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About sazz

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  • Location Texas
  • Interests Languages, linguistics, literature, reading, books, raising children, philosophy.
  1. I am in the humanities. I don't know that job candidates put their GPA on CVs (?) but I guess I could ask about it.
  2. I am new to the American university system and have been wondering about this question. The context is that I am trying to finish my Phd as quickly as possible. I have to take a mandatory number of courses before I can advance my candidacy. Therefore I would like to do as many courses as I can in as short a time as possible. Of course, this will mean that the final grades for each course may not be as high as if I had spent more time on each one. Note that I am talking about a B-B+ average instead of an A average. So I would like to know if that will make a difference when one is in the job market, especially in academia. My thinking is that other considerations such as your dissertation and publishing record, are more important. Any thoughts? Thanks
  3. What is grammar?

    It depends somewhat on what you mean by subject/predicate. Strictly speaking, subject should equate to allowing only certain parts of speech to act as subject, eg nouns, noun phrases and predicate is headed by a verb or a verbal phrase. In the topic/comment type languages, there are far fewer restrictions or rules. Arabic (and the Semitic languages in general) has been influenced by thinkers who were exposed to the explicit idea of subject/predicate and are fairly 'Western' as languages go, so I am not surprised that there is a tremendous amount of evidence of subject/predicate. Also, a language that has been studied and has a literary and intellectual history also helps to shape it so that it works much more clearly and precisely. I have worked in academic linguistics for some time. My research does seem to indicate that as a culture becomes more sophisticated, you do find a tendency for the language to show evidence of development of a stricter sense of subject/predicate regardless of exposure to Western languages. For example, Mandarin which is the Chinese dialect that has been developed the most as the dominant language of literature and learning shows more evidence of having strict subject/predicate rules than do other dialects which are largely spoken. If you trace through its history, you can literally see the development. Whilst there are many problems with academic linguistics, these sorts of problems are very real. During fieldwork, when I encounter a language that has not really been studied, one of the first tasks is to work out the conceptual units, eg parts of speech, how propositions are made etc as I cannot consult a grammar book for help. It is not automatic that all propositions are represented by the unit 'sentence'. It is also not clear that every word fits neatly into a readily identifiable part of speech.
  4. Hi I am looking for educational materials suitable for my toddler. Any recommendations about what and where I can purchase them? Thanks
  5. What is grammar?

    Hi. That is generally true that Indo-European languages lean towards the subject/predicate distincition more so than others. In many languages, the division can be more accurately thought of as that of topic/comment rather than subject/predicate. The topic is what the speaker wants to talk about and is asserted first. The comment about the topic follows. This division is also more prevalent in speech, regardless of which language. For example one could utter: 'Bears ... beautiful animals' or 'Running around... my son loves doing that'. (The first bit is the topic.) Obviously there is some commonality between subject/predicate and topic/comment, especially if a language provides a subject/predicate mechanism. Another way to look at it is that the idea of what a sentence is in non-subject/predicate languages is a bit looser or not as developed as a tight unit.