tennyson’s developmental linguistics

Wrenched from its context, a verse by Tennyson –

So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.

It would make an excellent essay question: is there ever a time when an infant has no language but a cry?



looking back

“Few researchers feel that they have direct access to all of the truth that is worth seeking. Naturally, one looks to one’s contemporaries for help, but unless we hold with particular rigidity to the view that historical development is a matter of monotonically nondecreasing progress, with the present always ipso facto more enlightened than the past, there is no reason not to treat our intellectual ancestors with similar respect.”

SR Anderson (1985), Phonology in the Twentieth Century: Theories of Rules and Theories of Representations. University of Chicago Press. (p3)

so why is it so difficult

James Buchanan – “Many lessons might be deduced from the doctrine of the Spirit’s agency as ‘the Spirit of grace and of supplication,’ applicable alike for our warning, our direction, and our encouragement in prayer.

… We learn from it that God has made the most ample provision for our being restored to his communion and fellowship: for not only is he revealed as the hearer and answerer of prayer, sitting on the throne of grace, and waiting to be gracious; and not only is Christ revealed as our advocate and intercessor, standing beside the throne, and ready to present our requests, perfumed with the incense of his own merits; but lest, when all outward impediments were removed, there might still remain some hinderance in our own hearts, the Holy Spirit is also revealed as the Spirit of grace and supplication, who intercedes for us according to the will of God; and as this precious truth should encourage us to ask his grace to help our infirmities, so it should inspire the hope of an answer in peace …”

practically tropical

Well! What a lot of weather we’ve been having recently. The closest lightning I’ve ever seen in my life and hugely impressive thunder. Complete with flash floods (although do they really count, if it was just blocked drains? Putative flood appears in under an hour, wreaks havoc, and disappears again just as quickly, leaving dry pavements and nothing but innocent piles of silt to mark the scene of the shortlived devastation).

Still, mustn’t grumble – three whole days of summer we’ve had already!