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CELTIC-L  April 2002

CELTIC-L April 2002

Subject:

Re: Caesar Super-Gau

From:

Raimund KARL <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Tue, 16 Apr 2002 23:23:58 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (454 lines)

Hi,

Ok, this is a late response, but I was busy during the last few days.

Vyvyan Ogma Wyverne schrieb:
> 
> You are still criticising me for what you wish I'd done instead of
> addressing your criticism to what I have done. 

I have criticised what you have done several times, and consistently
shown that all your explanations are dependent on single, unliekely
events and undocumented dialects of languages first attested about
twothousand years after the time for which you use them. This, usually,
would be considered a criticism of your theory, and actually, a quite
successful one.
I have also argued that your arguments are unscholarly, because they do
not explain evidence by consistent patterning, but by ad hoc
ecplanations of surface similarities. For the problems associated with
such a methodology, see the huge number of publications. Actually, not
even Paul Feyerabend's Against Method. Outline of an Anarchistic Theory
of Knowledge can be seen to be supportative of your approach, which is
simly one that proposes ad hoc explanations of what you think to be
similarities, even though, in all cases, it can be clearly shown that
there are incredibly more likely explanations.
That I do, additionally, critizise for what you haven't done doesn't
make it any better for your theory, which has been utterly demolished by
several people on this list already.

> I'm left to assume it's because you can't fault what I have done. 

You assume a lot, but that doesn't mean it in any way resembles reality.
I have already shown you that your theory has been faulted, and have
even remarked that this is something that is rarely possible in the
humanities, which is telling.

Even more, it does not matter if I can fault your theory or not: a)
according to Kuhn's analysis of Paradigmatic shifts, it is necessary for
a new paradigm to be more promising than the current one - and this does
not at all apply to your approach, which is much less promising than any
one existent and b) it is not my job to show that you are wrong, it
rather is yours to show, by presenting evidence that supports your
theory, that your theory is viable. As yet, you have absolutely failed
to provide any structured approach that allows to ascribe any viability
to your theory. As such, it is out of pure kindness of the heart that we
at all show you where you are wrong instead of doing what actually
should be done with your theories - simply ignore them, because they
have no viability, no explanatory power, and don't help in answering ANY
scholarly or non-scholarly questions others than yours.

> You have written at such great length on how 'very bad' etymology is
> done that you have made a very particular distinction between the
> 'very bad' etymology you describe, that you are able to fault
> (anyone could) and the still unfaulted etymology I'm doing, that
> doesn't resemble what you describe at all. 

Well, ignoring that I have faulted your alleged "etymologies" is not
helping your theory. But I'll do it again:
Your Bardacha Etymology is simply not based on any evidence, as there is
no recorded use of the term Bardacha. The term that need to be explained
is Boudica or, if you prefer, Boudicca or Boadicea. None of these is
your Bardacha. 
To arrive at Bardacha, you need to postulate an unattested pronouncation
variant, that does neither fit with Roman transcription patterns (as
Romans could write Bard, thus had they herd a term Bardacha, they might
have written Bardica or Bardicea, but not Boudicca or Boadicea) nor with
any ancient or modern British or Irish pronouncation patterns (as there
is no attested Irish or Welsh dialect, past or present, in which the
word Bard would be pronounced as Boad or Buad). Also, such a plural use
of the term bards to refer to a person or as a self-identificatory
group-term is also absolutely unattested.
As such, your theory is operating in thin air.
At the same time, there is an existing explanation, that of Boudica
being cogante to a term "buadach", which is also attested as a name
element in Old Irish literature, in the case of Loegaire Buadach,
meaning Victorious, that fits with consistently patterned linguistic
explanations and does not require to propose a unattested pronouncation,
is consistent with Roman transscription patterns and is in line with
attested Irish and Welsh pronouncation patterns.
Also, your pseudo-etymology requires us to assume an unattested language
that does not show up in the documented evidence for late pre-Roman
languages in Britain, is first attested almost 2000 years after the time
for which you postulate it, and does not fit with any other results from
other disciplines than historic linguistics. As such, your
pseudo-etymology is incredibly unlikely, and has to be considered as
faulted, as it fails to explain any of the existing evidence and
completely relies on postulated, unattested and unstructured deviations
from constistently documented patterns. 
In other words, your theory is, by any method that might be called
scholarly, lacking any explanatory power, and thus has to be considered
as wrong.

> It's a transparent ploy and not scholarly.

Well, it is nice that you feel qualified to judge what is scholarly and
what is not. Anyway, to play your game, this is only your opinion, and
it is not a scholarly one.
 
> The way you read into my clearly written mails implications of stupidity
> which are not derivable from my reasoning but are quite transparently the
> product of your own ego-driven need to discredit me since you can't fault my
> hypotheses and have claimed to be able to, is nothing short of rudeness. 

Well, I will not make any judgements about your mental capabilities, as
I am definitly not qualified to do so. Anyway, I need neither fault your
theories, nor does my ego require me to discredit you - apart from the
fact that you do this by your very own mails. 
What I can do, however, is draw conclusions from your mails, and these
clearly lead me to the deduction that, in fact, you are not interested
in scholarly discussions, mainly due to the fact that you have a
preconceived idea which you want to be praised for, and have no idea
about the evidence and don't want to hear about it, as it might destroy
your preconceived theories. As such, you block out reality and keep
proposing your theory, and attack everyone who disagrees with your view,
with rather badly used postmodern arguments about power relationships in
the scholarly community - which of course is nonsense, as I'm the
listowner here, and if I really would feel the need to suppress your
theory, I could simply unsubscribe you and block you from posting
further mails to this list. 
As such, you either consciously or subconsciously ignore reality. If you
do so consciously, you are likely to have political agenda, and if you
do so subconsciously, this would be considered a delusion. It's yours to
choose what you prefer. But this is not a wild attack on you, but is a
conclusion based on what you wrote.

> I have no other way of understanding you.  Are you really
> academically reduced here to spiteful undeserved slurs on me and
> insults that just can't hit home.

I have not insulted you, I have analysed your mails and deducted a
hypothesis from that. This hypotheses may not be to your liking, but it
is definitly not intended as an insult. I said your theory is nonsense,
and your ignorance of the evidence amounts to stupidity. This is an
emotion-free deduction, not an insult.

>  Have you no pride?  Why do you stoop so low?  I'm not pretending your
> intention to hurt and insult me isn't hurtful.  What do you gain as a
> scholar, by being rude?

I have not been rude, and I have not insulted you, nor intended to do
so. And, would I want to insult you, I would do so as the person I am,
not as a scholar.
 
> You have completely and I must conclude deliberately misread my
> email.  It clearly sets out my systematic approach to obtaining
> as much related data from as many sources concerning the word or
> word element in question, from as many countries in contact with
> the country you start in as possible, even if it takes you very
> far afield. Why do you say I'm only looking at cognates from one
> country?

I did never say that. I did say that your approach is unstructured and
does not show any consistency in use, BECAUSE you arbitrarily mix
unrelated material without documenting any relationship between the data
or putting it in any kind of interpretative framework other than "it
sounds similar if pronounced different than usual". And you do this to
propose IRISH explanations for words in very different languages. You
don't say that Irish words are derived from Greek etc. words, you
constatly claim that Greek etc. words are derived from Irish words. This
shows that ou have a certain agenda.
 
> I agree with you that I personally need much more knowledge, at
> every step of my method, but we all need that,

Well, some of us need that more than others.

> and besides, you haven't faulted my method.

Well, this is your opinion. Everyone else on this list who has spoken up
as yet seems to be of another opinion.
Anyway, I have clearly shown that your method cannot show genetic
relationships between terms, and thus, what you call cognates can't be
cognates as the term cognate is defined as describing a genetic
relationship between terms, i.e. the diachronic and regular development
from one term to another. Your theory, at best, could show a
relationship based on morphogenetic fields, which, however, would not
make the terms cognates, but parallel developments, based on a common
unconsciousness or whatever else.
Thus, I have successfully faulted your use of terminology, and as such,
your methodology, within the scholarly framework, which you claim to
follow.
Had you claimed to follow a non-scholarly approach, I could have said
nothing more than that I do not believe you. But you didn't. You claim
scholarship on your part, and this, as I did successfullky demonstrate,
is a wrong claim, as your methodology is wrong based on the scholarly
frame of reference.
As such, you are welcome to pick and choose. Either it is non-scholarly,
or it is wrong. It's your choice.

> I don't think you can have understood it to have come to the
> conclusion you pretend you have come to. If you read it at all
> you have misunderstood it in a very simplistic way.

I have read it, and I have understood it. It is not scholarly, as it
ignores the diachronic perspective and negates the necessity to document
statements with evidence that can be put into a consistent
interpretative framework that demonstrates that the evidence is related
to the question.
 
> The systematisation of the process of searching for cognates by trying out
> different ways of pronouncing them has been fully described to you, and I
> included a table of mutations to which consonants are susceptible as an
> example of the kinds of tables that I am compiling to systematise the
> process even further, these being based on principles I've been using all
> along.

But there is no relationship to attested evidence, which is a necessary
requirement for scholarly methodology. This is, said as simple as anyhow
possible, what differentiates scholarship from fiction. If you can't
accept that, then I'm sorry, but this is the definition of scholarly
research in difference to fiction writing. 
 
> And you have not conclusively faulted any of my hypotheses based upon it.

I have. You may not think so, but anyone else here does.
 
> If you think you have faulted my hypotheses, why not just set out
> the plain, unadorned logic by which you do so.  So far your
> objections have been only that there are other at least equally
> dubious hypotheses, or that there is no conclusive proof.  These
> do not fault my hypothesis.

I do have, several times, faulted your hypotheses, as far as faulting of
hypotheses is possible at all. I have frequently demonstrated that they
lack any relationship with documented evidence, that they are based on
non-regular application of alleged pronouncation variants which cannot
be shown to exist in similar ways in ancient or modern languages (where
such pronouncation variants are always patterned, except in case of
individual cases due to physical or mental defects of the individual
speaking), that they are based on your misunderstanding or misuse of
scholarly terminology, and that you ignore the spatio-temporal context
in which terms were recorded and used (as if you did care about it, you
would need to look at all attested terms from a certain spatio-temporal
context and demonstrate that they are consistently patterned), and base
your explanations on ad-hoc assumptions and individual case scenarios
(as else you would care about ecidence, patterns and spatio-temporal
contexts).
This faults your hypotheses by any scholarly frame of reference. You
might ignore this, but doing so is a delusion. Like it or not, this is
how scholarly research works.
 
> You protest that ceann/queen is a bit loose, and it is, I agree, but it's
> not all that loose.

Now, is it or isn't it?

> Not looser than existing etymologies.

It is a lot less viable than existing etymologies, which are not in the
least as hypothetical as you, in ignorance of the existing evidence,
claim they are. Actually, most of the things you have as yet proposed
only show that you lack the necessary knowlegde to make a qualified
judgement of their scholarly value. This is plainly evident from all you
write. You can't make educated evaluations of the explanatory power of
existing theories, as you do not have the necessary background
knowledge. Thus, such statements as the above one, that your theories
are not "looser" than existing ones, are ridiculous and, at best,
something to laugh about - and in fact, they are quite preposterous.

> Not as loose for example as the case the experts have made for
> Prasto on the coins, which was faulted by subsequent finds.

Even if you were right in this case, which you are not, this would be an
isolated case. And, in fact, no one says that experts can't err - but
they err less frequently than you would like.
 
> I've never said that any of my hypotheses was proven, but only
> suggested that there was a case for looking at possible C-Celtic
> origins such as one like the one I proposed for the word Iceni. 
> Based on the hypothesised error of a single Roman, this hypothesis
> doesn't flinch at the unconvincing argument that no Roman would
> ever have erred.

No one said that Romans couldn't err. Stop repeating that stupid point,
it is nothing than your strawman to knock down. The point that I and
others have been criticising consistently in your theories is that they
are based on constructed and rather unlikely, singular events, like that
proposed error by a Roman, which you have not in the least tested if
such an error could have happened at all, or at least if it could likely
have occurred in the spatio-temporal context you are talking about. As
you do not care about that context, and have not studied it in any
measureable way, your constructed situation is nothing than a fictionous
idea - as likely or unlikely as any other possible event that could have
happened as well (like Martians telepathically transmitting a Martian
word fpr rebel, which incidentially sounds like Boudica when pronounced
by Romans), or any other error that could have crept in. This is the
reason why scholarly research deals with patterned, structured elements
in the evidence. Isolated, single events are something outside of the
scope of scholarly research, as frequently explained.
As such, you can look at everything you want, but such a hypotheses
neither allows you to claim a Q-Celtic language for Ancient Britain
(which you have presented as a fact here) nor a social structure as
based on your pseudo-etymology (as you also have done) or a
pseudo-historical single-case event (as you also have presented as if it
were factual), and use this as evidence for further analysis (as it is
not, it all remains a postulate, and not even a very creative or
intelligent one).
 
> I have freely admitted to gaps in my knowledge, but you have not
> been as honest.

Well, I have several times stated that I neither think of myself as
infallible nor that I think I know everything. However, in the specific
field we are talking about, the gaps in my knowledge are considerably
smaller than yours are, in fact, they are infinitly smaller, and this
not necessarily because I think I am brighter than you, but simply
because I am much better educated in that field than you are, because it
is my profession for almost two decades now, and I am reading primary
and secondary literature for about 6-10 hours on average per day, 7 days
a week, 365 days per year. Today, I am one of the foremost experts in my
field - worldwide. And not only in my fantasy world, but internationally
recognised. As such, even though I do have considerable gaps in my
knowledge, I know a lot more than you ever will unless you get frequent
access to good academic libraries.

> Yet you must understand that they are as noticeable in your emails
> as mine are in mine.

Well, of course gaps are noticeable even in my mails. I, for instance,
am no numismaticist (even though I have read several books on Celtic
numismatics and have attended several classes by Günther Dembski,
currently one of the leading experts on eastern Celtic coinage), and as
such, John can easily show gaps in my knowledge - I, for instance, had
not heard of the new reading of the Prasto-coins. However, they hardly
are as noticeable as in your mails - I even have better knowledge of
postmodern philopsophy than you, even though I definitly am not claiming
be a postmodernist (even though, as someone standing close to radical
constructivism, I most probably would be considered as a postmodern
author by most). 

Again, your above statement shows that you are a bit deluded about your
skills and abilities.
 
> I'm not really intending to revolutionise Celtic Studies. 

Well, you need to to give your theory any credibility.

> I only mention that words recorded as having been uttered by ancient
> Gauls could be translated into plausible words extant in a surviving
> near relation of the language she or he is likely to have spoken; and
> that words on coins from an area known to have been inhabited by both
> Gauls and Romans, having upon them inscriptions in Roman letters that
> can be translated into whole, coherent and wholly likely Latin mottoes
> of victory and triumph, seem to me to be more likely to Roman than
> Celtic, if no Celtic translation has ever been found for them.

You fail to put those ideas in a spatio-temporal context. You fail to
give any systematic reasons for how such a coin could  be explained in
relation to other evidence from its time and place - there are no Roman
coins which have such a motto, as such, it is not a likely "Latin motto"
to be found on coins, whether we want to call those coins Roman,
Gaulish, Celtic or anything else. As such, it can be clearly
demonstrated that you ignore the existing evidence, and jump to fast
conclusions. These conclusions you immediately propose as unrefuteable
facts, and, instead of checking them against other available evidence to
check their explanatory value, raise to the status of objective truth.
This is uncritical method and unscholarly research. This leads to
fiction and idle, arbitrary speculation in thin air.
 
> Are the very foundations of Celtic studies really threatened by the weight
> of this uneducated amateur's unconventional hypothesis

Not at all. But on this list are not only experts, but also interested
amateurs, which might think that you know what you are talking about,
where in fact you don't. Your speculations are well in line with a lot
of rather esoteric theories that are out there, mostly those of equally
uneducated New Age neodruids who want to create their own version of the
past for various reasons (most often to sell their books).

> which you declare to
> be unsupported and contradicted by a whole swag of 'evidence, not
> a whit of which you have ever, incidentally produced,

I have produced lots of it, and have referred you, numerously, to
primary and secondary literature. That you are unwilling to look at it
is not my problem, it is yours. I am not here to do your research for
you, especially not given the way you treat me and others, and the way
you summarily dismiss any evidence that doesn't fit with your
preconceived evidence.

> despite smoke-screens of irrelevant stuff?

The only one who is using smokescreen tactics here is you. Everyone else
has been willing to produce his evidence, and has actually produced it.
And it was not irrelevant stuff that was produced, but rather very
relevant one, stuff that has to do with the spatio-temporal context,
with the larger cultural, linguistic and historical context and thus is
extremely important for our understanding of the past. The very fact
that you are unwilling to accept that shows that you are not interested
in scholarly research but rather in seeing your theories praised for
their alleged ingenuity. This is, as I already noted above, ridiculous
and preposterous.

> If so, then they must have been rotten before I got here. 

Well, you don't know anything about it, as such, again, you draw quick
and unfounded conclusions. Before criticising something, you should
learn the basics of what you are talking about. This is what I already
have told you several times. Every single one of my first year students
has more idea about the evidence than you have. As long as you have not
at least that minimal knowlegde, such comments as yours can only be
explained in a single way: you are trying to summarily discredit a
discipline that you have no idea about, to make your own speculations
more likely. This, again, makes it likely that you either have some kind
of hidden agenda, or are heavily deluded. Again, it is your choice...

> But seriously, there's plenty of room for growth in Celtic Studies
> from what little of it I can see, and it's sturdy enough to enjoy a few
> healthy paradigm shifts every now and then and flourish all the more.

Have you read Kuhn? I doubt. In fact, your idea of paradigmatic shifts
tells that either you have not read his The Structure of Scientific
Resolutions, or have not at all understood it. This is not my problem,
it is yours. Kuhn's book costs less than 10 US$. It should be affordable
even for you. Get it. Read it. Then talk again about paradigmatic
shifts.
Even more, your theory will not lead to a paradigmatic shift - as Kuhn
writes, paradigmatic shifts do only appear when a new paradigma looks
more promising than the old one(s), or if the old one consistently fails
to explain unsolved problems and a new one is able to solve those
problems. Your theory, however, lacks any explanatory power in regard to
the evidence, fails to even adress unsolved problems as you don't know
what the unsolved problems are under the current paradigma, and even
more fails to solve these problems. You are, in every regard, pursuing a
useless crusade against something that you don't have sufficent
knowledge about to give educated judgements on it. This is sad, and
especially so as you are wasting my time, as you are wasting that of
others. 
Your contributions contain nothing new any more. You have had your say,
and you have got the responses you deserved. It is time to move on to
another topic. 

All the best,

RAY
________________________________________________________________________

Mag.phil. Raimund KARL 
Österreich: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Lektor für kulturwissenschaftliche Keltologie
Univ.Wien, Inst.f.Alte Geschichte, A-1010 Wien, Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 1
United Kingdom: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Research fellow (European Archaeology)
Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, 
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3HH; ffôn: (+44 781) 6464861
________________________________________________________________________

     Besuchen Sie die Homepage der Studienrichtung Keltologie unter
       Visit the Celtic Studies at Vienna University homepage at
            <http://www.univie.ac.at/keltologie/index.html>

                   Visit the Canolfan homepage at
                  <http://www.cymru.ac.uk/canolfan>
________________________________________________________________________

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