2004-12-03

Two (or more) are (is?--I guess it depends on your own little personalized grammar) better than one...

Well let's see, I've been doing many things linguistics-related while in Tübingen, finding my way around the various departments, so in that sense I guess I really am studying linguistics in an "experimental" fashion at the moment. I was surprised to find that there are two linguistics depts. here, the "main" Dept. of Linguistics (Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft) and the Dept. of Comparative Linguistics (Seminar für vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft), the latter with only two or three "faculty" members, depending on whom one asks, and three rooms to its name--one for the secretary, the second for the "head" of the dept., and the last being a seminar room. (By the way, to you fellow LingGrads at Yale out there, it really sucks that your semester is almost over across the pond, while I'm not even halfway through mine over here! ;-D) Anyway, the "main" dept. is for my tastes a bit too, let's say, "NLP-oriented" (although there's nothing wroooooooooong with that as one famous TV character might say). I'm not sure that dept. even offers an intro phonology course, not that I could find at least. I'm having fun in the latter dept., learning, among other things, Breton (with a textbook in French, having to translate the Breton texts into German, and sorting everything out in English...as General Patton might have said, NUTS--it's all in good fun though) and Mayan glyphs (too bad I wasn't at Yale when Floyd Lounsbury (Mayanist/Iroquoianist) was around). The "language" depts. here (e.g. Slavic, German, English, and Romance) even offer relevant linguistics courses (compare this with the situation in the States)...go figure! As for the "city" of Tübingen, where a full fourth of the population of 80,000 consists of university students, it rains quite often but the setting is very pretty. And (tsk tsk, I started a sentence with a conjunction) as for my German getting any better, well, it would be nice if the natives wouldn't always be so eager to put their quite advanced knowledge of English into practice with me. I think Petra and Marianne are out there somewhere helping me in spirit. Alles Gute und bis bald...

4 Comments:

Blogger W1ll13 30% Hacker said...

Hey dude, wir gehts? Glad to hear you're having a good time in Tubingen--with Mayan glyphs no less. Maybe when you get back to dear old Yale you can translate the glyphs carved over the front entrance of Sterling Library for me. Actually, I took a glyph reading class a while back taught by a dude from Austin, Peter Keeler. It seemed like 70 percent of the glyphs were different ways to say "Bird Jaguar" or "Shield Jaguar" in glyph though!

It's funny you mention Floyd Lounsbury, as it seems like half the books in LingSem and the periodicals room next to Louis's office used to belong to him (or at least he wrote his name in them--maybe they weren't actually his!).

There was also another big glypher from Yale, viz., Michael Coe, who worked at the Peabody, I think. Anyway, his book "Breaking the Maya Code" is an excellent read.

All right, SCO'Re von, it was good to hear from you. Give 'em hell with those glyphs.

8:26 PM  
Blogger SCO'Re von (temporarily at least) Tübingen GmbH said...

Yup, SCO'Re von blah blah blah as Stanley would say, that's me. Mir geht's gut, danke schön. Ah, good ole Bird Jaguar, well, we haven't gotten to him yet. We seem to be stuck on Chac/Chaak (no, neither Shaq nor Chaka Khan), the rain god, or simply "God B."

I know all too well about the "Lounsbury mark" in many of the LingSem books. I basically had to go through each and every one of the books in the current tripartite system (basement included) before the dept. moved from HGS a few summers ago. It was quite a (dusty) job trying to organize the books for the move. Those were the days...

Well alright Will E., it was good hearing from you too. Best of luck holding the fort, especially in that blustery New Haven wind that seems ever present around this time of year.

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