So, lately I've been kind of...
BAGMAN: "Don't go there! If you are about to start whining and explaining why you aren't blogging as much, please spare us!!
BUTLER: "For once, I agree with Bagman. Sometimes your excuse-making even bores me."
Okay. Okay. So I got a cup of coffee this morning and decided to see what everyone out in Blogland has been up to. The very first blog I read, posted only moments before was from Rachel. She is excited about learning the Greenland language of Kalaalisut...because it is an "ergative-absolutive" language.
BAGMAN: "I'm not sure where you are going with this -- maybe I'd rather listen to you whine."
I tried to escape! But sometimes I get attracted to weird things -- apologies to Rachel and all other linquists of the world -- but somehow I felt I had to find out what ergative-absolutive meant. Or it if was a real word at all.
Long ago I tried to learn to Japanese.
BAGMAN: "Yeah, yeah. 1970, Los Angeles, Judy Narita...never gave you the time of day."
What fascinated me (about the language) was that it didn't fit into my limited preconception of subject-verb-object. It wasn't like a word substitution code (man, homme, hombre, etc). I realized that if I not only learned to speak it, but learned to think in it, it would alter the way I thought and perceived things!
BUTLER: "Yes, you and Bagman were big on "mind-altering" back then. Which is why you never learned to say anything in Japanese except "Hello" and "Thank you."
BAGMAN: "Wrong!!! We also learned to say "Beer" and "Will you go to bed with me?"
Embarassing. But anyhow, this morning I looked up ergative-absolutive on the internet. And a whole new world opened up for me!! First I learned that the realization of ergativity can be understood by a discussion of morphosyntactic allignment.
It was about then that I realized that my future in liquistics is about as remote as my future in professional football.
BAGMAN: "So how do you say, 'will you go to bed with me' in Kalaalisut?"
BUTLER: "You weren't listening! It's not a 'nominative accusitive' language!"
BAGMAN: "I wasn't accusing anyone! They don't go to bed in Greenland?"
BUTLER: "I suppose they must, but they don't talk about it the same way. Their alignment is better morphed...
...at this point a fuse blew and all three of us went temporarily brain dead.