08 November 2005


Today, as I was returning from home, riding the shuttle, an unexpected thing happened, and only I and the driver saw what happened.

A deer ran jumping across the road in front of us.

It was far enough for the driver not to brake suddenly and cause a commotion, but I definitely saw it. It crossed the road and into the ravine that leads to the creek.

Wow. First time for me to see a deer first-hand. Amazing.

Aside from that, my day has definitely been busy. I got to my office around eight in the morning. I then worked straight until eight thirty in the evening. The day included a student consulting with me, an hour and a half of class for me, and reading two papers and a chapter of a book. And I don't think tomorrow would be anything different.

I have an exam tomorrow. The same class as I had an exam before. There is practically nothing to study about, just that I need to learn the principles of the course. There is no memorization involved, I just need to be familiar with the mechanisms of the theory. I hope I would do good on this one.

I also have a long homework that is due on Wednesday. It is similar to what I did for a paper, I need to reconstruct several sets of data. But it is nothing compared to what I did for my Historical Linguistics paper. But the thing is that the data is long and time-consuming, although it doesn't mean it is hard.

I also have a mini-presentation on Friday. I need to prepare a ten-minute presentation about my research, about the paper that I will write for my seminar class. I am thinking about writing about the discourse mechanisms on tense interpretation in languages without tense, such as Tagalog. Yes, there are languages that have no tense. They do not encode the difference between present and past tenses. And Tagalog is one such language.

There is a language that is more unique than Tagalog. Yucatec Mayan is a language that is without tense nor aspect. Therefore, event presentations in text and speech are highly iconic. It means that speech time highly correlates with event time.

In English, we can say, "I rang the door bell. The householder has been sleeping." This means that the event of sleeping started to happen before the event of ringing the door bell. In Yucatec Mayan, one cannot say an event in the reverse order, because there isn't any tense or aspect in the language. Therefore, the presentation of events in the speech is highly iconic with the actual flow of events. Thus, the event of sleeping must be mentioned first before the event of ringing.

It is thus fascinating to look at different languages and how the encode world events.

1 comment:

  1. hay, ang toxic ng sked mo kuya. kaya ako i left the university after 3.5 years of working there. ubos talaga pasensya ko sa mga estudyanteng pasaway! tapos liit pa sweldo. namiss ko kaya't bumalik ako sa corporate world, an environ which i personally prefer.

    btw, yung isa pa nating pinsan, si zipporah (uncle charlie & tita merly's daughter) was top 2 in the librarian's licensure exam.

    henyo talaga lahi natin. :)