5.0161 Rs: E-Journals; Old Church Slavonic (2/94)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 19 Jun 91 16:50:42 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0161. Wednesday, 19 Jun 1991.

(1) Date: Fri, 14 Jun 91 11:46:37 EDT (60 lines)
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad@Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Hypercitation

(2) Date: Tue, 18 Jun 91 20:02:53 edt (34 lines)
From: "Van Doren, Frederick L." <VANDOREN@DICKINSN.Bitnet>
Subject: 5.0147 Summary: Teaching Classical Languages

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 91 11:46:37 EDT
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad@Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Hypercitation

> Date: Fri, 14 Jun 91 07:54 -0300
> Subject: objections to electronic journals
> How about: Articles in electronic journals are much harder to access
> and cite than printed ones, which have the benefit of being listed in a
> table of contents in a journal right on the library shelf. Jerry

Jerry, actually, your accessibility/citation objections are already
contained in the current list of 14, but I'll highlight them further.

They are easily answered. (It has also been suggested that I separate
the prima facie objections into objections in principle and objections
in practice. Accessibility would be a temporary problem, soon to be
completely solved by technology; citability sounds like a problem
in principle, but in reality it is a nonproblem, based on old
papyrocentric thinking.)

Full text searchability and retrievability of all electronic journal
articles (by a more powerful version of anonymous ftp) from every
modem-connected computer and every public terminal (of which there will
be many in every library and institution once this becomes the
preferred form for addressing the literature) will actually give you
infinitely more powerful, efficient, and global accessibility than
anything that could possibly be done in paper. (And supplementing
full-text search with electronic tables of contents, likewise
searchable, is also trivially easy).

Citing electronic articles (recently discussed among PSYCOLOQUY
editors) is not only possible already, but with hypertext links between
documents one is reading/writing and the full literature it will become
like an all-powerful virtual "hand" that can search, find, and retrieve
any item in the literature. Reference lists will come "alive" instantly
as one reads the work of others, and writing will incorporate an
interactive search not only of one's own frail memory of the literature,
and one's bulky and distributed paper memory aids, but, through
"hypercitation," the virtual hand will be free to roam intelligently
(through memory-jogging word-searches) across the entire body of
existing (electronic) knowledge (not to mention the "live" knowledge of
its authors, via email) at all times, from all places!

The reason I think this exercise (and the article laying to rest these
prima facie objections) is so worthwhile is that these prima facie
objections -- so easily refuted in most cases in already existing
practice, and all the rest readily refutable in principle, by
appreciating technological developments that are already within our
reach and merely a matter of mustering the will to find the way -- are
actually "soft" obstacles to the evolution of the medium. Mere failures
of imagination arising from a long scholarly history of slavery to the
habits of paper, if they can be laid to rest once and for all then there
is still time for the inevitable revolutionary effects of the new
medium to occur within our own scholarly lifetimes (thereby extending
those very lives by an order of magnitude, in my judgment)!

Stevan Harnad

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------170---
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 91 20:02:53 edt
From: "Van Doren, Frederick L." <VANDOREN@DICKINSN.Bitnet>
Subject: 5.0147 Summary: Teaching Classical Languages

Regarding the teaching of Old Church Slavic,

As a Russianist, I suffered through a year of OCS, and eventually
learned to orient myself and even take some pleasure in prayers against
lice, tales of frozen martyrs, etc. Despite what I have learned about
language teaching in other areas, I was forced to learn OCS by brute
force: repeated readings, prepared translations, in-class parsing.

Along the way, I discovered a slim volume by David Gardner (if I'm not
mistaken) that presented the grammar of OCS as a synchronic system, that
is, with a regularized morphology. One set of paradigms.

The problem is that there were few texts in his book, and virtually no
others in a regularized grammar.

Part of the excitement (and frustration) of dealing with OCS is the
challenge of untangling the mess of scribal errors, competing dialects,
etc. I do not think, however, that it is wise to force a student
through all this before s/ he has firmly learned the "regularized"
grammar through gradual exposure.

Perhaps someone out there would like to take on the task of writing a
book of short stories in "regular" OCS.

Fred VanDoren
Dept. of Russian
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA