The new Paradigm of Linguistics
copyright © February 2009 by Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong
The Old Paradigm
The old paradigm of linguistics has four unstated premises:
- Premise 1 -- The mother tongue is acquired naturally, as a living habit. Even those with mental handicaps can often acquire a mother tongue to some proficiency.
- Premise 2 -- A second language is always more difficult to acquire than the first language.
- Premise 3 -- The first language is kind of a learning obstacle for learning a second language. Thus, many classrooms of ESL have a sign "English Only."
- Premise 4 -- The written part of a language is always more difficult than its verbal part.
Some Facts About the First Language
- It takes four to five years for a baby to acquire the verbal part of the mother tongue well enough to use the language as a communication tool.
- It takes four to five school years to acquire the written part of the first language to a point of being able to read newspaper in that language.
- In spite of the modern education systems, every country has, at least, 15% of illiteracy in its population in terms of a first language. The illiterate is one who is able to speak and to listen but is unable to read and to write.
Types of Language
A language can be viewed as a set of data (words, vocabulary, grammar, phonetics, ..., culture, history, etc.). Yet, this set of data can be divided into two parts:
In terms of a tool, it has three types of data sets:
- As a tool (words, vocabulary, grammar, phonetic etc.).
- The products of this tool (culture, history, etc.).
As there are three types of data set, there are three types of language (A, B and C).
- Type A -- chaotic data set, most of the member of the set are stand alone without any logic or genealogical connection with other members. That is, it is neither a root for others nor a derivative of any other members.
- Type B -- axiomatic data set, the entire set can be derived from:
Note: In general, the members of an axiomatic data set are self-revealing, such as, 書 (book) is 聿 (hand made item) + 曰 (intelligent saying). When an intelligent saying is made into a handmade item, it is a book.
- a finite number (the lesser the better) of basic building blocks, the word roots.
- a finite number of rules for construction of its members.
On the contrary, the members of a chaotic data set are most likely non-self-revealing particles.
- Type C -- a hybrid data set, the mixing of Type A and B.
The Different Ways of Acquiring a Language
Acquiring means memorizing. Memorizing means anchoring the data into our memory. And there are two different ways of anchoring.
Now, three laws can be induced and be tested:
- By association -- data is attached or tagged to an existing anchor.
- By repetition -- in the absence of an existing anchor for the data to attach, a new anchor must be formed. This is done by self-anchoring, a process that requires repeated drilling of the data until it is burned-in. Self anchoring requires brutal effort and a lot of energy, and it has a side effect of being easily burnt out.
- Law one -- acquiring data with association and anchors takes much less effort than acquiring data with repetition.
- Law two -- acquiring type B data takes much less effort than acquiring other types (A or C) of data.
- Law three -- learning type B language takes much less effort than learning other types (A or C) of language.
Why Take Years To Acquire a First Language?
- For the verbal part of the first language:
- A baby's brain is not fully matured.
- As the baby's brain is a blank sheet, there is no memory anchor to help him or her to memorize. Every new data must be anchored via self-anchoring, a repeated drilling.
- The mother tongue is always learned as a living habit (as a chaotic data set) even for a Type B language.
- For the written part of the first language:
- Although the verbal part of the language can now be an anchor for learning the written part, most of the written part data (especially words, vocabulary, etc.) are still taught as chaotic data:
- For alphabetic phonetic language -- the verbal does become a great anchor even while the written part data is presented as a chaotic data set.
- For non-alphabetic phonetic language (such as Chinese language) -- the verbal does not become a good anchor.
- For type A or type C language, there is an inherent difficulty in learning that language.
- Although Chinese written language is a type B language, it is not learned as a Type B language by the native Chinese (in both China and Taiwan).
The New Paradigm
This new paradigm addresses and faces off the following two issues:
- Student A's (SA) first language is language A (LA).
- Student B's (SB) native language is language B (LB).
For both issues above, this new paradigm gives affirmative answers if LB is a type B language:
- Can SA acquire LB (second language for SA) with less effort than he acquired LA (his mother tongue)?
- Can SA acquire LB with less effort than SB acquired LB (SB's native language)?
- Premise A -- SA can acquire LB with less effort than he acquired LA if LB is a type B language. (SA + LB) < (SA + LA).
- Premise B -- SA can acquire LB with less effort than SB acquired LB if LB is a type B language. (SA + LB) < (SB + LB).
How Can Premise A Be Proven?
- By test, experiment and measurement.
- By deduction:
Conclusion: SA + LA (verbal and written of first language) > SA + LB (when LB is a type B language).
- By definition, the entire data set of language type B can be deduced from a small number of data (word roots and rules), and this data can be learned easier than K-4 arithmetic while:
An axiomatic system can be learned without a language environment. According to Law three, (SA + LA) > (SA + LB) when LB is a type B language.
- Everyone (including SA) learns his mother tongue (verbal) as a living habit (in forms of a chaotic data set), even though LA is a type B language.
- Everyone learns his first written language (in the first one or two years) before he acquires a foundation of logic thinking while the second language is, in general, learned after he possessed such a foundation. That is, LA (written) becomes a type A language for SA even though it is a type B language in essence.
- Using the Chinese written language as one example, it can be learned as an axiomatic system and is easier than the K-4 arithmetic. This fact can be easily tested and verified. It was demonstrated repeatedly that one particular LB (Chinese written language) can be learned (to a point of being able to read Chinese newspaper) in 90 days by SA. The news reports (by Chinese media, 5 newspapers and 6 TV stations) on those events are available at http://www.chinese-etymology.com/ .
Thus, learning LA (written, the first language) by SA takes 4 to 5 years while learning LB (in case of Chinese written, the second language) by SA could take just 90 days. So, SA + LA (written) > SA + LB (Chinese written).
The Chinese Etymological Dynamics which can be understood by anyone who knows not a single Chinese word will be presented in the later part of this presentation.
- In the case of the Chinese verbal language, it is also an axiomatic system, and it can be learned (as second language) in one year. So, SA + LA (verbal, mother tongue) = 4 years > SA + LB (Chinese verbal, the second language) = 1 year.
How Can Premise B Be Proven?
- By test and experiment.
- By reasoning:
Conclusion: SA + LB (in case of Chinese verbal and written) < SB + LB.
- For SA + LA or SB + LB, it takes the following processes:
- Verbal part -- learned as a living habit, acquiring a chaotic data set with self-anchoring by repeated drilling.
- Written part -- learned prior to the development of logic thinking.
- When LB is not a type B language, it is not in the scope of premise B.
- When LB is a type B language, SA + LB can be smaller than SB + LB for the following reasons:
With one advantage (matured brain) and two anchors (easily learned written part and only 1,000 phonemes bandwidth), SA + LB (such as Chinese verbal) can be much smaller than SB + LB.
- Written part can be acquired as an axiomatic system, easier than K-4 arithmetic. Again, this can be tested and verified. Yet, the first or the second graders of SB might, in general, not have the benefit of a type B logic at their age.
- Written part can be as an anchor for the verbal part, especially, if the sound tags of words are in written forms.
- If the verbal part of LB is also an axiomatic system while SB did not learn it in such a system because that the baby's brain is unable to learn it in such a way.
In fact, the entire phonetic bandwidth of Chinese verbal language consists of only 250 four-tones (1,000 phonemes).
Some Facts About the Chinese Language
There are two facts about the Chinese language:
- Fact one -- The Chinese language is learned as a type A language in China and as a type C language in Taiwan.
- Fact two -- before the publication of Chinese Word Roots and Grammar in 2004 (US copyright # TX 6-514-465), no one in the five thousand year history of China pointed out that Chinese language is a type B language:
In short, those two books did not point out that the Chinese written language is an axiomatic system, and the content of those two books is unable to describe Chinese written language as an axiomatic system.
- 「 說 文 」 (So-Wen) which was written around 150 a.d. did discuss the ways (six ways) that Chinese words were constructed. However, it listed only the titles of those ways without any detailed explanation of how those ways work.
- 「 康 熙 字 典 」 (Kang-si dictionary) which was edited around 1660 a.d. classified all Chinese words with 214 radicals. However, Chinese words cannot be dissected into a set of anatomical parts (basis for a logic inference, decoding the meaning of the words) with those 214 radicals.
How Can the Fact two Be Validated?
The People's Republic of China (PRC) was found in 1949. By then, China had suffered over 100 years of humiliation. The culprit for China's demise was identified to be the Chinese written language which was viewed as a type A language without any logic for its complexity. In fact, it was viewed as a language without a logic of any kind at all. A slogan of those days was "Without abandoning the Chinese word system, China as a nation would surely die." And, the Chinese word system was also accused as the only reason for China's high illiteracy (over 85%) at that time.
However, the process of Romanization of Chinese words was not a success by 1958. The interim measure was to simplify. The simplification of the Chinese word system is, now, viewed as the greatest achievement of the PRC.
In 1958, if anyone in the world knew that the Chinese written language is a type B language (the easiest of all languages to learn), the above history would not have happened.
As the above history did happen, the Fact two is validated in and before 1958. Even today (March 7, 2009), one Chinese word expert in China emphasized that traditional (non-simplified) Chinese words are too difficult to learn for the young kids in China.
Furthermore, as soon as the Chinese language is proved to be a type B language, the Fact two is, then, validated completely, and the presentation of Chinese Etymological Dynamics below is such a proof.
How Did the Fact two Become a Fact?
The Chinese word system was matured over two thousand years ago. If the Chinese word system is an axiomatic system, it was done two thousand years ago. How can that fact remain a secret for thousands of years? There are, at least, two reasons for this:
With this camouflage system, no one in the past five thousand years noticed that the Chinese word system is a type B system, an axiomatic system. As soon as those camouflages are identified, a naked axiomatic system (as naked as a jaybird) is in front of our eyes.
- While Judaism and Christianity were established by prophets, Hinduism with mystics, Chinese system (religion, politics, society, moral, etc.) was established by Sages. Sage is defined as follows:
In general, sages were also the religious and political leaders. That is, there must not have too many sages. If the methodology of sage inventions were easily understood by the commoners, sages would have been sage no more. Thus, sages not only must invent things but must invent a way to hide their methodology of inventions. For example: the Chinese medicine was matured over two thousand years ago. Yet, no one today knows that how the human body meridian system was discovered as it still cannot be identified with today's anatomical procedure.
- Sage is one who is able to understand and to communicate with the Creator.
- Sage is one who invents better things for life.
- The inventions of sages must improve the quality of life for everyone.
- A great system of camouflage was invented to disguise the axiomatic Chinese word system into a type A system, a chaotic system. This camouflage system consists of, at least, four parts:
- Camouflage method one:
Let a = a, then a <*> a. (<*> means "not equal to").
That is, A1 (日 ) = A2 (日 ) = A3 (日 ) in word form.
- A1 -- 日 in 旦 (morning) means Sun.
- A2 -- 日 in 香 (aroma) means 甘 (sweetness).
- A3 -- 日 in 明 (bright or visible) means 囪 (window).
Yet, A1 (日 ) <*> A2 (日 ) <*> A3 (日 ) in meaning. (<*> means "not equal to")
This is done by the mutation of roots.
Mutant (root C) = Mutant (root D) = Mutant (root E)
- Camouflage method two:
Let a <*> b <*> c in word form, yet a = b = c in meaning.
This is done by a root which is mutating into many variants.
- Camouflage method three: a word is formed by fusion of roots, not by composite, and it becomes difficult to be dissected into its root composite.
- Camouflage method four: a word is formed by fission a root and followed by insertion. Without the re-construction of the fission root, that word becomes difficult to be dissected into its root composite.
Testing and Verification
In Chinese Etymology learning program, it is divided into five (5) steps:
Each step can be tested. However, the test on the first step can be the determining test for the entire system, and it can be done with very little effort. The following is my suggested testing program:
- Learning the word form (able to hand-write each and every [all 60,000] Chinese word after glancing it for 10 seconds).
- Learning the word meaning (able to dissect and to decode the meaning of all words).
- Learning the meaning of composite words (word phrases and sentences).
- Learning the entire phonetic bandwidth of the Chinese verbal language, and the 250 four-tone encompass it all.
- Marrying the phonetic to the written words.
- This test will consist of three comparison groups:
- Group A -- student who had no Chinese language background previously but has studied Chinese language for one (1) semester of university study or one (1) year under any K-12 program.
- Group B -- student who had no Chinese language background previously and will study under our program for 15 hours, 3 hours a day for 5 days.
- Group C -- professor of physics or anyone with a great analytic mind while he is not knowing any Chinese word. This is the control group, as it is a measurement for the difficulty of the test.
- Thirty Chinese words will be selected from a current Chinese newspaper randomly and each word will be flashed on a screen for 10 seconds. Persons in this test must not copy the word during the flash period but must duplicate the word with hand-writing after the word is removed from the screen. Then, the test score will be compared.
- In order to prevent any statistics outlier, each group should have three persons.
- For K-12 program, in order to measure the scope (the area of it encompasses) of this test, Group A and B should consist of three levels, one 4th grader, one 8th grader and one 12th grader.
In the following presentation, Chinese Etymological Dynamics, two points will be presented:
- The dynamics of an axiomatic system.
- Some examples of camouflage.
Chinese Etymological Dynamics
This presentation is in MS Power Point and is available on CD.
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