Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:25 am

I rememebr your kolibris with the mandelbrot picture!!! Or maybe there's another? The kolibris are beautiful, you are a great painter.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:14 pm

I am now back home after my brief excursion to Iceland. I arrived Thursday and managed to participate most of a meeting for Icelandic and foreign students in Veröld, a brand new building housing a language institute named after former president Vigdis Finnbogadottir. The weather was splendid. Then I had Friday for my museum visits and guess what: it rained the whole day. Not hard, and definitely not as hard as it CAN rain on that island, but enough to make it something of a task to get through the sights of the town.

So Friday I bought Reykjavik City Card and dashed through the National museum (Þjóðminjasafn) of Iceland, followed by an art museum named after their foremost rock painter Kjarval, the famous Hallgrims church, the National Galleri (Listastafn) at the lake Tjörn, an archeological museum named the Settlement museum with subterranean ruins, the Listasafn (art museum) of Reykjavik with extremely big and complicated paintings of a genius named Erró (aka Guðmundur Guðmundsson), the Maritime museum, a place called Whales with full size replicas of 23 cetacean critters and - across town - the local zoo named Húsdyragarðurinn even though it does have three harbour seal swimming around in a pool. Apart from the Whales all these places were free with the card, and given the weather the card luckily also includes free use of the busses, which are known as strætos. And all are closed on Mondays (at least in winter) so I couldn't postpone the visits. Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to the Polyglot Conference ... and guess what, the weekend weather was beyond reproach. OK, it allowed me to go to a supermarket to buy food in the lunch pause without getting wet, but I were more in dire need of fair weather Friday. And finally: Monday started out grey and wet, but the conditions improved later .. but there I was sitting in the public library, known as Borgarbókasafn. Tuesday it rained again, but then I was heading home.

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SP: Por supuesto, voy a escribir algo más sobre la conferencia, pero primero me gustaría dar seguimiento a una promesa de escribir algo sobre la música mexicana clásica. Hay musica popolar mas conocida que esta, como por ejemplo mariachi, un tipo de música jogado por pandillas de hombres vestidos en negro con sombreros enormes quien abruman a los huéspedes de restaurantes y refusan categoricamente irse antes de que se les pagan una considerable redención. Peró hablamos aqui más bien de la música mexicana de tipo clasico.

Y en el hecho hay tambien compositores 'clasicos' mexicanos, de los cuales el mas conocido debe ser Carlos Chavez (1899–1978). Sin embargo, comenzó como un compositor romántico inspirado por, entre otros, R.Schumann, y continuó escribiendo obras en un lenguaje de tono más europeo, pero frecuentemente trató de dar a sus composiciones un toque de música tradicional local y su reputación está basada sobre estas obras. Su composición más conocida es sin duda la Sinfonía nr. 2, Sinfonía Indica, que existe en un montón de grabaciones. Una obra más radical se llama Xochipilli Macuilxóchitl (o solo Xochipili) - en náhuatl xochipilli significa 'el príncipe de las flores' - y según la Wikipedia inglés la instrumentación es la siguiente:

Xochipilli is scored for ten players: piccolo, flute, E♭ clarinet, trombone, and six percussionists playing a variety of instruments, many of Aztec origin: teponaztli, huéhuetl, omichicahuaztli. The piccolo and flute deputize for Aztec flutes of bone or clay, the E♭ clarinet represents the clay ocarina, and the trombone is used as a substitute for the Aztec conch-shell trumpet .

Otro notable compositor mexicano se llamaba Silvestre Revueltas, y su obra más famosa se llama Sensemaya. Como Chávez, sus ritmos son a menudo complicados, pero sus obras están más cercanas a la música popular de su época - escuche por ejemplo el poemo sinfonico Janitzio con sus pasajes de tipo serenata (a veces me recuerda al italiano Respighi). Y como Chavez, Revueltas también se refiere a la musica antica de su país - pero la pregunta es si realmente se sabe lo suficiente sobre la música de los mayas y los aztecas para hacer posíble que alguien pueda imitarla.

Hay toda una lista de compositores mexicanas a Wikipedia, però conozco solamente una meia docena de ellos (nombres como Ponce, Moncada, Moncayo y Blas Galindo) - y todos tienen, en mayor o menor medida, este tono altamente rítmico con uso preferído de los instrumentos de viento metal - un estilo que debe más a la música mariachi y otros géneros de música popular que a las culturas precolombianas.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby AugusteDuBois » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:11 am

Gracias para las informaciones sobre la música clasica mexicana! No conocí esos compositores. Me gustan, sobre todo Revueltas. Su música me parece un poco bombástica, y por lo tanto me gusta! Segundo Wikipedia, escribó también música cinematográfica que, a oír su música, no me sorprende tanto. El solo compositor mexicano de lo cual había oído fue Juan de Lienas y su obra Salve (no obstante, debí buscar los nombres del compositor y de la obra!). Mi conocimiento musical está solo passivo. La entiendo y la siento la música, no la conozco!

Þakka þér fyrir, Iversen! Það var gaman að kynnast þér á Reykjavík!
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby DaveBee » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:16 am

Iversen wrote: Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to the Polyglot Conference ... and guess what, the weekend weather was beyond reproach.
Did you have any favourites among the presentations you saw?
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:40 pm

Well, time has come to comment on the presentations - though not in order of preference.

The first one featured David Tammett and Sigríður Kristinsdóttir, who was his teacher during the much publicized attempt to learn Icelandic in one week. Some sources on the internet have expressed doubt about his diagnosis (as a highly functioning autist), but the presentation did set some things in a perspective which aren't depending on his mental condition. First, the actual encounter with Sigríð didn't last the whole week (and the 'week' actually lasted more than the normal seven days). He first studied frantically by himself for 2-3 days and he also knew some German beforehand - which is relevant because German is the only other Germanic language that can compete with Icelandic when it comes to the size of the morphology. So he didn't start from scratch as the BBC program attempted to tell us. Besides his synaesthesia (which he also uses to learn numbers) and his career as a memory artist give some credence to the claim that he could learn enough words in a week to have conversations. All in all the history seems plausible. And his mentor/teacher was an eloquent and interesting person in her own right.

There were several other lectures with autism and language learning as their theme, but it became clear that the research in this topic is all but non-existant. I unfortunately missed the lecture by Thomas A.Bak Sunday about the cognitive effects of language learning. He is a neurolinguist of some kind, and based on his comments during the first panel discussion and things he said after his lecture I think he could have some interesting things to say about the connections between brain and language(s). Instead I listened to a presentation of a language museum in Paris, which I of course will visit next time I visit that city.

A couple of lectures dealt with language history, but I was a little bit disappointed by both. J-P. Demoule mostly illustrated the history of historical linguistics, whereas I had hoped that he would draw some conclusions about the linguistic history and geography of Europe based on the surge of genetic data we have got during the last twenty years or so. And the lecture by E.de Visser mostly dealt with Germany and its linguistic geography. As is well known, it was the socalled second soundshift that separated High German from the other Germanic tongues, including Low German. She did mention that the isoglosses drawn for different words affected by the soundshift don't coincide - which actually shows the shaky foundations of classical historical linguistics with its well-defined language trees. Nowadays High German has of course spread over the whole of old Low German territory, and one person in the audiency reminded us that the spread of the Lutheran Bible may have had something to do with this - precisely because the catholic South Germans weren't allowed to read it, but the Lutheran people in Northern Germany were not only allowed, but almost forced to do so. I'm very interested in the fate of the Ingwäonic languages (those spoken along the North Sea coast) so it was disappointing that we didn't really hear anything more about their fate.

Sunday I had the choice between Mongolian and the linguistic policies and organization of the EU - and I luckily chose the EU lecture, which turned out to be very entertaining and very informative. However I prefer not to go into details since it would be hard for me not to say something disparaging about current politics. And in the final round Sunday Benny Lewis showed that he not only has opinions about language learning, but also can show information about languages with a plethora of graphical tools - and he is a great entertainer.

I would also like mention the fairly depressing panel discussion Saturday between four professors (Arguelles, Vandewalle, Bak and Painter) - depressing because they agreed that multilingualism isn't valued in today's academical ivory tower linguistics, which to a large extent has been taken over by people inspired by Chomsky. Maybe I'll write more about him and his influence later, but I think the comments above should be enough to give an impression of the conference. Except that the culture house Harpa is an impressive building and that prices in Iceland on just about everything are ridiculously high! And maybe also that the next conference will take place in Ljubljana in Slovenia.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:46 pm

I have not written in this thread since last Thursday, and I just visited the site briefly Friday. The reason is that I have been busy revising/rewritten a couple of old compositions. One of these has been mentioned briefly here - a suite for brass, percussion and strings, which I cut down down to two movements for brass and bass drum. But two movements ain't a suite, and I got tired of looking at the halfdead carcass so I last week added two movements more, and then I also write out some parts. Then I revised my composition list at and noticed my second string quartet which in principle should have been ready for upoading to the score repository IMSLP/Petrucci ... well, I ended up rewritting two out of four movements, and then I also had to write out parts here. Phew, lots of time, but now both the suite and the string quartet are on the internet. And then nothing more will happen - hell will freeze over and the Moon turn green before anybody actually will play any of those works, but composing music which nobody plays is not more absurd than learning a language without actually using it for communication. And I like the thought that my works are 'out there' somewhere - like the space vessels we have sent out of the solar system or me standing in a museum and gazing at paintings which must have cost somebody a village.

"Village"? Yes, in Danish we say that things cost a farm ("koster en bondegård"), but in a lecture about South Australian ediacaran biota the lecturer thanked several people and institutions for the money they had contributed for the digs, and that money was referred to as equal to a village. So now I know one more useful expression in English.

While I compose (or revise) I can't have any kind music running so I have been listening to speeches on Youtube in German and English, but while producing parts I can also watch TV insofar the background music doesn't irritate me too much - and I have been watching TV in a number of languages including Swedish, Norwegian, French, Italian and Spanish. Still, nothing of this qualifies as dedicated language study.

Right now I'm listening to a lecture about the Hadean period in the history of the planet - the very early period where the climate was truly hellish - and the mystery is still how life could arise just a few hundrede millon years after the end of the 'late large bombardment' (or even while it lasted). Not long after photosynthesis was invented, and blue-green algae in the oceans began polluting the planet with oxygen. For several billion years they pumped out oxygen, but it was absorbed by iron in the sea water and the Earth surface (planet Terra was literally rusting!). When that circus stopped the atmosphere had built up enough oxygen to kill off most of the old life forms, and then we got a couple of more or less complete glaciations, which only ended because volcanoes pumped out greenhouse gasses and there were no plants to suck it up at the time so we got a great thaw and then we got the first multicellular life forms in the Ediacaran , and I have now heard four hourlong lectures about those old critters in a row while I scanned my note sheets and removed small defects here and there so with all due respect I now think it's time to take a pause both from writing music and from listening to lectures about paleontology. Time for doing language studies again..

PS did you know that the large carnivore Anomalocaris (which probably died out at the end of the Ordovicium without leaving any descendants) had more complicated eyes that even the most advanced goldsmith today?. Have we really not progressed in all that time?

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:07 am

I have been studying some texts in Greek partly from Wikipedia, some from other sources like the homepage of the Music Center in Thessaloni where we had the polyglot canference last year and the homepage of the Athens Symphony Orchestra. This lead me to wonder what bouzouki really is - a style or an instrument - and according to Wikipedia it started out as an instrument name, but anyone who has been to Greece will probably agree that this instrument also has become the defining factor of a style. And sometimes you can get enough of it - it somehow sounds like the taste of retzina - but at least you avoid being subjected to American pop while the bouzouki music plays.

I could read the texts about the music center and the orchestra without much ado (and hardly without looking at the translations), but the one about the bouzouki was more taxing - and also too hard for Google translate in some cases. Let's have a look at the first sentence in the Wikipedia article:

Το Μπουζούκι είναι λαουτοειδές έγχορδο λαϊκό μουσικό όργανο, με αχλαδόσχημο αντηχείο (σκάφος) από επιμήκεις ξύλινες λουρίδες, τις ντούγιες, και μακρύ βραχίονα, το μπράτσο ή μάνικο με κλειδιά στην άκρη για το χόρδισμα (κούρδισμα).

EN: Bouzouki is a laurel stringed folk musical instrument, with a pearl resonator (elbow) made of elongated wooden strips, the curtains, and a long arm, arm or hose with keys to the edge for tuning.

DA: Bouzouki er et laurbærstrenget folkemusikinstrument med en perle resonator (albue) lavet af aflange træstrimler, gardinerne og en lang arm, arm eller slange med nøgler til kanten til tuning.


I also checked the Danish machine translations, and even though the printouts weren't very old the Danish translations have changed in the meantime. For instance "λαουτοειδές" at first was translated as "lut", and you still get that translation if you let Google translate the word in isolation (luteinous or "lutes" in plural in English). I checked "luteinous", and the English word seems to indicate a phase in the feminine menstrual cycle - but seems to be exceedingly rare. As for the laurel references in the two current translations they are simply wrong. I looked "λαουτοειδές -Μπουζούκι" up in Google and didn't find one single reference to laurels on the first four pages. The word wasn't in my Greek dictionaries, but"λαουτο" (lutj) is, and it is fairly easy to split up which leaves a clear interpretation: λαουτοειδές of course means luth-like.

Another curious example: "αχλαδόσχημο" is a derivation of "αχλάδι" (pear), and the first Danish translation was "pæreformet" ("pear-shaped"), which is absolutely correct. But now the translation of "αχλαδόσχημο αντηχείο" has been changed to "perle resonator" in correspondance with the equally wrong English version "perle resonator". What has happened in between the two Danish translations? If you only let GT translate the word "αχλαδόσχημο" then it is correctly intrpreted as "pear-shaped", with no alternatives. Why then is the translation in a context not only different, but also wrong? I tried to put the quite common English word "pearl" into GT (in the other direction) and it was translated correctly as "μαργαριτάρι" ... but so was both "pearl shaped" and "pearlshaped", which is wrong. The Danish translation of "perleformet" was "με χάντρες", which is almost correct - it means "with pearls" (rather than "pearl shaped"). Actually "χάντρα" is another word for "pearl", which makes one wonder why it didn't pop up as a valid translation of the English word "pearl". And the bouzouki is of course pearshaped as you can see below.

It seems that "resonator" for "αντηχείο" actually is a correct translation, but then where did the mysterious elbow come from? My dictionaries all translate "σκάφος" as "ship" (or the equivalent word in other languages), but when I let the Greek Wikipedia loose I got a plethora of answers - though mostly about ships. This inspired me to do a Google search on the terms "σκάφος μουσική", and I actually found a Wikipedia article with the word (namely the one about "χορδόφωνο", "chordophone" aka "string instrument"):

"(...) ο ήχος του οποίου μεγεθύνεται με τη βοήθεια ενός αντηχείου, το λεγόμενο σώμα ή σκάφος του οργάνου."
GT English: "the sound of which is magnified by a resonator, the body or vessel of the instrument."

The tenous string back to reality is of course that "vessel" means ship (including space ships etc.), but apparently "σκάφος" can also be used about the body of certain musical instruments. So in this case it seems that not even my paper dictionaries cover the ground sufficiently well. And the Greek word for elbow in Greek? According to my dictionaries it is "αγκώνας" (or "αγκών"), although GT uses the form "αγκώνα".

I once launched a whole thread about things GT could do to avoid idiotic lexical errors, and one advice was to take a complete (and human made) dictionary for each language, form all forms of all words automatically with an application, overwrite the wrong forms by adding the morphological part of a good grammar and let the software gobble the result up. It doesn't seem that the folks at Google have read that thread, nor listened to the speech in Berlin where I said the same things.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:46 am

It: Non ho potuto completamente astenermi dalla musica - como un bevitore che sorseggia da una bottiglia nascosta in un armadio.. Una sonata per violoncello e pianoforte aveva bisogno solo di qualche cambi a l'inizio ed alla fine del primo movimento, e questo mi ha costato solo qualche ore la scorsa notte. E dunque è già stato caricato. Un quartetto per due flauti, violoncello e pianoforte (il quale ho rivisto nell'anno 1993) era generalmente OK ed abbastanza buono per il IMSLP, ma per salvare la carta ho scritto le note del pianoforte troppo contratte. Ho fatto qualche esperimenti per vedere se si possa salvare il scan del manoscritto di 1993 utilizzando alcuni trucchi di software di fotoritocco, ma primo devo riscrivere almeno il terzo ed ultimo movimento (il più veloce) e aggiungere foglie per i flauti e il 'cello.

A proposito: ho scoperto tutta una portale riservata alla musica all'interiore della Wikipedia Italiana. L'ho scoperto al fondo dell'articolo molto lungo e dettagliato sulla trombone in italiano. Ma ancora non ho trovato una buona espressione per alcol cattivo ('booze' in inglese, 'sprut' in danese). Il che e strano: ci deve essere molte buone parole italiane per questo tipo di fluido!

DA: Og så kan jeg da lige nævne at 'sprut' på dansk normalt er spiritus (alkohol) - "plonk" er dårlig vin. Hvad mon det hedder på italiensk? Jeg drikker vist for lidt på mine rejser.

EO: Mia legado de la noktomezo estis la malgranda libro de Kauderwelsche pri Keĉua (quechua) el la enkonduko ĝis la gramatika sekcio. Sed kompreneble Keĉua ne estas lingvo, kiun mi volas lerni - mi nur ŝatis min informi sur una plua ekzota lingvo inter ĉiuj la "normalaj" eŭropaj lingvoj. Do mi subtenas mian decidon de prefere studi eŭropajn lingvojn. Por tiu, mi informiĝis la loka gvidanto esperantista de Danujo ke la solena granda universala esperanta monda kongreso de UEA de 2018 okazos en Lisbono. Ĉi tio vere min konvenas, do tiam mi ankaŭ povas refreski miajn portugalajn parolikapablojn. Kaj Esperanto ankaŭ estas speco de eŭropa lingvo, kvankam kun historio atípica.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby William Camden » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:49 pm

Iversen wrote:
Right now I'm listening to a lecture about the Hadean period in the history of the planet - the very early period where the climate was truly hellish - and the mystery is still how life could arise just a few hundrede millon years after the end of the 'late large bombardment' (or even while it lasted). Not long after photosynthesis was invented, and blue-green algae in the oceans began polluting the planet with oxygen. For several billion years they pumped out oxygen, but it was absorbed by iron in the sea water and the Earth surface (planet Terra was literally rusting!). When that circus stopped the atmosphere had built up enough oxygen to kill off most of the old life forms, and then we got a couple of more or less complete glaciations, which only ended because volcanoes pumped out greenhouse gasses and there were no plants to suck it up at the time so we got a great thaw and then we got the first multicellular life forms in the Ediacaran , and I have now heard four hourlong lectures about those old critters in a row while I scanned my note sheets and removed small defects here and there so with all due respect I now think it's time to take a pause both from writing music and from listening to lectures about paleontology. Time for doing language studies again..

PS did you know that the large carnivore Anomalocaris (which probably died out at the end of the Ordovicium without leaving any descendants) had more complicated eyes that even the most advanced goldsmith today?. Have we really not progressed in all that time?

anomalocaris.jpg


I also find the Ediacaran period fascinating. As for Anomalocaris, the very name suggests something anomalous or strange.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:22 pm

Actually there is a terminological issue at play here. As described in the Wikipedia article about the Phanerozoic period 'our' geologic period is called the phanerozoic period, and it is by convention assumed to begin with the Cambrian because it was assumed that any multicellular life forms before the Cambrian would be soft and boring and impossible to find as fossils ('phanerozoic' means 'visible life'). Everything before the Cambrian was once called the Precambrian (and left to the geologists). But now we have found the Ediacaran biota - whose remains definitely are visible - the old dividing line has become obsolete. But as Wikipedia writes:

Most geologists and paleontologists would probably set the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary either at the classic point where the first trilobites and reef-building animals (archaeocyatha) such as corals and others appear; at the first appearance of a complex feeding burrow called Treptichnus pedum; or at the first appearance of a group of small, generally disarticulated, armored forms termed 'the small shelly fauna'.

The time before the Phanerozoic, called the Precambrian supereon, is now divided into the Hadean, Archaean and Proterozoic eons.

From the article about the Proterozoic:

The Proterozoic is a geological eon representing the time just before the proliferation of complex life on Earth. (..)The Proterozoic Eon extended from 2500 Ma to 541 Ma (million years ago), and is the most recent part of the Precambrian Supereon. It is subdivided into three geologic eras (from oldest to youngest): the Paleoproterozoic, Mesoproterozoic, and Neoproterozoic.

And now my opinion: The only sane and honest reaction to the discovery of the Ediacaran lifeforms would be to move the last part of the Neoproterozoic (after the 'snow ball earth' period) to the Phanerozoic. It is still meaningful to define the beginning of the Cambrian by one of the three criteria above, but it would just not be the first period in the Phanerozoic any more. After all scientists are supposed to revise their schemes when new evidence turns up or what?

I have been on an internetless family visit this weekend, and today I have spent time revising the quartet for two flutes, cello and piano I mentioned last week so I have not been very active with my language studies. But the situation is not totally bleak since I did read about half of the Assimil booklet about Albanian as goodnight reading. And since it isn't the first time I have worked with that book rereading it serves as a useful repetition round.

And now I should of course write something in Albanian, but [AL] unë nuk kam studiuar shqip për disa muaj, prandaj është e vështirë për mua të shkruaj në këtë gjuhë. Tabela më poshtë ende është e papërfunduar - studimet e mia shqiptare janë gjithashtu të papërfunduara.

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