. Regular expressions aren't Turing-complete and human languages clearly are. Human languages probably aren't regular expressions even when it comes to morphosyntax. But, at their core, etymology and phonology, I would argue that they are. Sound changes, for example, are, in principle, exceptionless.
  13. That's not a commercial site, that's my blog. And I don't get payed for people reading it. If I did, I probably wouldn't do it in raw HTML. I'll repost that link: because they'll probably change their rules for me It does. There is the Part #2 and Part #3. And, it's true, Part #1 doesn't really require you to apply linguistic principles, but other parts definitely do that. So, do you agree that human languages are, at their core, regular expressions? Why? Why not?
  14. You've horribly missinterpreted what I was trying to say. I meant to say that it's much better for students to study programming than history or biology, because, when a student reads something about history or biology, he generally has no way to verify if that's true. When one studies programming, it's easy for him to verify that what he learns is true simply by copy-pasting the code examples into the compiler. Even when something he reads about history and biology is true, he is more than likely to misunderstand it. Think of how many times you've misunderstood something about programming, even when you could easily check it using the compiler. And how are the arguments used by the Moon-landing conspiracy theories better?
  15. The critical thinking skills we are taught in schools don't work in real life. We are told not to trust Wikipedia. In reality, Wikipedia is one of the most reliable sources of information on-line. We are being encouraged to study things (like biology or history) we cannot easily verify. In reality, if you try to do that, even if you do come to the truth, you will misunderstand everything. We are told it's important to know how to debate. In reality, debating on Internet forums is usually counter-productive. You can't discuss with someone who values ad-hoc hypotheses over reasoning and experiments. And so on...
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