I thought "Oh yeah?" (What I was actually thinking could not be discussed in a family-friendly environment such as this!)Quote:
Now, I know what you're thinking...
That leaves you with words that are dependent on A. You are going to define 'story' with words that are dependent on the word you are defining. Isn't that even more futile?
I think I can see your basic misunderstanding. You can't see that words can only be defined using other words, which can only be defined using other words; and that these words are all transient, arbitrary symbols which change.
Language isn't mathematics; there are few exact definitions.
If I asked you, "What's your story?", would you refuse to understand me, because that use of 'story' wasn't in your definition? Language doesn't work that way, and I think this is what your correspondents seem to understand, and which you could profitably consider.
Should be based on how the word is used .....wrong.
Used by who? and for what and why, and in what mood, speaking to who, at what point in history, in what tone of voice, metaphorically, etc. etc.
Should be based on what it IS... then, a flexible language like English can make it mean many things.
Bird is bird. Flying is flying. Birdflying is a simplification that takes away many alternate meanings of bird and flying. Owlflying. Toadhopping. Lawyerlying.:-D
This, fairly tangentially - but what else can one do in a thread like this: ;-) - reminds of me of what Bejamin Whorf said about the language of the Hopi: that nouns were inflected on grounds of position and movement; so there'd be different inflections for a stone lying on the ground, falling, being thrown... Perhaps they would have a word for 'birdflying'.
More recent commentators have pooh-poohed Whorf on the grounds that he wasn't a linguist* and made mistakes in his comments on language. Anyway, this is a possible feature of some languages that I assign (along with religion) to the 'interesting if true' category. ;-)
PS *In fact, some have dismissed him - oddly apt in this context - as an underqualified crackpot.
You have some ideas in your head that you think are breakthroughs in our understanding of language. Strangely, you seem incapable of communicating this view here and elsewhere, so you put it down to the fact that we're all stupid. If you have such great ideas about language, why can't you put them into plain language? Of course story can be used independently of the word tell. What is the breakthrough in telling us that?
And you haven't touched on my first question about word 1 + word 2 = word 3.
I have nothing more to add to the theories outlined in this thread and will leave it to die on the vine.
Do I really, really have to explain the basic rules of language - followed by the basic rules of the English language that allow it to function in the first place?
I was really hoping that wouldn't be necessary - given the nature of this site...
But if I have to - I will. Perhaps it's a good idea - I mean if you're having THAT much trouble understanding what I'm trying to say, (even if it's extremely basic and simple extrapolation and application of the most basic and simple rules of the language itself).
Warning - LONG...
Language is a structured method of communication, usually using sounds or symbols (even in tangible form) to transfer information between people.
In order for this to happen, the information being transferred, and therefore such sounds/symbols used needs to be recognised and understood in a consistent (enough) manner by the people concerned.
Such languages are of human creation. They therefore need to be taught and learned and so the amount of support required in order for the language to function effectively is proportionate to the amount of people using it - hence the amount required for the English language today.
But things we create can change and evolve as much as we do ourselves, and so the support for a language to function is always based on ongoing study of its use.
The most important part of our language, therefore, is of course its actual use itself - how the symbols and sounds are used to transfer specific information, both in isolation and in combination. In order to support the language through education and information, its rules and meaning are therefore studied and taught.
The very basic rules of the English language, upon which everything else is based, are thankfully pretty solid - (which is one of the reasons it's been able to expland so much).
The use of the English language, is based upon an arrangement of concepts - groups of words that represent certain types of information, that are then used in combination with each other to transfer whatever information is required. The language therefore has further rules about how they are used in such a manner, and such types are therefore labelled and defined based by such use.
The problem we have, that (it appears) underlies everything I've found is simple:
Every single word in the language exists in isolation, to represent an individual piece of information, and therefore (generally) is currently described and defined for what it represents in isolation - (except for the word story!!!!!! (that I know of))) - but we have a problem here, since what these types of word represent cannot, and does not exist in isolation!
In other words what (thankfully only some) of these types of words are used to represent is not fully recognised or understood in a consistent manner, due to them only being recognised and defined/described for what they represent in isolation.
This problem is primarily affecting the type of word we call nouns. It is also affecting the types we call verbs and adjectives due to how they are related to nouns, but are not described in a manner that allows such a relationship to be recognised.
Needless to say, this problem should simply not exist.
The relationships between nouns, verbs and adjectives, based on how the language is used is extremely obvious given the nature of the words affected themselves.
However, because types of words are defined and described by how they are used, what they are used to represent, may not always be so easy to describe, and so easily fit within any concise definition or description.
But having said that, based on how the language is used, and the words that are used in such a manner - it is obvious that there are three main types of noun:
1) Things - words that represent either tangible objects, people, animals, places etc., or intangible information, ideas, concepts, time, space etc..
This is the only (sub) type of word that represents anything that can, and does exist in isolation, by which (nearly?) every other type of word and concept is ultimately related to and by. Things may not be labelled for what they represent in isolation, however - labels for either potential or intended behaviour or labels based on any particular property/quality (that helps to define the 'thing' itself) are common. (Narrator/conductor - (can be used for behaviour or property) /safe/stronghold etc.).
2) Words that are ultimately derived (either directly or abstractly) from what it is that verbs are used to represent. (Flight from fly, movement form move, speech from speak, action/activity from act - or event, state, game, art, accident, party etc.).
3) Words that are ultimately derived (either directly or abstractly) from what it is that adjectives are used to represent. (Agility from agile, strength from strong, colour from red/blue etc.).
Not all nouns appear to fit within such types, but that may not be such a bad thing or problem...
So the problem we have now is being able to describe both verbs and adjectives in a manner that allows such types of noun to be described by their relationship.
This is a problem I have no-idea how to solve for the third type of noun and adjectives, however - the word I'm looking for I'm not sure exists?
Adjectives tend to be described in direct relation to the 1st type of noun - things - though usually just nouns in general. This is obviously a problem since it does not allow the relationship with another, separate, type of noun to happen. We therefore need a method of describing adjectives that allows such a relationship to be further applied for the description of such a type of noun. The relationship itself, is simple to describe: The third type of noun merely represents an application of whatever it is that adjectives represent. Unfortunately, I can't think of any single word that would really function in such a manner. Qualities/properties/attributes are obviously candidates, but I'm not sure if any of those will work properly.
How it would ideally function, can be found in the solution to the second type of noun - that related to verbs, and what they are used to represent.
The problem we have with the definitions and descriptions of nouns for what they are used to represent in relation to verbs is simple - the words that are commonly used tend to be similar if not identical for both. (The word state has been used to describe both). Nearly all of the words used belong to this type of noun, and are therefore not verbs in themselves, but all of these words - (event/state/action/occurrence etc.) - all eventually fall back to the same, basic, description:
Things that happen.
Now, since nouns and verbs are not used the same way by the language, and are recognised as different types of words, they cannot, therefore, represent the same thing/idea/concept. Therefore having words used to describe such types of word being described as the same thing, cannot be correct.
Since verbs are the type of word that is used to represent things that happen, this type of noun, based on how it is related to such words, must therefore be described as representing applications of things that happen.
But using the word 'thing' in such a manner, separately from the first type of noun itself, can cause problems - (it took me a while to figure out that this was happening too!) - especially if words are used in multiple ways, (including) as both types of noun.
For that reason, we therefore need to find another method of describing what it is that verbs are used to represent - a replacement for 'things that happen' - without using any words that represent an application of such a 'thing' instead.
The only word I can think of - based on how it is used - for what it represents in isolation is:
The problem people have with this word, is that, of course, it is rarely used in isolation, and so they have trouble understanding what it represents in such a situation.
So verbs can be described as a type of word that is used to represent behaviour (in and for itself, in isolation), and the second type of noun can therefore be described as a type of word that is used to represent applications of behaviour.
So what does that mean for the word story?
Simple - it is not used in a manner consistent with representing an application of behaviour, yet that is exactly how it is recognised, perceived, understood and therefore defined.
Why is this a problem?
Because the English language gained another word after the word story, that is used in a manner as representing such a thing. This word is of course narrative - an application of narrate. Narrate and story, being of different types of noun, are therefore not used in the same manner within the language and therefore cannot represent the same concept.
If the word story represented an application of behaviour, according the basic rules of English grammar - any words representing such behaviour would never (be needed to) be used in combination. (I.e. tell etc.). the simple fact of their common and regular use in combination means that the word story can only be considered to represent a thing - an intangible thing - a form/arrangement of information - independently of any application/behaviour, state or quality.
A word's definition can only ever be derived from it's use - not vice-versa - which is what has happened the the word story, against the rules of the language itself.
Story n. (type 1 - an intangible thing). An arrangement of information about a series of events, either real or imaginary, (created and stored inside (a person's) memory).
So why is the word story important for representing such a 'thing'?
For me - because it allows us to describe certain words representing applications of basic behaviour in relation to and by such a 'thing'. (Art/game/puzzle/competition etc.).