[XeTeX] Bald king of France [was: An (almost) complete cyrunicode.tex]

Nikola Lecic nlecic at EUnet.yu
Tue Jul 3 18:12:42 CEST 2007

              - Appendix: The bald king of France -

On Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:32:08 +0200
Tobias Schlemmer <keinstein_junior at gmx.net> wrote:

> Apostolos Syropoulos schrieb:
> > I do not think so. The people who call themselves "Macedonians"
> > are slavic people and it is well documented that slavic people
> > come to this part of the world after the 8th century. Even if the
> > ancient Macedonians were not Greeks, which is definitely not the
> > case, it is more than unlikely that they spoke a slavic language.
> > So to say that "Macedonian" is a slavic language is at least
> > misleading and certainly not professional.
> Sorry, but you are doing a common logical Mistake: If you say that
> Macedonian is a Slavic language, you don't say that there can't exist
> a Greek Macedonian. The original posting didn't tell us anything
> about it. Especially it didn't say anything about it's existence or
> absence.
> >> I don't like your comment; such comments shouldn't be very welcome
> >> here. If you have professional arguments (linguistic, Aritotelian,
> >> etc.) that's ok, but this is a technical list.
> > 
> > Naturally I did not like yours and that is why I reacted. Since this
> > is a technical list, we have to be accurate. And it is totally
> > inaccurate to call this language Macedonian. As it is inaccurate to
> > say that the capital of the Byzantine Empire was Istanbul: the name
> > of the city at that time was  Constaninople, and this was the
> > second name of the city, which was originally called Byzantium.
> > Your "Macedonians" could have invented a new name just like the
> > Turks did. Do you see my point?
> What's the problem with it. I'm not familiar with the whole story, but
> aren't we talking about a millennium? If I follow your logic, the
> England must drop its name because it comes from the angels, who lived
> in northern Germany/southern Denmark. The Name „France“ has its roots
> in Germany, too. Only Indians are Americans all white and black
> people in America aren't realy Americans, because they came less than
> 1000 years ago to America and so on. In fact, I believe no name could
> really persist your logic.
> Yes Slavic Macedonians could invent a new name. But they didn't. And
> I'm sure they didn't invent any name. Normally such names grow up in a
> process. And I'm sure, in this process Greeks were involved too. If
> you don't agree with that name, you are free to invent a name in your
> language. But the English name has its roots in history, so you can't
> change it as fast as you want to.

(Yes, and Italy's capital should change its name because Ancient Romans
don't live there anymore.)

Apostolos' sentence "Is Istanbul the capital of Byzantine Empire?" has a
form of Bertrand Russell's famous "Is (the present) king of France

Or of Fregean "Is the morning star identical to the evening star?".

Therefore, I strongly recommend Apostolos to read the works of Gotlob
Frege (written a century ago) in order to learn about Denotator (~name)
-- Denotation -- Sense (~meaning).

Then, he should note this set of sentences:

  (1) "Istanbul is a denotator for the city X";
  (2) "city Y was the capital of Byzantine Empire 500 years ago)";
  (3) "X and Y are actually the same physical city that, of course, as
      all other things, changed through history."

But, as Frege would say, the _sense_ of sentence A that uses denotator
"Constantinople" and the _sense_ of sentence B that uses "Istanbul" can
differ. But the sense has nothing to do with their denotation structure.

Despite the fact that (1)-(3) are normal, simple and well-known set of
statements, you can produce a number of emotional bombs by mixing their
structure with meaning/sense. The sentence "Is/Was Istanbul the capital
of Byzantine Empire" contains (1)+(2)+(3), but plays games by mixing
_sense_ with denotations/denotators structures. This looks like this:

       (i) M1: "Is Istanbul the capital of Byzantine E.?"
      (ii) M2: "Hm, you mean Constantinople, right?"
  (i)+(ii) M2: "Aaaa, you are stealing my national identity!!!"

There is a number of funny quasi-linguistic/historic questions here.
For example:

  * Are Serbian and Croatian different languages?
  * Is there Bosnian language?
  * Is Latin script a (native) script of Serbian language?
  * Is there non-Greek Macedonian language?
  * (the newest one) Is there Montenegrin language?

All of them employ the same non-logic. They (and "answers" of all sides)
play games with structures similar to "Istanbul-Constantinople", "Bald
king of France", "morning star--evening star", etc.

Those quasi-linguistic questions don't have linguistic answer, only
Fregean. However, there is a vast amount of quasi-answers to these
quasi-questions and they used to trigger (or at least to fuel) the wars
here; such a quasi-answer can have a huge emotional power. The problem
of this region is that physical entities changed (a) their scope
(borders, structure, mutual relationships etc.) and (b) their
_denotators_ too quickly through history, especially in the last 15

And that is the fertile soil for all bald French kings.

I'm sick of such quasi-questions/answers. They brought a lot of
misery to this part of the world. And they are so ridiculous that I can
predict several new "Q&A" that will appear in the near future. And I can
predict "linguistic" "arguments" of both "sides".

Nikola Lečić

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