Sunday, 23 April 2017

I think of things most people ignore

I have an irresistible need to organize things and events in my head into systems that I can map out in a 'landscape'. It is my safety net. It keeps me in touch with humanity. It keeps me calm. It keeps me safe and isolated and alienated. The notion of 'proximity' is moot.

Mostly I'm 'lost-in-my-own-head' at the expense of everything else. My family, my loves, my friends...all are beyond me. I cannot reach out and touch them even in my own presence, really.

My own admission: I have a hard time recalling the names of my beloveds' because they are more than that to me. My loves are pictures, images, and living clips of exceptional moments that define them for me.

I call them by nicknames (like my dad did with me).

In my loneliest moments I know I share my 'soul' with them. They confirm who I am as I revel in their stirrings in those exceptional moments that make my life worth living.

A casual smile, a small gesture, a simple pose, a whiff of smell...they mean everything to me.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

A post-script to "mora + metathesis = t becomes s after a strong i"

It was brought to my attention by a respected colleague that Richard Compton and B Elan Dresher (both of University of Toronto) co-authored a wonderfully insightful paper entitled, Palatalization and 'Strong' /i/ Across Inuit Dialects (2008)

In it there is an example provided from Barrow Inupiaq (p. 5):

          Stem                 Gloss                 'and a N'           'N plural'             'like a N'

a.       iglu                  'house'                iglulu                iglunik                 iglutun

b.       iki                    'wound'              ikiʎu                 ikiɲik                   ikisun

c.       ini                    'place'                 inilu                  ininik                   initun

Rows a and c do not palatalize and realize the [-lu]; [-nik]; and, [-tun] without palatalization of the first consonants, whereas row b exhibits palatalization of the same morphemes after a proto-language strong /i/ in [iki-].

In my first post I stated that there is an 'empty' slot in the onset of the first mora that metathesize with the onset of the following mora in the presence of a strong /i/. But the example above (row b) seems to have broken the pattern that I apparently saw.

Or has it?

I think I figured out how to deal with the metathesis + mora analysis such that Compton-Dresher Barrow Inupiaq example (row b) can be subsumed.

iki   'wound'       iki + tun  'like a wound'    realized as   ikisun

ok. Here is my revised stuff:

palatalization between morpheme boundaries can be formalized like this:

-plainly: the empty onset slot of the 1st mora may be treated as only 'provisionally' positional (subsegmental?) between morpheme boundaries (eg. iki + tun) when the slot is not occupied by an onset consonant in the final mora of the 1st morpheme (again, iki + tun -> ikisun).

In other words, the metathesis between the first palatal slot and the second that is palatalized is triggered regardless of whether the onset of the primary mora (ie, the one that contains V [+coronal]) is occupied or not (between morphemes or within a single morpheme), it just occurs after a strong i.

Now, I'm wondering if the process of metathesis actually converts the palatalized onset of the concatenated morpheme into a coda of the strong i or not? (do you have the answer?)


My little fixations

I've never been examined for nor diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But I know enough, and recognize some of myself enough in the literature to strongly suspect that I have it.

At some point in my life I must have sought out human company spontaneously. But I'm socially-awkward and often don't remember to gauge my responses to social situations. At best I make people uncomfortable with my unexpected actions-reactions; at worst it is easy to victimize and bully me. My reaction time to social situations is measured in minutes, even days, you see. This often leads to crippling self-loathing and shame.

I rarely feel comfortable enough to look someone in the eye directly. It is 'painful' to me in that I don't know how long is appropriate so I tend to avoid it. I've had bad experiences. It gives me the impression that it is easy to 'hate' me. Though, my saving grace have been friends who'd come to the bat for me. But even here I have a hard time expressing my love for them all.

I have a faux marble floor in my crapper that I find entertaining. I look for patterns (mostly human and animal faces) in the marbling itself. Some images I see are comic book quality, and some I swear were drawn by da Vinci.

This fascination with abstract and found patterns permeates my being. I usually see abstract patterns only to found out that they've already been described by professionals. Physics, prime numbers...I let the juices ferment 'til I find transcendence. It is enough that I share in the experience of illumination. The spontaneous rejoicing at the moment of realization is my reward.

Lately, I've been trying to figure myself. It is not fun being depressed. I may most likely not find the answers but depression is not a permanent condition (this much I know). I know that I'm not a write-off. Though I expect I will always live alone I have a core of loved-ones (past and present) that integrate me as who I am.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

I am who I am

This is me, plain and simple.

I am who I am.

I'm not who I aint.

I have certain principles. I like beautiful ideas. I like elegant concepts.

Disregarding the 'good and bad' (ie, morality) of my actions, I'm not a "bad" person. I'm just uninformed currently. There is reason...

I've always been treated as an "exceptional" person.

My mom 'kowtowed' to my grandma's assessment of me.

I acted as"as if..."

but with "style", I hope.

I feel a sense of responsibility to be who I wanted to be. My grandma wanted me to be good. Good is me..

-the world is F***ed

should I be?

no. I'm my own man. I care about 'justice' my grandma showed me the sphere where I can say yes or no.

Growing up, there was 'yes' or 'no\'

 I did not fail. i did not succeed...

Do I still make the cut?


Saturday, 8 April 2017

my bud

There was a two-year-old kid destined to conquer my heart. I never knew...

What a happy child—such innocence should be left alone to flourish and develop unhindered—and, he was a boy to become the older brother of my children:

my bud.

His name is Mike. I love him and am so proud of him; he my bud.

-"look at all the stuff they've got..!", bud.


mora + metathesis = t becomes s after a strong i


This post is intended only for linguistic interest. It is pure speculation on my part.

I've been thinking about the palatalization of /t/ into [s] after the so-called, 'strong i', in North Baffin (don't remember whether the /t/ has to be between vowels or not, like so: itV...). Let me first clarify my assumptions here:

Assumption 1. that the proposed reconstruction of Proto-Eskimo as a four-vowel phonological system is correct and mathematically sound (ie, that there was, at least, a phonetic distinction between ə (an unstressed mid vowel) and i (ie, the strong i));

Assumption 2. that the notions of 'mora' as an analytical basis has predictive consequences;

Assumption 3. at the syllable level, the empty onset slot of the first mora in question contains, at least, an unrealized consonant-like feature(s).

The analysis itself is simple enough to follow (if one keeps in mind the three basic assumptions).

The Proto-Eskimo hypothesis is that, in the North Baffin dialects, the tendency to 'palatalize' /t/ into [s] after strong i (pronounced me) is a remnant of the 'original' (Proto-Eskimo) phonology.

As a practical illustration one may say, in Inuktitut,

itigak   'foot'  in South Baffin and elsewhere


isigak   'foot'  in North Baffin uniquely.

another example would be:

itiq   'to enter'  in South Baffin and elsewhere


isiq   'to enter'  in North Baffin uniquely.

In the literature I've read so far this phonological phenomenon is said to be due to the 'strong i' of Proto-Eskimo phonemic system. Period, full stop.

Now, I've been out of linguistics for a while, but I've not come across any analysis that I'd consider satisfactory. The theory seems contrived to fit the data from the get-go, and there seem to have been no proposals to transcend this glaring problem.

-What I propose here is unsubstantiated by any research and based solely on my intuition of Inuktitut as a linguist. But its elegance has captured my heart and soul. And, I think this may suffice.

I start out by assuming that a purely phonological analysis is insufficient to capture a theoretical basis that would approach any semblance of viability. So let us look, instead, at this problem as requiring a syllable-dependent analysis: like so,

for the itigak  vs  isigak  ('foot') variation, we analyse the problem this way:

First, we analyse the original morpheme as

-the Greek letter: μ (or mu) stands for 'mora' (a mora may be regarded as the 'weight' of sound segments within a single syllable structure);

-the Greek letter: σ (or sigma) stands for 'syllable'. Simple enough. Now...

-notice that the onset slot in the first syllable above is empty. Going by Assumption 3 (that the empty slot has 'inherent /s/-like quality'), we then try and account for the phonological change between North and South Baffin dialects. We do this by recalling to mind the notion of 'metathesis'.

In other words, we propose that the first and second onset slots 'transposed' with one another in the process of historical change which resulted in

The second example looks almost self-explanatory now:



/t/ and [s], again, metathesize.

The above dialectal variation problem seems intimately tied into a metathesis phenomenon that affects specific morphemes like:

siti  vs tisi  'den'

sitamat  vs  tisamat  'four'

sitijuq  vs  tisijuq  'it is hard (in substance)'

etc. etc.