Total Posts:34|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

The Buddha's Theory of Linguistics

GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2011 8:45:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think CosmicAlfonzo will certainly concur here as it really does validate the points he has been making concerning words, symbols, etc. This is definitely worth the read.

The Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra

"Word-discrimination goes on by the coordination of brain, chest, nose, throat, palate, lips, tongue, teeth and lips. Words are neither different nor not-different from discrimination. Words rise from discrimination as their cause; if words were different from discrimination they could not have discrimination for their cause; then again, if words are not different, they could not carry and express meaning.

There are four kinds of word discrimination, all of which are to be avoided because they are alike unreal.

First there are words indicating individual marks which rise from discriminating forms and signs as being real in themselves and, then, becoming attached to them.

There are memory-words which rise from the unreal surroundings which come before the mind when it recalls some previous experience.

Then there are words growing out of attachment to the erroneous distinctions and speculations of the mental processes.

And finally, there are words growing out of inherited prejudices as seeds of habit-energy accumulated since beginningless time, or which had their origin in some long forgotten clinging to false-imagination and erroneous speculation.

Then there are words where there are no corresponding objects, as for instance, the hare's horns, a barren woman's child, etc., - there are no such things but we have the words, just the same.

Words are an artificial creation; there are Buddha-lands where there are no words. In some Buddha-lands ideas are indicated by looking steadily, in other gestures, in still others by a frown, by a movement of the eyes, by laughing, by yawning, by the clearing of the throat, or by trembling.

For instance, in the Buddha-land of the Tathagata Samantabhadra, Bodhisattvas, by a dhyana transcending words and ideas, attain recognition of all things as un-born and they, also experience various most excellent Samadhis that transcend words.

Even in this world such specialized beings as ants and bees carry on their activities very well without recourse to words. No, Mahamati, the validity of things is independent of the validity of words.

Moreover, there are other things that belong to words, namely, the syllable-body of words, the name-body of words, and the sentence-body of words.

By the syllable-body is meant that by which words and sentences are set up or indicated: there is a reason for some syllables, some are mnemonic, and some are chosen arbitrarily.

By the name-body is meant the object depending upon which name-words obtains its significance, or in other words, name-body is the "substance" of a name-word.

By sentence-body is meant the completion of the meaning by expressing the word more fully in a sentence. The name for this sentence-body is suggested by the footprints left in the road by elephants, horses, people, deer, cattle, goats, etc. But neither words nor sentences can exactly express meaning, for words are only sweet sounds that are arbitrarily chosen to represent things, they are not the things themselves, which in turn are only manifestations of mind.

Discrimination of meaning is based upon false-imagination that these sweet sounds which we call words and which are dependent upon whatever subjects they are supposed to stand for, and which subjects are supposed to be self-existent, all of which is based on error. Disciples should be on their guard against the seductions of words and sentences and their illusive meanings, for by them the ignorant and the dull-witted become entangled and helpless as an elephant floundering about in the deep mud.

Words and sentences are produced by the law of causation and are mutually conditioning, - they cannot express highest Reality. Moreover, in highest Reality there are no differentiations to be discriminated and there is nothing to be predicated in regards to it. Highest Reality is an exalted state of bliss, it is not a state of word-discrimination and it cannot be entered into by mere statements concerning it. The Tathagatas have a better way of teaching, namely, through self-realisation of Noble Wisdom."

-- the Buddha [Lankavatara Sutra]
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2011 9:01:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 8:58:53 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
So are you saying language is based upon discrimination?

how can you talk of things without noticing/"discriminating" them??

Of course all talk is derived from discrimination!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2011 9:16:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 8:58:53 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
So are you saying language is based upon discrimination?

You've got the wrong idea. He doesn't mean social discrimination. Look at the actual definition of "discrimination."

descriminate:
1. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate: a mark that discriminates the original from the copy.

2. to note or distinguish as different: He can discriminate minute variations in

-- Dictionary.com
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2011 10:56:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yeah, Buddha was a pretty smart dude indeed.

To say the least.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
PrimoVictoria
Posts: 38
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/1/2011 5:46:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/28/2011 9:16:36 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/28/2011 8:58:53 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
So are you saying language is based upon discrimination?

You've got the wrong idea. He doesn't mean social discrimination. Look at the actual definition of "discrimination."

descriminate:
1. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate: a mark that discriminates the original from the copy.

2. to note or distinguish as different: He can discriminate minute variations in

-- Dictionary.com

That is what I meant.
PrimoVictoria
Posts: 38
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/1/2011 3:02:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 5:46:20 AM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
At 2/28/2011 9:16:36 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/28/2011 8:58:53 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
So are you saying language is based upon discrimination?

You've got the wrong idea. He doesn't mean social discrimination. Look at the actual definition of "discrimination."

descriminate:
1. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate: a mark that discriminates the original from the copy.

2. to note or distinguish as different: He can discriminate minute variations in

-- Dictionary.com

That is what I meant.

We are currently going over this topic of the origins of language in my sociology class, and we are also intertwining this subject in with the cases of human children having little to no human contact and how these children lacked vocal skills, basically we are having an debate on whether or not heredity controls ones ability to learn (invent) language (in consideration of some racist factions and their belief that they are superior genetically and their language is superior for they have an ingrained instinct to produce this language, etc) and this more or less disproves any instinct to produce language but there is an instinct to acquire language at a young age. This debate is leading down to a discussion upon how the first human languages have formed and now we are trying to figure out that first stroke of genius that was language. Please excuse any mistypes, for I am doing this on my phone.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/1/2011 3:07:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 3:02:48 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
At 3/1/2011 5:46:20 AM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
At 2/28/2011 9:16:36 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/28/2011 8:58:53 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
So are you saying language is based upon discrimination?

You've got the wrong idea. He doesn't mean social discrimination. Look at the actual definition of "discrimination."

descriminate:
1. to make or constitute a distinction in or between; differentiate: a mark that discriminates the original from the copy.

2. to note or distinguish as different: He can discriminate minute variations in

-- Dictionary.com

That is what I meant.

We are currently going over this topic of the origins of language in my sociology class, and we are also intertwining this subject in with the cases of human children having little to no human contact and how these children lacked vocal skills, basically we are having an debate on whether or not heredity controls ones ability to learn (invent) language (in consideration of some racist factions and their belief that they are superior genetically and their language is superior for they have an ingrained instinct to produce this language, etc) and this more or less disproves any instinct to produce language but there is an instinct to acquire language at a young age. This debate is leading down to a discussion upon how the first human languages have formed and now we are trying to figure out that first stroke of genius that was language. Please excuse any mistypes, for I am doing this on my phone.

Good luck figuring that out ;)
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/2/2011 12:58:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/1/2011 3:02:48 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
We are currently going over this topic of the origins of language in my sociology class, and we are also intertwining this subject in with the cases of human children having little to no human contact and how these children lacked vocal skills, basically we are having an debate on whether or not heredity controls ones ability to learn (invent) language (in consideration of some racist factions and their belief that they are superior genetically and their language is superior for they have an ingrained instinct to produce this language, etc) and this more or less disproves any instinct to produce language but there is an instinct to acquire language at a young age. This debate is leading down to a discussion upon how the first human languages have formed and now we are trying to figure out that first stroke of genius that was language. Please excuse any mistypes, for I am doing this on my phone.

Oh that's cool. Perhaps you should present this discourse of the Buddha's to your professor to see what he thinks of it. I'm pretty sure that the Buddha's analysis of language is the very first and most ancient, and perhaps most sophisticated, attempt at origins and philosophy of language.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
PrimoVictoria
Posts: 38
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/2/2011 7:23:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 12:58:54 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/1/2011 3:02:48 PM, PrimoVictoria wrote:
We are currently going over this topic of the origins of language in my sociology class, and we are also intertwining this subject in with the cases of human children having little to no human contact and how these children lacked vocal skills, basically we are having an debate on whether or not heredity controls ones ability to learn (invent) language (in consideration of some racist factions and their belief that they are superior genetically and their language is superior for they have an ingrained instinct to produce this language, etc) and this more or less disproves any instinct to produce language but there is an instinct to acquire language at a young age. This debate is leading down to a discussion upon how the first human languages have formed and now we are trying to figure out that first stroke of genius that was language. Please excuse any mistypes, for I am doing this on my phone.

Oh that's cool. Perhaps you should present this discourse of the Buddha's to your professor to see what he thinks of it. I'm pretty sure that the Buddha's analysis of language is the very first and most ancient, and perhaps most sophisticated, attempt at origins and philosophy of language.

Thanks I will!
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 2:43:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 2:28:28 PM, eball45 wrote:
Thanks for informing me that language is arbitrary.... I had no idea. So what??

Sorry but, FAIL. You clearly didn't even read the whole thing because if you did, you would have read the part where he said language IS NOT entirely arbitrary. Clearly this discourse went way over your head, you couldn't even reach the end without getting confused and give up.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 2:52:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 2:43:19 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/3/2011 2:28:28 PM, eball45 wrote:
Thanks for informing me that language is arbitrary.... I had no idea. So what??

Sorry but, FAIL. You clearly didn't even read the whole thing because if you did, you would have read the part where he said language IS NOT entirely arbitrary. Clearly this discourse went way over your head, you couldn't even reach the end without getting confused and give up.

I hereby demand that any further Bhudda discourses be immediately followed by a loose translation by Cosmic Alfonzo for the layman.
eball45
Posts: 125
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 7:46:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In that case, how can language not be entirely arbitrary? We make up names for things. The names really have nothing to do with the objects. Sure seems arbitrary... unless the buddha says otherwise I guess.
eball45
Posts: 125
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 7:51:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
He says some syllable bodies aren't arbitrary. Well, thats wild. But, he also says all words are arbitrary.
Syllables exist because of words. If words are all arbitrary, wouldn't that make the syllables arbitrary as well??
If not, please give me an example of a syllable that isn't arbitrary.
PrimoVictoria
Posts: 38
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 8:01:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 7:51:14 PM, eball45 wrote:
He says some syllable bodies aren't arbitrary. Well, thats wild. But, he also says all words are arbitrary.
Syllables exist because of words. If words are all arbitrary, wouldn't that make the syllables arbitrary as well??
If not, please give me an example of a syllable that isn't arbitrary.

He means words and syllables are not entirely arbitrary, only partially.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 8:16:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 7:51:14 PM, eball45 wrote:
He says some syllable bodies aren't arbitrary. Well, thats wild. But, he also says all words are arbitrary.
Syllables exist because of words. If words are all arbitrary, wouldn't that make the syllables arbitrary as well??
If not, please give me an example of a syllable that isn't arbitrary.

Reverse that Buckaroo Banzai
eball45
Posts: 125
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 9:31:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ok, now give the explanation. An example would be great. The sentence posted is arbitrary. If not, explain to me why it's not.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 9:38:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 9:31:20 PM, eball45 wrote:
Ok, now give the explanation. An example would be great. The sentence posted is arbitrary. If not, explain to me why it's not.

Syllables make up words. That's just a fact. The smaller constituents make up the larger constituents. I'm pretty those who invented words started with one syllable and gradually added syllables. They didn't just go "hullagurallaboo," and then work their way backwards. This is made evident by the fact that root words exist.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 9:46:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 9:38:45 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/3/2011 9:31:20 PM, eball45 wrote:
Ok, now give the explanation. An example would be great. The sentence posted is arbitrary. If not, explain to me why it's not.

Syllables make up words. That's just a fact. The smaller constituents make up the larger constituents. I'm pretty those who invented words started with one syllable and gradually added syllables. They didn't just go "hullagurallaboo," and then work their way backwards. This is made evident by the fact that root words exist.

Geo.. read my siggy :P
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 9:49:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 9:43:01 PM, eball45 wrote:
Ok, I'm with you. So, are the smaller units arbitrary?

"There is a reason for some syllables, some are mnemonic, and some are chosen arbitrarily."
-- the Buddha [Lankavatara Sutra]
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 9:54:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 9:46:18 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Geo.. read my siggy :P

Hahaa, fully agreed!
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
eball45
Posts: 125
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 10:17:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 9:54:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/3/2011 9:46:18 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Geo.. read my siggy :P

Hahaa, fully agreed!

A curious characteristic of many memory systems is that mnemonics work despite being (or possibly because of being) illogical or arbitrary. "Roy" is a legitimate first name, but there is no actual surname "Biv" and of course the middle initial "G" is arbitrary. Why is "Roy G. Biv" easy to remember in order to memorise the order that the seven colours of the rainbow appear? ROYGBIV can also be expressed as the almost meaningless phrase "Roy Great Britain the Fourth" again referencing "Roy" but using the GB national code for Great Britain and the Roman numerals for 4, viz: IV. The sentence "Richard of York gave battle in vain" is commonly used in the UK. Any two of the three months ending in -ember would fit just as euphoniously as September and November in "Thirty days hath...", yet most people can remember the rhyme correctly for a lifetime after having heard it once, and are never troubled by doubts as to which two of the -ember months have thirty days. A bizarre arbitrary association may stick in the mind better than a logical one.

One reason for the effectiveness of seemingly arbitrary mnemonics is the grouping of information provided by the mnemonic. Just as US phone numbers group 10 digits into three groups, the name "Roy G. Biv" groups seven colors into two short names and an initial. Various studies (most notably The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two) have shown that the human brain is capable of remembering only a limited number of arbitrary items in working memory; grouping these items into chunks permits the brain to hold more of them in memory.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 10:23:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:17:41 PM, eball45 wrote:
At 3/3/2011 9:54:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/3/2011 9:46:18 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Geo.. read my siggy :P

Hahaa, fully agreed!

A curious characteristic of many memory systems is that mnemonics work despite being (or possibly because of being) illogical or arbitrary. "Roy" is a legitimate first name, but there is no actual surname "Biv" and of course the middle initial "G" is arbitrary. Why is "Roy G. Biv" easy to remember in order to memorise the order that the seven colours of the rainbow appear? ROYGBIV can also be expressed as the almost meaningless phrase "Roy Great Britain the Fourth" again referencing "Roy" but using the GB national code for Great Britain and the Roman numerals for 4, viz: IV. The sentence "Richard of York gave battle in vain" is commonly used in the UK. Any two of the three months ending in -ember would fit just as euphoniously as September and November in "Thirty days hath...", yet most people can remember the rhyme correctly for a lifetime after having heard it once, and are never troubled by doubts as to which two of the -ember months have thirty days. A bizarre arbitrary association may stick in the mind better than a logical one.

One reason for the effectiveness of seemingly arbitrary mnemonics is the grouping of information provided by the mnemonic. Just as US phone numbers group 10 digits into three groups, the name "Roy G. Biv" groups seven colors into two short names and an initial. Various studies (most notably The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two) have shown that the human brain is capable of remembering only a limited number of arbitrary items in working memory; grouping these items into chunks permits the brain to hold more of them in memory.

In many of the world's languages, onomatopoeia-like words are used to describe phenomena apart from the purely auditive. Japanese often utilizes such words to describe feelings or figurative expressions about objects or concepts. For instance, Japanese barabara is used to reflect an object's state of disarray or separation, and shiiin is the onomatopoetic form of absolute silence (used at the time an English speaker might expect to hear the sound of crickets chirping or a pin dropping in a silent room, or someone coughing). It is used in English as well with terms like bling, which describes the glinting of light on things like gold, chrome or precious stones. In Japanese, kirakira is used for glittery things.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/3/2011 11:11:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:40:06 PM, eball45 wrote:
mnemonics are arbitrary.

Cosmic Alfonso...paging Dr Alfonso... we need a translator here...
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
3/4/2011 1:40:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:11:35 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/3/2011 10:40:06 PM, eball45 wrote:
mnemonics are arbitrary.

Cosmic Alfonso...paging Dr Alfonso... we need a translator here...

I'll break it down after I wake up. I just got back from playing, it's like 1:40 in the morning where I am.

My balls itch, my eyes ache, and my head is fuzzy from all the beer. Buddha should not be translated/interpreted while your head is fuzzy.

And While I could just write a quick summary, I think it would be more beneficial to break it down piece by piece like that last Buddha thing Geo posted.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp