We provide first-order axioms for the theories of finite trees with bounded branching and finite trees with arbitrary (finite) branching. The signature is chosen to express, in a natural way, those properties of trees most relevant to linguistic theories. These axioms provide a foundation for results in linguistics that are based on reasoning formally about such properties. We include some observations on the expressive power of these theories relative to traditional language complexity classes.
As Acharya Vidyanand writes in the Foreword of Samayasara, it is the ultimate conscious reality. The enlightened soul has infinite glory. It has the innate ability to demolish the power of karmas, both auspicious as well as inauspicious, which constitute the cycle of births and deaths, and are an obstacle in the path of liberation of the soul. Samayasara is an essential reading for anyone who wishes to lead a purposeful and contented life. It provides irrefutable and lasting solutions to (...) all our problems, concerning worldly ways as well as spiritual curiosities and misgivings. (shrink)
In recent versions of professional genre analysis, context has assumed increasingly critical importance, thus redefining genre as a configuration of text-internal and text-external factors. The emphasis on text-external properties of genre has brought into focus the notion of interdiscursivity as distinct from intertextuality, which is primarily viewed as appropriation of text-internal resources. Drawing evidence from a number of professional contexts, this article explores the nature, function, and use of interdiscursivity in genre theory, defining interdiscursivity as a function of appropriation of (...) generic resources across discursive, professional and cultural practices, which, it is claimed, is central to our understanding of the complexities of genres that are typically employed in professional, disciplinary, and institutional communication. (shrink)
Legislative writing, which is one of the key genres in the practice of law, has mostly been overlooked in pedagogic applications in English for Legal Communication (ELC), even though more than any other professional writing, it demonstrates very typical and distinctive use of linguistic and other semiotic resources, including some of the specific rhetorical conventions and constraints. However, it is surprising that despite its distinctive prominence in legal practice, it has never figured in English for Legal Communication programmes. It seems (...) to be the result of pedagogic convenience rather than curriculum need. In this paper, I would like to argue for the inclusion of legislative genres in English for Legal Communication curriculum design as input to teaching materials, to make it easier for learners to understand and interpret other forms of legal communication, such as cases, judgements, contracts, agreements, and even courtroom interaction. (shrink)
This paper takes the position that interpretations of legal discourse are invariably taken in the context of socio-pragmatic realities to which a particular instance of discourse applies. What makes this process even more complicated is the fact that social realities themselves are often negotiated within the mould of one’s subjective conceptualisations of reality. Institutions and organisations, including people in power, often represent socio-political realities from an ideologically fuelled perspective, engendering many ‘illusory’ categories often a result of contested versions of reality. (...) To substantiate this view, we discuss interpretations of a number of interesting contemporary and controversial laws, including America’s Patriot Act and Hong Kong’s proposed Article 23 of the Basic Law. Both laws can be seen as illustrative of the definitional conflict that abstract concepts such as democracy and human rights are subjected to in their own specific socio-political contexts. While America crowns itself with democracy and Hong Kong struggles to achieve it in effective synthesis with its unique political arrangement, the laws produced by both contrasting political systems are unexpectedly similar, aiming for the moderation of basic rights. The actions of both governments set against their beliefs and discourses, and furthermore set against one another and other media voices, particularly those of non-governmental organisations, political activists, and other socio-political groups, demonstrate contestation of realities, giving rise to ‘discursive illusions’, which seem to be interpreted not so much on the basis of their linguistic construction but more on the basis of socio-pragmatic factors, such as trust, belief, transparency, control and power. (shrink)
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 524 million cases and 6 million deaths worldwide. Various drug interventions targeting multiple stages of COVID-19 pathogenesis can significantly reduce infection-related mortality. The current within-host mathematical modeling study addresses the optimal drug regimen and efficacy of combination therapies in the treatment of COVID-19. The drugs/interventions considered include Arbidol, Remdesivir, Interferon and Lopinavir/ritonavir. It is concluded that these drugs, when administered singly or in combination, reduce the number of infected cells and viral load. (...) Four scenarios dealing with the administration of a single drug, two drugs, three drugs and all four are discussed. In all these scenarios, the optimal drug regimen is proposed based on two methods. In the first method, these medical interventions are modeled as control interventions and a corresponding objective function and optimal control problem are formulated. In this framework, the optimal drug regimen is derived. Later, using the comparative effectiveness method, the optimal drug regimen is derived based on the basic reproduction number and viral load. The average number of infected cells and viral load decreased the most when all four drugs were used together. On the other hand, the average number of susceptible cells decreased the most when Arbidol was administered alone. The basic reproduction number and viral load decreased the most when all four interventions were used together, confirming the previously obtained finding of the optimal control problem. The results of this study can help physicians make decisions about the treatment of the life-threatening COVID-19 infection. (shrink)
There is a striking parallel between w v o quine's 'indeterminacy of translation' thesis and k o apel's 'indeterminacy of textual interpretation thesis. both arguments are based on what is essentially the same 'sceptical dilemma'. the key to resolving these 'hermeneutic problems' is to recognize that such a 'sceptical problem' is unintelligible. this is precisely the point of wittgenstein's discussions of rule-following. many have misunderstood this, however, for they have misconstrued what was intended to be read as a "reductio ad (...) absurdum" establishing the "unintelligibility" of the dilemma, as a sceptical attack on the possibility of our ever solving the problem. (shrink)
An attractive way to model the relation between an underspecified syntactic representation and its completions is to let the underspecified representation correspond to a logical description and the completions to the models of that description. This approach, which underlies the Description Theory of Marcus et al. 1983 has been integrated in Vijay-Shanker 1992 with a pure unification approach to Lexicalized Tree-Adjoining Grammars (Joshi et al. 1975, Schabes 1990). We generalize Description Theory by integrating semantic information, that is, we (...) propose to tackle both syntactic and semantic underspecification using descriptions. (shrink)
Although Shanker & King disregard the behavioral paradigm, their arguments are reminiscent of those in Skinner 's Verbal Behavior. Like S&K, Skinner maintained that communication is not appropriately characterized as the transmission of information between individuals. In contrast to the paradigm advocated by S&K, however, the behavioral paradigm emphasizes prediction and control as important scientific goals.
Shanker & King (S&K) argue that information-theoretic approaches to communication are too rigid to capture the ebb and flow of communicative interactions. They advocate instead a dynamic systems approach based on the metaphor of dance. We focus on two problems arising from the dance metaphor: first, that its inherently cooperative tone contradicts basic tenets of behavioral biology; and second, that it risks obscuring rather than clarifying the details of communicative interactions.
Shanker & King's (S&K's) dynamic systems approach converges with developments in social anthropological studies of communication which were long ago anticipated in the writings of Volosinov and Schutz. Following a review of these writings, this commentary suggests that a dynamic systems approach should distinguish communion from communication. It concludes with a remark on the evolutionary implications of the approach.
Shanker & King (S&K) provide a criticism of information-theoretic approaches to language, but the real obstacle to their dynamicist approach is the argument that representations are an indispensable part of any cognitive theory. Since the dynamicist approach has a prima facie anti-representationalist bent, the authors must show why dynamicist views can provide adequate explanations of intelligent behavior.
Shanker & King's (S&K's) proposal is consistent with a Vygotskian model of development which assumes that cognition is first social and visible, and only later internalized and invisible. Rather than slipping into positing “epistemic operators” like understand or intend as generative of behavior during language learning or theory of mind tasks, this approach profits from keeping its focus on charting the ontogeny of embodied interactions.
Shanker & King (S&K) rightly stress that recent ape language research has important implications for language development and origins. But the evidence does not warrant their conclusion that we can dispense with representations. Indeed, their own discussion of the nature of communication highlights the central role that representations must play in our models of communicative competence, in and out of language.
Shanker & King (S&K) trumpet the adoption of a “new paradigm” in communication studies, exemplified by ape language research. Though cautiously sympathetic, I maintain that their argument relies on a false dichotomy between “information” and “dynamical systems” theory, and that the resulting confusion prevents them from recognizing the main chance their line of thinking suggests.
We support Shanker & King's (S&K's) proposal for a dynamic systems approach in ape language research, but question their vision of what it means to have language. Language plays an essential role in the making of the human mind. It underlies any kind of human interaction and codetermines perception and action. Moreover, what gives human thought the very characteristic architecture of textuality criterially requires a third party.
Parallels to Shanker & King's (S&K's) proposal for a model of language teaching that values dyadic interaction have long existed in language development, for the neotenous human infant requires care, which is inherently interactive. Interaction with talking caregivers facilitates language learning. The “new” paradigm thus has a decidedly familiar look. It would be surprising if some other paradigm worked better in animals that have no evolutionary linguistic history.
As an alternative dispute resolution procedure, Domain Name Arbitration addresses not only contentions regarding the ownership of web pages, but also infringements of the Intellectual Property law such as cyber squatting or Internet piracy. In this spirit, panelists of the World Intellectual Property Organization enact law in accordance with what the involved parties provide them as burden of proof. Following this line of thought, we can assume that one party may remain unrepresented when it is not able to accomplish legal (...) procedures successfully. Nevertheless, does this kind of asymmetry always function in the way that we presume? This paper sets out to study how WIPO panelists tackle knowledge asymmetries when being manifested in Domain Name Arbitration. In particular, this paper concentrates on comparing two Domain Name Arbitration processes in which knowledge asymmetries play a significant role in the panelist’s final-and legally binding- decision. This analysis also examines how specific text-internal features give us a hint of unbalanced relationships between the Complainant and the Respondent of a Domain Name Arbitration process. It endeavors, thus, to understand how lexical, rhetorical-grammatical and discursive features work within discourse and may reach to influence the communicative act itself. Following Vijay K. Bhatia’s critical discourse analysis as main theoretical framework, this paper tries to comprehend the role asymmetries play in enacting Domain Name law. (shrink)
Comparative and developmental psychology are engaged in a search for the evolutionary and developmental origins of the perceptions of “intentions” and “desires,” and of epistemic states such as “ignorance” and “false belief.” Shanker & King (S&K) remind us that these are merely words to describe public events: All organisms that can discriminate states of “knowledge” in others have learned to do this through observation of publicly available information.
Whatever else language may be, it is complex and multifaceted. Shanker & King (S&K) have tried to contrast a dynamic interactive view of language with an information processing view. I take issue with two main claims: first, that the dynamic interactive view of language is a “new paradigm” in either animal research or human language studies; and second, that the dynamic systems language-as-dance view of language is in any way incompatible with an information-processing view of language. That some information (...) is defined in coregulated social interaction guarantees the dancing. That all information is composed of relevant differences guarantees the information processing. (shrink)
In communication studies, in contrast to the approach of the information-transmission hypothesis, the dynamic systems theory tackles the problem of continous feedback between interactors. However, Shanker & King's (S&K's) account seems to lack methodological elaboration, for the reader is presented with anecdotes. Furthermore, in contrast to the authors' beliefs, chimpanzees (and humans) are not the only animals able to show coregulated communicative interactions, for similar phenomena can be found in other animals, as for example in dogs.
Although we applaud the interactivist approach to language and communication taken in the target article, we notice that Shanker & King (S&K) give little attention to the theoretical frameworks developed by dynamical system theorists. We point out how the dynamical idea of causality, viewed as multidirectional across multiple scales of organization, could further strengthen the position taken in the target article.
There are good arguments for examining great ape communicative achievements for what they contribute to our understanding of great ape cognition and its evolution (Russon & Begun, in press a). Our concern is whether Shanker & King's (S&K's) thesis advances communication studies from a broader cognitive and evolutionary perspective.
Several lines of evidence have underscored the remarkable neuroplasticity of the primate sensorimotor cortex, characterizing these cortical areas as dynamic constructs that are modelled in a use-dependent manner by behaviourally significant experiences. Their plasticity likely provides a neural substrate that may contribute to the dynamic systems paradigm argued by Shanker & King (S&K) as crucial for development of communication skills.