Friday, March 16, 2012

The fieldlinguist - programmer parallel

A fieldlinguist goes out in the field and asks their informant questions. They return to homebase, build a model to reflect their session with the informant, return to the field a few weeks/days later,  ask the informant some of the same questions, and questions which build upon the model. The informant says "No, thats not how it works, it works like this."

The fieldlinguist goes back to homebase, researches similar constructions, rebuilds the model and returns to the informant, the informant says "No, I can say xx is true, but not really not xxx." And the cycle continues until the model converges...

Sound familiar?

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