Ursula K. Le Guin: On Rules of Writing, or, Riffing on Rechy

“When Rules Are Made to be Broken,” (LATBR, October 6, 2002), John Rechy attacks three “rules of writing” that, as he says, go virtually unchallenged in most fiction workshops and writing classes: Show, don’t tell — Write about what you know — Always have a sympathetic character for the reader to relate to. I read the piece cheering and arguing all the way.

Structural differences between poetic and prosaic genres of Ainu In favour of the corpus-based approach to linguistic typology [PDF]

Here, I am going to argue in favour of the corpus-based approach to linguistic typology, since there are many languages for which the texts of a ‘new generation’, i.e. fully glossed and annotated texts with translations and attached audio files, are already available, and even more will appear in the nearest future. On the other hand, grammars and dictionaries of the majority of the so-called endangered languages, if there are any, are still very far from being complete.

All About EVE

Eve was created to minimally assist people learn the pronunciation of words across various languages. More broadly, she is a collection of many programs including pattern matching procedures, learning programs, training programs, meta analyses, graph theory programs, authoring programs and optimization routines. Unlike others, Eve is designed to be motivated with “beyond” human-like purpose (e.g. she knows millions of people). Many AI bots have been created to pass the Turing test by convincing (or perhaps fooling) people that computer communications or conversations are human in origin. Eve is not designed to act like a human (that’s what friends are for), but rather to perform tasks that humans cannot achieve (e.g. learning all of the world’s languages, or writing didactic poems for every word in the dictionary, etc.). In this regard, she is more a creative knowledge bot (being able to create new knowledge, for example, using statistical programs or graph theory), rather than a chat bot.