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Posts tagged semantics

Yay, yay, for Chester A!

I’m feeling so very delightfully relaxed.  Sorta.  I realized right after typing that out, that per usual I’m sitting here with my jaw clenched as tight as can be.  I do wish I could stop doing that.  I guess on a metalevel I’m relaxed, but on some sort of biological level I’m still all keyed up.  Anyway.

It was a good day.  Penultimate semantics class finished, though it was sort of painful.  Professor was discussing his own paper, which is really interesting, but I didn’t bring it with me (it’s 60 pages!  truthfully, I didn’t print it!) and it was more like a talk than a class.  Got some TA work done after that, and headed home.  Spent home-time pretty well, reviewing my semantics work and doing a bit of thinking about the last meeting with my professor for research I have tomorrow.  Got tired of thinking and mowed the lawn.  Made Lewis take me out to our local “Mexican” place (New Mexican I guess?) to split some nachoes, and then I was feeling all rejuvinated.  Did a bunch more research prep for tomorrow (synthesizing! my greatest talent!) while sitting by a toasty fire.  I’ve had this kitty on my lap all night, while I drink mate and eat what’s left of my chocolate chip cookies and listen to these nice Mozart clarinet and bassoon concertos… life is pretty spectacular.

Tomorrow should be an interesting and sorta big day!  I’ve only got Quechua to get through, but I have a million things in the afternoon to do.  First of all, and I guess most importantly, I’ve got a lunch date with a very famous visiting linguist!  Thankfully it’s not just me, there should be several of us grad students, and a professor friend of ours who invited us (and is good friends with the visiting linguist).  It’s just a little unnerving, but very exciting to feel partially responsible for entertaining someone I respect so much!  After that, I’ve got a meeting with the teacher I TA for to get the last homeworks from him, then my last research meeting with that professor.  Hopefully he’s going to tell me that I don’t need to do any more work this quarter!  And then after that… the lecture that the visiting linguist is giving.  I’ve actually seen him give this talk before when Lewis and I caught him at Cambridge, but it’s a really neat thing, so it certainly won’t be boring to catch again.  Yay, it’s Comrie Day!  (For fun, try to count the number of publications he has on his site..!)


Progress being made today – had a short discussion in semantics about deixis in Aymara, and it got me thinking an awful lot about Quechua systems of various things for this lexical decompositon paper I’m theoretically writing.  So I did a little Google Scholar research (har) and I think I’ve hit upon a nice lexical field to sink my teeth in.  Quechua has a really large set of what I’m calling conveyance verbs – like bring and carry.  In fact, the dictionary listing for carry I’ve got has like 10 or 12 different verb roots.  These include different verbs for “to carry by arm” or “to carry on the back”, and “to carry under the arm”.  Good stuff!  I’m hoping I’ve finally hit semantic gold here, cause I’m starting to lose faith that I’m going to have a great idea anytime soon.  Phew.

So that was pretty much my whole day.  Went to semantics.  Had an idea.  Graded papers, had lunch with my sweetie, came home, worked on said idea.  Had dinner.  Worked on said idea.  Blogged!  Finis.  (Tukurqani!)

apay, apamuy

Sigh.  Not sure what to say about my day other than it was successfully navigated, and now it’s time to go to bed.

Perhaps most importantly, it rained.  A lot.  Torrential rain, in sheets, for mere minutes at a time.  I’ve rarely (never?) seen rain of such sort, like the whole sky liquifies for a few minutes.  We had gusts of wind to accompany, and it was coming at our front window like we were in a carwash, with those taffy-like water globs oozing down underneath the nailgun raindrops.  Most impressive.  Needless to say, it was yet another ride-the-bus-to-school kind of day, but I managed to swing it such that I got on two satisfyingly empty buses and avoided the rainy-day sardine buses altogether.

Lewis gave a presentation in semantics this morning which went well, and we had a celebratory lunch out to our favorite Japanesey fast-foody campus-adjacent eatery.  And we picked up my favorite old pair of shoes from the cobbler who fixed the soles, again, and hopefully for the last time.  Didn’t get much done when I got home, I’ve been feeling really drained and wore out entirely these days.  We did get the package I’ve been waiting for in the mail (a whole TB of external hard drive space!) but the package was stuck in our mailbox, so I spent an aggrivating amount of time wiggling the key and standing in the rain.  Took two goes, really, but worked fairly well after I came home and lubed the key up with some WD40.

After that, I did manage to back my system up and now I’m feeling all foot-loose and fancy-free in the linux distribution sense.  I’ve spent the last too-many hours trying to get Mint installed on my flash drive (bah.) and failing.  Like all Linux-related failure, I I’ve learned a whole lot, and every foray into the world of brute-force command line editing is as entertaining as it is fruitless.  At the end of the day, here I am on a live cd, not at all using my USB, having formatted and reformatted and rereformatted the volume, ending up as clean as when I started.  But to Mint’s credit, I’m really enjoying the system on the CD, and I think now that all my actual files are externally looked after, I’ll clean install this in place of vanilla Ubuntu when I feel like I’m ready for a little troubleshooting.  I mean… the wireless is working out of the box!  How much troubleshooting could there be?  (Famous last words two weeks before finals).

So… nothing else much to report.  I did make an appointment like a good person who looks after themselves to see the doctor about these migraines.  I’m pretty sure it’s just hormones, so hopefully the doctor can just switch my birth control type and we’ll be back in the land of the visually undisturbed.  I did spend a while working on my semantics final “paper” as well (paper in quotes because it’s to be as minimal as possible, i.e., could be done in one very well executed table if it could be magically explicit and self-explanatory).  Didn’t get anywhere but frustrated about the state of this stupid project.  I’m no semanticist, and that shant be changing in the next two weeks.  Until then, I’m going to keep cringing while I think about it, and completely procrastinating doing anything that might make it less cringe-worthy.  On the plus side, I should be going into paper-ville with a solid A, so it can only hurt so much!

Memes, Semes, Sememes..

Almost had a nosedive of a day, but Lewis saved it at the very end by taking me out for dinner and a pint at our little German braupub, Sudwerk.  The rest of my day was one of those head-against-wall work days.  I got up early (for a sleep in day, I guess) to finish grading papers, and was nearly done by the time Lewis got up to make his tasty cinnamon rolls (and they were tasty!).  Spent the rest of the morning / afternoon reviewing for my Quechua midterm, and reading the next chapter in my structuralist semantics book.  I’ve got a presentation on the semantics of european structuralists next week, and I’m really not sure what to do yet.  Thankfully the book I’m reading is going way better than the last one, and I’m sure I can come up with something interesting to say.  After that though, I was just completely spent… so thank goodness Lewis took me out.   Now… I guess I’m off to bed, so I can get a decent sleep and maybe get up early to do a short-term-memory filling before the midterm in the morning.


Day two, and I’m already feeling mind-dumb, though not from overwork, which I could be doing.  It’s odd, I only have three classes so far, and one of them is Quechua, which I’m auditing, and is an entry-level language class anyway.  In other words, I have no work for that class and being a warm body in a seat is about all I need for a grade.  I did have semantics today for the first time, and there’s no required reading for that class.  Just problem sets, and a paper at the end.  Maybe I’ll be feeling more nervous after my first philosophy class on Thursday, but right now I’m feeling really underworked.  Even my readership is going slowly – the class I’m reading for doesn’t even have homework due till the 21st, and the professor seems really nice and easy going.   What’s a girl to do?

Well, I did sew curtains for our bathroom yesterday.  And I’ve been cooking nice dinners.  And I did do the laundry today.  I’ve been trying to knock back the optional reading for semantics today, but it’s a little draining.  It’s the intro chapter to our book and it’s a bit meandery and broad.  I’m already missing the excellent source reading I was getting to do for structuralism…. even sociolinguistics!  (Consequently, I got an A+ on my socioling paper, and the professor thinks I should use (an expanded version of) it for my first qualifying paper.  A bit of a brag, I know, but I can’t think of the last time I got an A+ on a paper!).  Anyway… there’s really nothing worse than dry, optional reading.


Oh beloved Friday, you have come to bless me again.

Class was great today.  We started semantics and it was really bueno.  I haven’t done semantics formally before, so it’s great to get a little primer before I take semantics next quarter from the same professor.  I’m really looking forward to it!

Had a delightfully social day after that.  Dionne came by my office hours to chat about our plan for next week to see if we needed to prep anything this afternoon.  We didn’t – hurrah!  Lewis came by shortly thereafter, and then we met up with fellow grad student Ariel to chat a bit about how classes are going and set up a Friday drinks plan for one of the upcoming weeks.  She’s in our 260 class with us, so it was nice to comisserate about certain things together.  She also is TAing this semester, and we’ll be TAing together in the spring.  Woot.

Sessions actually did pretty well!  Much better than Wednesday, despite feeling like it was going to be a flop.  Seems like maybe the Friday kids are whittling down to just the few who want to participate whereas maybe the Wednesday session still attracts those who feel like they should attend but don’t really want to.  Not sure.  Anyway, it’s always relieving to have another week behind us, and moving on towards the weekend.  Next week in sessions we’re talking about semntics, so that’ll be a bit of trouble, but after blazing through syntax today and for once feeling like I know what I’m doing, I’m read to tackle semantics for sure.

Came home and had some vino with Lewis while watching out most recently netflixed movie, Buster Keaton’s “The General”.  How much do I love Buster Keaton?  A lot!  I laugh so much more in his silent movies than I do most of the contemporary “comedies”.  It’s really amazing how much he can do with his face, and how acrobatic he is!  Good times had by all, for sure.  I’m hoping to get a few household-type projects done this weekend in addition to the regular work load.  I think I worked too hard last weekend and it really burned me out this week.  So I’m going to make cider this weekend, and attempt Clare Hall Soup #1.  Really not sure what I’m doing there, but it’s always worth a go.  Maybe some day I’ll figure out their secret daily-changing-but-always-sort-of-the-same recipe!  Also have a little home maintenance to do with the landlord/inlaws, and maybe my first sewing fix-it project.  Oo – and if we can borrow a car — to the you-pick pumpkin patch!!

What good stuff I have in store!  Yay!