Artful Lounger learns Sanskrit (among other things!)

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(Original post by becausethenight)
That all sounds really Latin-y - clearly all these ancient languages are the same :lol:

Ah I see, that makes sense for the first year of the course. I find it gets more fun when you start texts so something to look forward to? And yeah I feel like all readers copy texts, probably to familiarise students?

That's really sad that some modules might get dropped, having less of a choice is never good and might put people off who aren't into yoga (which, although I could be wrong, seems possibly a bit more niche than wanting to study poetry or Epic). Poetry will be painful I'd imagine! Meter is both awesome and terrifying.

Yeah that was the impression I got from friends who studied it further. I also used Athenaze for a bit It gets a bit repetitive but we all love Dikaiopolis and Argus the dog

Yes it's the same with Latin really - prose tends towards certain patterns and a very clause based structure and lots of "envelopes" but poets can have a bit more fun! Especially Ovid. I don't know if Sanskrit has the same tendency to start just missing words out though.
Well they are all related - Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin are all Indo-European languages so share a lot of features, and it's hypothesized they all descended from the same ancestral language (Proto-Indo-European). In fact they also have elements of shared mythology that are hypothesized to descend from an earlier PIE mythology (for example shared stories of serpent/dragon slaying) and there are some parallel poetic forms in the Sanskrit and Greek epics that are hypothesised (maybe a bit more controversially?) to also be from what was once a shared oral tradition

Yeah yoga does seem pretty niche to me, although it's a popular one at SOAS because they've had a yoga studies MA that has been running for a fair bit of time now I think. That said I've no particular aversion to it - I don't really know anything about yogic texts and traditions, discounting any preconceptions based on Western physical yoga classes that are very popular

And yes, the repetitiveness of Athenaze gets tedious, especially very early in the book where it feels like everything is about fields and ploughs xD It is helpful, if boring, to have that format because it does reinforce the vocab by using it over and over again. Reading Greek, a different textbook I had used before Athenaze, was much worse in that respect; the stories were more varied but a lot of the time you would find some bits of vocab would only appear in one extract and never again :/ Also the way they organised the glossary/vocab lists was very stupid (Reading Greek did it alphabetically, instead of the order they appear in the text, and the alphabetical form also included the article! Nonsense!).

Not sure how Sanskrit works in actual texts, other than compared to the prepared/adapted texts there is a feature of how the script it's written in works where words get "smushed" together, so if one begins with a vowel and the word before ends in a consonant as I recall they get joined together, so you need to pick apart from the words D:
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Well they are all related - Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin are all Indo-European languages so share a lot of features, and it's hypothesized they all descended from the same ancestral language (Proto-Indo-European). In fact they also have elements of shared mythology that are hypothesized to descend from an earlier PIE mythology (for example shared stories of serpent/dragon slaying) and there are some parallel poetic forms in the Sanskrit and Greek epics that are hypothesised (maybe a bit more controversially?) to also be from what was once a shared oral tradition

Yeah yoga does seem pretty niche to me, although it's a popular one at SOAS because they've had a yoga studies MA that has been running for a fair bit of time now I think. That said I've no particular aversion to it - I don't really know anything about yogic texts and traditions, discounting any preconceptions based on Western physical yoga classes that are very popular

And yes, the repetitiveness of Athenaze gets tedious, especially very early in the book where it feels like everything is about fields and ploughs xD It is helpful, if boring, to have that format because it does reinforce the vocab by using it over and over again. Reading Greek, a different textbook I had used before Athenaze, was much worse in that respect; the stories were more varied but a lot of the time you would find some bits of vocab would only appear in one extract and never again :/ Also the way they organised the glossary/vocab lists was very stupid (Reading Greek did it alphabetically, instead of the order they appear in the text, and the alphabetical form also included the article! Nonsense!).

Not sure how Sanskrit works in actual texts, other than compared to the prepared/adapted texts there is a feature of how the script it's written in works where words get "smushed" together, so if one begins with a vowel and the word before ends in a consonant as I recall they get joined together, so you need to pick apart from the words D:
Oh that's really cool :yep: I'd heard of PIE, but not the hypothesised shared mythology - it sounds especially interesting as maybe more linked to a shared community than simply "people had these ideas a lot" (as with Flood myths, although I admit to not being a mythology student in any real capacity and could therefore be talking nonsense) And as you say all this can get so controversial since a lot of it kind of comes down to 'we don't know but Professor Bob has his favourite theory'

Poetry is a really interesting one - I wonder if we'd ever be able to work out if it was a shared tradition or one group copying the other's tradition/poetic style? Reminds me a bit of the debate as to whether some of Catullus's poems are direct translations of Greek poetry by Callimachus or just a homage. Very little Callimachus survives so probably we'll never know! Even now I love seeing people trying to write modern poetry in Classical metre - English doesn't suit it and it's rarely very succesful, but I like the idea.

Yeah it just seems niche I'd be interested to know more and how people get into it. SOAS has the most amazing and niche degrees and MAs, it's great

Oh God yes. As you say though it works - practically the only Greek I remember is cow and plough! I like how some of the stories, especially the later ones, 'sneak in' bits of history and culture too. Never heard of Reading Greek but I'll take your word for it and avoid it :rofl:

Oh that sounds like a nightmare. Words smushing together is the easiest way to go from "yes! I know this word" to "aaaaaaaaa I'm so lost" :/
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(Original post by becausethenight)
Oh that's really cool :yep: I'd heard of PIE, but not the hypothesised shared mythology - it sounds especially interesting as maybe more linked to a shared community than simply "people had these ideas a lot" (as with Flood myths, although I admit to not being a mythology student in any real capacity and could therefore be talking nonsense) And as you say all this can get so controversial since a lot of it kind of comes down to 'we don't know but Professor Bob has his favourite theory'

Poetry is a really interesting one - I wonder if we'd ever be able to work out if it was a shared tradition or one group copying the other's tradition/poetic style? Reminds me a bit of the debate as to whether some of Catullus's poems are direct translations of Greek poetry by Callimachus or just a homage. Very little Callimachus survives so probably we'll never know! Even now I love seeing people trying to write modern poetry in Classical metre - English doesn't suit it and it's rarely very succesful, but I like the idea.

Yeah it just seems niche I'd be interested to know more and how people get into it. SOAS has the most amazing and niche degrees and MAs, it's great

Oh God yes. As you say though it works - practically the only Greek I remember is cow and plough! I like how some of the stories, especially the later ones, 'sneak in' bits of history and culture too. Never heard of Reading Greek but I'll take your word for it and avoid it :rofl:

Oh that sounds like a nightmare. Words smushing together is the easiest way to go from "yes! I know this word" to "aaaaaaaaa I'm so lost" :/
The PIE comparative mythology stuff is pretty fascinating, there's a surprising amount of correspondence across a pretty wide range of traditions, e.g. the "divine twins" which appear in some form in e.g. Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin texts (maybe also Old Norse or Celtic texts too, don't know much about those though and since they were generally later they may have been influenced by Latin traditions more). The flood myths are also pretty ubiquitous in the Mediterranean region at least, not sure if these also occur in Sanskrit literature as well.

They might not be specifically an Indo-European myth and may be a regional one or originated from Semitic mythologies though because I think they occurred in ancient near Eastern literature too (I don't really know much about the chronology of the ancient near East though - Edminzodo might be able to contextualise that better perhaps?).

I think the comparative measures for poetic devices are based on comparison of a pretty broad range of Indo-European languages as with the mythology sources, some of which were fairly well separated in time and place e.g. Vedic Sanskrit hymns and Greek epics, and it might have been unlikely for them to have had substantial contact before the Hellenistic period and by that point the content of those respective texts were pretty well established.

Not sure how big the overall yoga studies programme is, we had about 20 people in Sanskrit 1A last term of which I think about half were from the yoga studies MA programme. Of course it's not a required course on the yoga studies programme, just an optional one, so presumably there are people doing that MA who aren't taking Sanskrit too! My impression is it has a fairly consistent intake though, so I think may have been part of what let Sanskrit survive the "restructuring" over the summer.

The rest of the Sanskrit students were mostly undergrads from various programmes, off the top of my head I think some from anthropology, some from art history, and a lot of the others from the languages & cultures degree (which has replaced most of the individual regional studies courses at SOAS and just includes all those options in one single degree programme in which you choose which language/region to focus on...the non-language modules are a bit more general as a result though). I'm the only Sanskrit student doing the (possibly now defunct?) CertHE.

And yep, especially with the way the sandhi (sound changes) work in Sanskrit (which can be internal to a word or external depending on the words next to it) it can get...confusing, trying to work backwards from the text to the "dictionary" forms of words! We did do a little practice of this last term, but it wasn't on the final test/exam and our lecturer was quite insistent on not emphasizing it at the time. Also verbs are listed by their roots in the dictionary, which sometimes take a few steps to get to the stem you find in the usual conjugated forms, so it is a bit of a puzzle in some respects
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Term 1 addendum - Introduction to Linguistics


So, bit of an odd post in the scheme of timing of things, but I just finished my final assignment for the linguistics module, and also yesterday got back my results for the second assignment. With that, my attention for linguistics this term is mostly on hiatus until things start ramping up in advance of the exam season later.

The second assessment returned:
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The whole process of the second assignment was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster...I ended up having to leave out most of one question due to not leaving enough time because I didn't realise how hard it would be to typeset all of the IPA symbols in LaTeX (which perhaps was my fault for using LaTeX in the first place...). I was also not really that confident with most of it except the syntax section which I was moderately ok with because a friend had helped teach me a bit about syntax tree drawing. When I got the results back...I had 42%

I wasn't expecting great marks since I'd missed out most of one section, but it was still disappointing to see. I was even more disappointed when I realised I'd accidentally forgotten to include an image which was my workings out for one of the questions on the first section, and so missed all those marks depsite having actually done that bit! After moping a bit about that, I went through the feedback comments and marks and realised that I'd actually gotten almost full marks on everything that was submitted...except the syntax section, which didn't have a mark written in the feedback comments. After totting up the marks for the other sections I realised I must've scored 0 on the syntax section, which I was surprised by because that was the one I had been moderately confident about! Also since I'd submitted something I would've expected to have maybe even gotten one or two marks even by accident...

After some encouragement from TSR, I emailed the lecturer to query if I had really just completely done the wrong thing with the syntax section and what I should look at to remedy that deficiency in future. The lecturer got back to me pretty quickly and said he had double checked it and realised he forgot to add on the marks from that section to my final score, and I'd had nearly full marks on it as well. So in the end my result went up to 65%, which is a lot better! Also it was quite reassuring to realise then that a lot of the phonetics/phonology/syntax stuff I had at least a reasonable grasp of, and so hopefully I can get a decent allotment of marks in the final exam from the data based question half of it.

One minor frustration with myself was the realisation if I'd not stupidly forgotten to include the pic of that first question (a phonetic inventory based on some data provided) I actually might've even gotten a 1st on that assignment! Obviously also if I'd planned my time better and realised the IPA symbols would be so difficult to typeset and hence just done it in word or something, could've maybe done more of the morphology section and even if I only did relatively poorly, with a lot of marks available could've picked up a few by accident or whatever. Ah well...





Working on the final assessment:

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For the final assignment, it was quite difficult because I found the concepts kind of hard to understand in any depth. The semantics and pragmatics stuff (which is what the assignment was on) can skew a lot of the abstract and philosophical side of things, while on the surface appearing very kind of, pointing out the obvious/common sense stuff. Navigating between those levels was kind of hard - I always felt like I understood nothing, or I only had a very surface level, superficial knowledge of the topic. Also because so much of the content seemed very abstract, figuring out how to apply it in practice or construct examples using those concepts was hard to work out.

In the end things got somewhat helped (and maybe somewhat hindered) by the lecturer sending out an email this morning (the day it was due!) with pretty major "hints" about how to approach each part of the assignment. As a result I completely scrapped the second part and rewrote it mostly from scratch...of course I still had already done the reading and organised my references for the case study being considered (the Derek Bentley case), so part of the work was done, but all my analysis I did from scratch again, because in his email he pretty much said "this topic (related to relevance theory) is the one you need to use in analysing the case" which was...not the angle I'd gone with originally (and originally I really had no idea how to approach it and kind of just vaguely defined some things we'd done in lecture and tried to apply them, and wasn't so sure if they were relevant [no pun intended]).

Unfortunately the topic in question was one I hadn't really understood at all, so I spent a good part of the day watching the lectures over again and doing some more reading to get a feel for it. In the end I think it was (hopefully) OK, I feel like the analysis made a bit more sense and was less arbitrary once I had it done. It was a very short assignment in terms of word count which kind of limited how much I could talk about anyway, which maybe (?) helped me.

The first part his hint just confirmed I'd mostly gone about the correct way though at least. I had been thrown by the question specifically referring to material covered in the video lectures, as I felt there were some other relevant things in the lecture notes that weren't covered in the video lectures if that terminology wasn't included in the question that I could've put in. In his email he referred to the lecture notes more broadly though, so I decided to restructure it a bit to fit in an extra example from the lecture notes that wasn't in the video lectures.




Overall this module was probably one of the most stressful I had last term, comparable to Latin, but in a very different way. Latin was stressful because we had a lot of contact hours and the lecturer would frequently ask people on the spot questions and expect you to be able to answer them, but the material was all covered pretty thoroughly and largely made sense. But the linguistics module was stressful because so much of it was independently done (we only had one seminar a week, plus prerecorded lectures and lots of readings to go through), which was to be expected, but some of the material was very hard to get to grips with and it felt like often I was kind of guessing at how to properly put into practice in the assignments. Not sure if I will take another linguistics module in future or not...

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(Original post by 5hyl33n)
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
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(Original post by Edminzodo)
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(Original post by becausethenight)
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The PIE comparative mythology stuff is pretty fascinating, there's a surprising amount of correspondence across a pretty wide range of traditions, e.g. the "divine twins" which appear in some form in e.g. Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin texts (maybe also Old Norse or Celtic texts too, don't know much about those though and since they were generally later they may have been influenced by Latin traditions more). The flood myths are also pretty ubiquitous in the Mediterranean region at least, not sure if these also occur in Sanskrit literature as well.

They might not be specifically an Indo-European myth and may be a regional one or originated from Semitic mythologies though because I think they occurred in ancient near Eastern literature too (I don't really know much about the chronology of the ancient near East though - Edminzodo might be able to contextualise that better perhaps?).
Yes, it's really interesting. I read something a while back about how basically every culture has a "seven sisters" myth about the Pleiades, even though there are only six stars, and usually some story explaining why one sister left - so a physicist did some cosmology and found that there were originally seven back when roughly we think humanity was living in Africa, and then due to physics one stopped being visible and the mythology might have arisen to explain that! Yay for interdisciplinary research is my main takeaway from that
That said I've spent a bit of time looking into how the chronology of the Torah maps up with what is likely to have actually happened at the time and it doesn't always match that well, so risky to assume myths always explain real events I think.

I think the comparative measures for poetic devices are based on comparison of a pretty broad range of Indo-European languages as with the mythology sources, some of which were fairly well separated in time and place e.g. Vedic Sanskrit hymns and Greek epics, and it might have been unlikely for them to have had substantial contact before the Hellenistic period and by that point the content of those respective texts were pretty well established.
Yeah, that would make sense. With poetry as well there is an element of whether or not it just 'works' from a music theory POV.

Not sure how big the overall yoga studies programme is, we had about 20 people in Sanskrit 1A last term of which I think about half were from the yoga studies MA programme. Of course it's not a required course on the yoga studies programme, just an optional one, so presumably there are people doing that MA who aren't taking Sanskrit too! My impression is it has a fairly consistent intake though, so I think may have been part of what let Sanskrit survive the "restructuring" over the summer.
I'd still think 10 people taking yoga studies is a lot :lol:
If it helped Sanskrit survive that's all to the good though.

The rest of the Sanskrit students were mostly undergrads from various programmes, off the top of my head I think some from anthropology, some from art history, and a lot of the others from the languages & cultures degree (which has replaced most of the individual regional studies courses at SOAS and just includes all those options in one single degree programme in which you choose which language/region to focus on...the non-language modules are a bit more general as a result though). I'm the only Sanskrit student doing the (possibly now defunct?) CertHE.
It must be nice having such a diverse lot of people on the course, they must all bring very different perspectives!

What is a CertHe, sorry

And yep, especially with the way the sandhi (sound changes) work in Sanskrit (which can be internal to a word or external depending on the words next to it) it can get...confusing, trying to work backwards from the text to the "dictionary" forms of words! We did do a little practice of this last term, but it wasn't on the final test/exam and our lecturer was quite insistent on not emphasizing it at the time. Also verbs are listed by their roots in the dictionary, which sometimes take a few steps to get to the stem you find in the usual conjugated forms, so it is a bit of a puzzle in some respects
:puke:
Part of why I never really got on with Greek I think, I hated all the stem contractions!

Well done on the linguistics module by the way! It sounds stressful but hopefully at least a learning experience that it's not for you?
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(Original post by becausethenight)
Yes, it's really interesting. I read something a while back about how basically every culture has a "seven sisters" myth about the Pleiades, even though there are only six stars, and usually some story explaining why one sister left - so a physicist did some cosmology and found that there were originally seven back when roughly we think humanity was living in Africa, and then due to physics one stopped being visible and the mythology might have arisen to explain that! Yay for interdisciplinary research is my main takeaway from that
That said I've spent a bit of time looking into how the chronology of the Torah maps up with what is likely to have actually happened at the time and it doesn't always match that well, so risky to assume myths always explain real events I think.

Yeah, that would make sense. With poetry as well there is an element of whether or not it just 'works' from a music theory POV.

I'd still think 10 people taking yoga studies is a lot :lol:
If it helped Sanskrit survive that's all to the good though.

It must be nice having such a diverse lot of people on the course, they must all bring very different perspectives!

What is a CertHe, sorry
:puke:
Part of why I never really got on with Greek I think, I hated all the stem contractions!

Well done on the linguistics module by the way! It sounds stressful but hopefully at least a learning experience that it's not for you?
That's interesting about the seven sisters, I didn't know that!

The relationship between myth and history is kind of the focus for this and last week of the myth module, I've not finished going through all the new lecture notes the lecturer put up today yet though. There is a sense that there is overlap though, and it's not the case that one is purely a false creation while the other is purely factual, and more importantly to the people those myths belonged to they did serve some purpose in creating a history in a way (in terms of like, an origin). I think anyway, I need to finish reading the notes

One of the more influential theories I gather was from Levi-Strauss about how myth represents a sort of "bricolage", pieced together from stories and history, both of the "owning" culture of that myth and also from other cultures they interacted with, sort of patched together because having that myth then serves some purpose in society (supporting a regime, individual, institution, etc). But there is a definite implication that no matter how fantastic or far-fetched it may be, there is some kernel of reality in it, I suppose.

Yes it is nice having such a range of people with different interests on the Sanskrit course - this was also the case for the art history module I took last term (partly by virtue of it covering such a broad range of areas and times, since it covered both South and Southeast Asia). Everyone has very different reasons for being interested in the subject matter, but especially for Sanskrit they do have a reason. Our lecturer did say early on (maybe the first lecture!) that Sanskrit isn't something people tend to end up in by accident or circumstance, which I think also has a positive influence on things. Everyone is fairly engaged with the material and people make a lot of insightful remarks or connections based on their own background (e.g. with other modern or ancient languages in terms of grammar type things in Sanskrit, or compared with other cultures or cultural experiences, both modern and ancient, in the broader scheme of things).

A CertHE is a certificate of higher education; basically 120 credits of UG study, so the equivalent of the first year of a bachelors degree, in theory. For my purposes it makes a convenient initial starting point to get a formal qualification to use as a basis for applying to full degrees. For full-time study it doesn't really affect me in terms of funding because I wouldn't have sufficient funding to cover the tuition fees anyway after my prior studies, so no problem there, and for part-time studies it's a bit easier to organise funding because there is a lot more scope to work while studying, and the funding model is different in some ways anyway (although the ELQ rules still apply I think).

The stem contractions were a bit of a pain in Greek yeah :/ sometimes it was OK but sometimes it made the declensions seem to do weird things, when in fact it was perfectly regular but some contraction made it look weird. Such things seem rampant in Sanskrit though so it seems all part and parcel of studying it! As well as the sandhi mentioned before, there is also a process of vowel gradation (aka ablaut/apophony) where the vowels change in certain situations (e.g. certain verb classes will always have a strengthening or weakening of the vowel when forming the stem), which adds yet another dimension xD

Yeah the linguistics experience was...mixed at best. On the one hand I realise not everything I'm going to be doing in a degree or area of study is something I will necessarily like (or be good at!), but on the other hand one of my motivations for pursuing the study of Sanskrit was an interest in the comparative linguistic elements, so given it transpires linguistics is maybe not that appealing to me I might need to re-evaluate how I approach potential future options
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
That's interesting about the seven sisters, I didn't know that!

The relationship between myth and history is kind of the focus for this and last week of the myth module, I've not finished going through all the new lecture notes the lecturer put up today yet though. There is a sense that there is overlap though, and it's not the case that one is purely a false creation while the other is purely factual, and more importantly to the people those myths belonged to they did serve some purpose in creating a history in a way (in terms of like, an origin). I think anyway, I need to finish reading the notes [

One of the more influential theories I gather was from Levi-Strauss about how myth represents a sort of "bricolage", pieced together from stories and history, both of the "owning" culture of that myth and also from other cultures they interacted with, sort of patched together because having that myth then serves some purpose in society (supporting a regime, individual, institution, etc). But there is a definite implication that no matter how fantastic or far-fetched it may be, there is some kernel of reality in it, I suppose.
Good ol' Levi-Strauss

I do think all this stuff is fascinating, especially your point about myth and history infuencing each other and both in some sense creating each other. As a Latinist everything makes me think of the Aeneid but I really wish I'd thought about all this a bit more when I was studying it last year, because I think it's a big part of why people have so many different takes on it, since it's using myth to make history (Augustinian propaganda lol) but also drawing on pre-existing myth and forms of tragedy, and of course it exists in a Roman historical context too, and generally it's complicated and brilliant

The 'bricolage' theory and myth as a tool to explain the world around us is really interesting too. I wonder what it says about us that we've come up with so many different mythologies in the same world!

Yes it is nice having such a range of people with different interests on the Sanskrit course - this was also the case for the art history module I took last term (partly by virtue of it covering such a broad range of areas and times, since it covered both South and Southeast Asia). Everyone has very different reasons for being interested in the subject matter, but especially for Sanskrit they do have a reason. Our lecturer did say early on (maybe the first lecture!) that Sanskrit isn't something people tend to end up in by accident or circumstance, which I think also has a positive influence on things. Everyone is fairly engaged with the material and people make a lot of insightful remarks or connections based on their own background (e.g. with other modern or ancient languages in terms of grammar type things in Sanskrit, or compared with other cultures or cultural experiences, both modern and ancient, in the broader scheme of things).
Yeah, I think even knowing Sanskrit exists is a big step! And when people want to learn the language and make an effort it makes such a difference. It sounds like a really nice class.

A CertHE is a certificate of higher education; basically 120 credits of UG study, so the equivalent of the first year of a bachelors degree, in theory. For my purposes it makes a convenient initial starting point to get a formal qualification to use as a basis for applying to full degrees. For full-time study it doesn't really affect me in terms of funding because I wouldn't have sufficient funding to cover the tuition fees anyway after my prior studies, so no problem there, and for part-time studies it's a bit easier to organise funding because there is a lot more scope to work while studying, and the funding model is different in some ways anyway (although the ELQ rules still apply I think).
Ah I see, thanks for explaining

Funding around uni is so complicated... Would you not be able to study full time later on?

The stem contractions were a bit of a pain in Greek yeah :/ sometimes it was OK but sometimes it made the declensions seem to do weird things, when in fact it was perfectly regular but some contraction made it look weird. Such things seem rampant in Sanskrit though so it seems all part and parcel of studying it! As well as the sandhi mentioned before, there is also a process of vowel gradation (aka ablaut/apophony) where the vowels change in certain situations (e.g. certain verb classes will always have a strengthening or weakening of the vowel when forming the stem), which adds yet another dimension xD
Oh no not changing the vowels :puke: What I really hate is when one vowel (especially i/e) changes the tense of the verb and then you always get it wrong (even worse you know what's going on but not which form is which :/)

Would you say Sanskrit is "harder" than Greek

Yeah the linguistics experience was...mixed at best. On the one hand I realise not everything I'm going to be doing in a degree or area of study is something I will necessarily like (or be good at!), but on the other hand one of my motivations for pursuing the study of Sanskrit was an interest in the comparative linguistic elements, so given it transpires linguistics is maybe not that appealing to me I might need to re-evaluate how I approach potential future options
That is a very good way of putting it
I would always say life's too short to do something you don't enjoy much - could you just pick something without compulsory linguistics?
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(Original post by becausethenight)
Good ol' Levi-Strauss

I do think all this stuff is fascinating, especially your point about myth and history infuencing each other and both in some sense creating each other. As a Latinist everything makes me think of the Aeneid but I really wish I'd thought about all this a bit more when I was studying it last year, because I think it's a big part of why people have so many different takes on it, since it's using myth to make history (Augustinian propaganda lol) but also drawing on pre-existing myth and forms of tragedy, and of course it exists in a Roman historical context too, and generally it's complicated and brilliant

The 'bricolage' theory and myth as a tool to explain the world around us is really interesting too. I wonder what it says about us that we've come up with so many different mythologies in the same world!

Yeah, I think even knowing Sanskrit exists is a big step! And when people want to learn the language and make an effort it makes such a difference. It sounds like a really nice class.

Ah I see, thanks for explaining

Funding around uni is so complicated... Would you not be able to study full time later on?

Oh no not changing the vowels :puke: What I really hate is when one vowel (especially i/e) changes the tense of the verb and then you always get it wrong (even worse you know what's going on but not which form is which :/)

Would you say Sanskrit is "harder" than Greek



That is a very good way of putting it
I would always say life's too short to do something you don't enjoy much - could you just pick something without compulsory linguistics?
Yeah I think the Aeneid is a good example of that, from what I've read about it (I've not actually read the Aeneid itself though ).

For full time funding...I'll be eligible for a maintenance loan only now (no tuition fee loan), so generally "probably not". If the uni offers pretty generous bursaries for mature students and/or students with low income, then "maybe" as then I could use the maintenance loan to pay the tuition fees, and any bursary amount to help support myself alongside working. Obviously though working alongside a full time course can be hard. So part-time is the easiest option because then I still get tuition fee loans, and maintenance loans (unless it's distance learning), plus part-time study is easier to potentially work during as well of course.

Yeah the changing vowels can be tricky, I think it feels a bit less onerous in Sanskrit with the vowel gradation than it did in Greek with the contractions and such, because the vowel gradation feels a lot more systematised and in terms of pure memorisation (if you didn't want to learn the "system" as such) there are fewer forms to learn in total (I think about 9) compared to those long tables to contractions for Greek...

As for Sanskrit being harder or not, not sure how qualified I am to say that since I've only done a little of each yet! In my experience I think there is maybe "more to" Sanskrit, both in terms of just like, cases and other grammatical features, and also in a sort of iceberg kind of way. While Sanskrit has more cases (and I think, declensions) than Greek, more distinct cases feels like a help more than a hindrance, because you don't get the situation where it's like, "this is dative so could be any of 15 different things", because all those different features of the dative in Greek (and the ablative in Latin) are separated into different cases for Sanskrit. Although the actual "direction" of things isn't that Sanskrit separated those cases, it's that Greek and Latin combined them.

There's also a lot going on under the surface which has pretty detailed historical-linguistic explanations as to why certain things are happening, which in some sense makes it feel less arbitrary than Greek sometimes seemed, there haven't been that many things come up where the thing is just completely irregular, usually it's been the case "this looks irregular and we will treat it as such here, but there is actually a sandhi/convention/historical-linguistic reason for it and it's quite regular when you know that but we haven't covered it yet", or "this looks irregular but actually it's because these three things happening which change the appearance of this a lot but once you know the steps to get to it, you see it's quite regular".

Equally though the devanāgarī script is a new and unfamiliar script to learn (the Greek alphabet has a lot of relations to the Roman alphabet that we use so obviously many things look similar to their corresponding sounds in English) and has some additional features which can sometimes make things harder (like the word combining thing I mentioned before). It's also not technically speaking an alphabetic script but a syllabic script, which is a slightly different way of thinking about sounds I guess. But again, like with just about everything in Sanskrit, it's all very organised and systematised by the ancient Sanskrit grammarians and so it does make a lot of sense, and is a lot less arbitrary than the Roman (English) or Greek alphabets/scripts. Also so far as we have progressed there isn't accentuation as such (which was always something I struggled with in Greek and Latin), and the diacritical marks we've encountered have all been for changing the vowel in the syllable, which once you get used to the concept of a syllabary vs alphabet makes sense and doesn't require a lot of thought once you learn them

I don't think linguistics is likely to be compulsory as such, just more from a research angle of possible future dissertation or something, anything comparative in that frame will generally have some linguistic (in terms of, linguistics as an academic field, not just "language based" which is sort of a given anyway) frame to it. Of course it may be some of the elements of linguistics we studied are less applicable in comparative/historical linguistics contexts (not really sure how syntax trees would work for non-English languages, at least in the x-bar theory, as the word order is different and not necessarily as fixed in any of the languages I've been doing compared to English!). Still, something to think about I guess...
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Yeah I think the Aeneid is a good example of that, from what I've read about it (I've not actually read the Aeneid itself though ).
If you do have time/want to, it's actually quite readable (better than Homer imo lol)

For full time funding...I'll be eligible for a maintenance loan only now (no tuition fee loan), so generally "probably not". If the uni offers pretty generous bursaries for mature students and/or students with low income, then "maybe" as then I could use the maintenance loan to pay the tuition fees, and any bursary amount to help support myself alongside working. Obviously though working alongside a full time course can be hard. So part-time is the easiest option because then I still get tuition fee loans, and maintenance loans (unless it's distance learning), plus part-time study is easier to potentially work during as well of course.
Sounds like an absolute nightmare to work everything out! Fingers crossed it does.


Yeah the changing vowels can be tricky, I think it feels a bit less onerous in Sanskrit with the vowel gradation than it did in Greek with the contractions and such, because the vowel gradation feels a lot more systematised and in terms of pure memorisation (if you didn't want to learn the "system" as such) there are fewer forms to learn in total (I think about 9) compared to those long tables to contractions for Greek...
I never did enough Greek to actually learn anything, but I'll take your word for it :lol:
But not having massive tables of stuff to learn has to be good.

As for Sanskrit being harder or not, not sure how qualified I am to say that since I've only done a little of each yet! In my experience I think there is maybe "more to" Sanskrit, both in terms of just like, cases and other grammatical features, and also in a sort of iceberg kind of way. While Sanskrit has more cases (and I think, declensions) than Greek, more distinct cases feels like a help more than a hindrance, because you don't get the situation where it's like, "this is dative so could be any of 15 different things", because all those different features of the dative in Greek (and the ablative in Latin) are separated into different cases for Sanskrit. Although the actual "direction" of things isn't that Sanskrit separated those cases, it's that Greek and Latin combined them.
Ah yeah that actually sounds quite nice, it's so hard to know what datives or ablatives actually are :lol:

Interesting that the trend was to combine them, though.

There's also a lot going on under the surface which has pretty detailed historical-linguistic explanations as to why certain things are happening, which in some sense makes it feel less arbitrary than Greek sometimes seemed, there haven't been that many things come up where the thing is just completely irregular, usually it's been the case "this looks irregular and we will treat it as such here, but there is actually a sandhi/convention/historical-linguistic reason for it and it's quite regular when you know that but we haven't covered it yet", or "this looks irregular but actually it's because these three things happening which change the appearance of this a lot but once you know the steps to get to it, you see it's quite regular".
Yep that definitely sounds good, it really helps when there actually are rules at some point :lol: Although maybe frustating for people who don't want to continue with more Sanskrit and just have to learn the exceptions.

Equally though the devanāgarī script is a new and unfamiliar script to learn (the Greek alphabet has a lot of relations to the Roman alphabet that we use so obviously many things look similar to their corresponding sounds in English) and has some additional features which can sometimes make things harder (like the word combining thing I mentioned before). It's also not technically speaking an alphabetic script but a syllabic script, which is a slightly different way of thinking about sounds I guess. But again, like with just about everything in Sanskrit, it's all very organised and systematised by the ancient Sanskrit grammarians and so it does make a lot of sense, and is a lot less arbitrary than the Roman (English) or Greek alphabets/scripts. Also so far as we have progressed there isn't accentuation as such (which was always something I struggled with in Greek and Latin), and the diacritical marks we've encountered have all been for changing the vowel in the syllable, which once you get used to the concept of a syllabary vs alphabet makes sense and doesn't require a lot of thought once you learn them
That sounds interesting, especially as the main thing that would put me off (and maybe other people?) would be "aaa new alphabet scary" :rofl:

I don't think linguistics is likely to be compulsory as such, just more from a research angle of possible future dissertation or something, anything comparative in that frame will generally have some linguistic (in terms of, linguistics as an academic field, not just "language based" which is sort of a given anyway) frame to it. Of course it may be some of the elements of linguistics we studied are less applicable in comparative/historical linguistics contexts (not really sure how syntax trees would work for non-English languages, at least in the x-bar theory, as the word order is different and not necessarily as fixed in any of the languages I've been doing compared to English!). Still, something to think about I guess...
Yeah that makes sense, so it might mean you'd maybe have to go down more of a literature or history route?
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If you do have time/want to, it's actually quite readable (better than Homer imo lol)

Sounds like an absolute nightmare to work everything out! Fingers crossed it does.

I never did enough Greek to actually learn anything, but I'll take your word for it :lol:
But not having massive tables of stuff to learn has to be good.

Ah yeah that actually sounds quite nice, it's so hard to know what datives or ablatives actually are :lol:

Interesting that the trend was to combine them, though.

Yep that definitely sounds good, it really helps when there actually are rules at some point :lol: Although maybe frustating for people who don't want to continue with more Sanskrit and just have to learn the exceptions.

That sounds interesting, especially as the main thing that would put me off (and maybe other people?) would be "aaa new alphabet scary" :rofl:

Yeah that makes sense, so it might mean you'd maybe have to go down more of a literature or history route?
Yeah trying to figure out the possible form the dative is taking in an actual sentence was always a pain :laugh:

That was pretty much my initial response to being introduced to devanāgarī, especially as our lecturer was like "you don't need to know this all that well now, but by about week 4 of term or so you should be pretty familiar with it" and I was like...how is that going to be possible?! But yeah, the very "nice" organisation of it helps with learning it, and also with reasoning about sandhi (since they're all about sound changes, and the syllabary is organised on the basis of the sounds, so you can kind of think "oh ok so this is going to lose it's voicing, so it's going to go back one step in the row" or something).

Plus after several weeks of working with it consistently a lot of the more common signs become very recgonisable, both the "basic" syllable signs and vowel change diacritics, and also some of the more common consonant conjuncts (like "kṣ" which comes up all over the place, fortunately because it's not as easy to figure out as some of the other conjuncts because it doesn't look so much like the "original" form of the signs!). Of course some of the less common ones (the vowel signs took a while to get used to since the vowels are normally part of a consonant and so you don't see an individual sign for them except when they are word-initial; some of the vowel diacritics on the syllable signs also don't crop up so much).

Yeah I'm not really sure what angle to pursue...the literary side scares me a bit because I've never been great at literary analysis and really didn't enjoy it in 6th form when I did IB HL English (although I was also terrified by one of my teachers for it which didn't help), although what I did in my OU module wasn't so bad. Ironically the shorter commentary assignments we had, which were much more close reading and much less broader thematic considerations, were what I did better in and enjoyed more than the longer form essay which stressed me out a lot.

Really no idea what studying history is like though - I dropped it after year 9 for lack of options (I had originally planned to take it but then they made us all take GCSE PE although at the time apparently GCSE History was pretty much just "Hitler studies" which I think would've been very boring for me because I wasn't that interested in that era...) and haven't done it since! Ancient history is I think a bit different in terms of approaches though? Not too sure however!

I really enjoyed my art history module last term (which was also included archaeological artefacts) so maybe something more in the (classical) art history/archaeology vein might be appealing...but that doesn't really incorporate much language work (at least, ancient language work) usually so, not sure
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Term 2 - Week 2

I meant to do more, smaller updates as things went on this term, but it looks like that isn't happening yet


Sanskrit

We covered some new sandhi on Monday, then on Wednesday were introduced to compound verbs, of which there are various types in Sanskrit (and English!). Not all of the Sanskrit forms exist as much in English though, one of them the only convincing example we had was "student-teacher" from English. There essentially several different ways compound nouns can be formed even in English, for example blackbird vs treehouse. The first is of course a bird that is black, so it's a more specific form of the second word in the compound. The second however isn't a house that is a tree, but a house in tree, so it has a case based relationship (the locative here, such that it can be said to exist in English). There was also discussion about one that is used in some kind of substantive adjectival form I think, although I'm a little fuzzy on that. I can't really think of much to say about this, although we did have a fair bit of discussion on it - I might need to review my notes a bit!

However most of the time since those classes I was stressed out by/preoccupied with...


Greek Mythology

Our first seminar was today, which I was kind of panicking over since after reading the text we were discussing (Hesiod's Theogony) I didn't feel like I had much to say, even with the prompts from the lecturer in the lecture notes and on a separate seminar "prep" sheet type thing he sent out. So I was pretty worried about that...in the end I did say a few things, I'm not sure how much the contributed to the discussion, hopefully positively at least. One of them only really occurred to me in the seminar, while we were discussing the Moirai (Fates). We'd already discussed the fact they appeared twice in the Theogony, in two different genealogical contexts (one birthed by the goddess Night, the other birthed by Thetis and conceived by Zeus) which also had somewhat different language used to describe them and their "work".

As a result of that then some people were discussing how they were sort of separate from the other gods in a sense and perhaps more powerful than them, and even Zeus had to defer to the outcome of their work (illustrated through a bit from the Iliad the lecturer talked about with Sarpedon). This seemed to parallel the introduction and development of Styx, who like the Moirai was originally formed in the pre-Zeus "era", but like the Moirai were then reframed as becoming part of Zeus' cosmic order following the Titanomachy (although not by described as being born of Thetis and Zeus after already having been born, but by Styx having offered allegiance of herself and her children to secure them offices within Zeus' cosmic order). Like the Moirai after the establishment of Zeus' order Styx did hold power over the gods as well, since she through the oath on Styx was the only one really able to doling punishment to the gods, bringing them as close to death as the immortal beings can get by putting them in a trance like stupor, denying them ambrosia, and then leading to them being exiled from Olympus and the feasts for some time (I think it was 9 years). It seemed sort of interesting to me, not sure if it was as relevant or interesting as I thought to others though...

So overall, not as stressful as what I worked myself up into beforehand I've no real way to gauge how much I "got" the material from that experience though, although it did introduce a number of points I hadn't been aware of and references to other texts I haven't read yet (e.g. some parts of the Iliad I hadn't gotten to before I had to return it to the library, and parts of Plato's Symposium...there was also a reference to the Odyssey but I didn't really understand what the person was saying so I need to go over the recording again).

In the run up to the seminar the prerecorded lecture material was fairly interesting as it went through some of the connections with Ancient Near Eastern mythology, like we were talking about in this thread before! One very notable parallel was between the relationships between Zeus/Kronos/Ouranos from Greek myth and Teshub/Kumarabi/Anu in Hittite myth. In both cases Kumarabi/Kronos castrated their father Anu/Ouranos, and both Kumarabi/Kronos had consumed at one point other gods which they regurgitated. Also both Kumarabi/Krono were tricked into consuming a stone instead of Zeus/Teshub, and both Zeus/Teshub overthrew their own fathers (Kumarabi/Kronos), and Zeus had power over lightning while Teshub was the god of storms. Definitely too similar to be a coincidence!

Whether this was an Ancient Near Eastern mythological story that was picked up by the Hittites and then transmitted to the Greeks, who reworked it into their own mythology in the manner of Levi-Strauss' bricoleur, or if it was an earlier myth of the Proto-Indo-European people that then developed in the two separate cultures, I'm not sure. Given the close geographic position of each culture and the other evidence of cultural interaction and "borrowing", I'm inclined to say the former though. Also I don't think a similar story occurs in Sanskrit literature of the castrating of the father god who is then overthrown, or a god eating his own children/other gods and regurgitating them (and eating and regurgitating a stone), which might suggest the PIE origin as less compelling.

Otherwise I also spent a fair bit of time obsessing over what to possibly write my essay on...there are so many options though! It's hard to know even where to start with trying to come up with something, not because I can't think of anything but because I can think of so many things! I might need to focus more on practical limitations as to e.g. access to relevant text resources etc, to help narrow things down. Or I could go with one of the (still very general/loosely defined) essay titles already given for the module. However I would be interested in maybe trying to do something a little more comparative than I think those offer scope for...although I'm also not sure if I really have the background to do something in that comparative vein!

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Rather than doing weekly updates like last term I wanted to, this term, do more shorter updates. So in that respect, I'm going to try and do them shortly after my classes plus then whenever I think of something otherwise! Today I was doing...


Sanskrit

We kept looking at compound nouns today, as after the homework submissions our lecturer felt we could use some more time on them. I think then with respect to my last update about possibly not understanding them I was right! Most of the class we spent going over the homework carefully, the English compounds section caused a fair bit of discussion (and perhaps confusion) due to the fact the way English uses compounds is in some ways a little different to Sanskrit (they are less common and certain forms of compound which are common in Sanskrit are relatively rare in English).

It did however drive home the point that the type and hence meaning of a compound is very context sensitive, both to the specific context it is used in within the sentence but also to the broader cultural context the language is used in. Initially I was trying to create some kind of formal system where as soon as I see some particular feature of a compound I would be able to identify it but quickly realised that doesn't really work and it's very much an "art" in identifying the form and meaning of the compound.

The Sanskrit compounds section of the homework the confusion more centred around translations of the compounds (i.e. into idiomatic English). There were also some errors, I misread kha as rava because honestly they look really similar in the font used by the book, which the lecturer noted and said quite a few misread it this way. As a result instead of having sukhaduḥkhayoḥ (which could be e.g. pleasure and pain, good and bad, something along those lines) I ended up with suravaduḥravayoḥ which after looking up rava- which wasn't in the back of our book (which probably should've been my first sign I did something wrong) I ended up with something along the lines of "good sound-bad sound" (I tried to pick the most general meaning of rava- but I think realistically it probably should have been translated as "loud roar" or something rather than "sound"). In any case, the former I gather makes more sense because the concepts of sukha and duḥkha are quite prominent in I think Buddhism and maybe also Hinduism, Jainism, and yoga.

At the end of the class we looked at some approaches to dealing with longer compounds with more than two members, and listened to a short verse from the Bhagavad-Gita with some compounds in it to analyse. In doing so we also were introduced to the prefix (not sure this is the right terminology?) nir- meaning "out" which our lecturer clarified was the same as in nirvāṇa, with nirvāṇa literally meaning something along the lines of "to blow out". This was pretty interesting to me, since as a concept in e.g. GCSE RE or whatever, nirvāṇa is kind of just thrown out as terminology meaning "enlightenment" or something I guess, whereas the actual Sanskrit word for it is a much more poetic and metaphorical expression. It definitely had a much more emotive effect on me, reading it and knowing the actual literal meaning and thinking about the sense of it (the little I know of that anyway)...not sure really how to encapsulate my emotional response to it in writing...of course my response is also quite likely may just be a product of my particular situation and nothing to do with the actual usage or meaning of the term in actual Buddhism and Buddhist texts.

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That is quite cool that you're using bits of existing texts to analyse/practice grammatical structures with. Particularly interesting about the literal meaning of the word nirvana! :eek: It does evoke something a bit different to terms like "enlightenment", hmmm :beard: :moon:

Keep going :woo:
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
That is quite cool that you're using bits of existing texts to analyse/practice grammatical structures with. Particularly interesting about the literal meaning of the word nirvana! :eek: It does evoke something a bit different to terms like "enlightenment", hmmm :beard: :moon:

Keep going :woo:
Yeah, I forgot to actually write this in but our lecturer's plan is for us to start working with (whole passages from) real texts this term! She was hoping to do so initially before reading week but she decided in view of how we've progressed so far this term that might be too ambitious so instead we're going to have a real text to prepare over reading week and thereafter be using more real texts, rather than adapted one
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Yeah, I forgot to actually write this in but our lecturer's plan is for us to start working with (whole passages from) real texts this term! She was hoping to do so initially before reading week but she decided in view of how we've progressed so far this term that might be too ambitious so instead we're going to have a real text to prepare over reading week and thereafter be using more real texts, rather than adapted one
Woohoo! Glad she isn't throwing you all in at the deep end and is revising her approach and passages given according to how the class is doing - sounds like a good lecturer :yep:
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Woohoo! Glad she isn't throwing you all in at the deep end and is revising her approach and passages given according to how the class is doing - sounds like a good lecturer :yep:
Yeah she is great in that regard She is also very engaging in her teaching which helps a lot, particularly since teaching what is essentially a lot of grammar can easily end up being quite dry! Having a relatively small class helps with that no doubt as well though (we had ~20 last term, down to ~12 this term I think though).
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Small update, I got my final art history assignment returned (also the "seminar participation grades" were returned). I ended up getting 68%, which is pretty good and better than I expected honestly! The marker noted that my visual analysis was stronger than my contextual analysis (which I expected - I actually thought I would struggle to scrape a low 2:1 because the contextual analysis felt weak but I wasn't really sure what to write for it...), but that it was good on the whole.

The feedback otherwise indicated the main thing that held me back from a distinction/1st was some referencing issues - specifically I didn't include page numbers in my in-text citations! In retrospect this is a pretty obvious error, since a lot of the things I cited were actually books and just having a reference with no page number makes it hard for the person reading to actually check it! My prior experience of referencing was mainly of short papers in STEM realms, where you didn't usually cite page page numbers (or at least we weren't really guided to do so....maybe I should have then too?). Also at the end of the assignment I had a paragraph where I hadn't put any references in, which I had mostly based on what had been introduced in the lectures. I guess I should've found a source for that info from the lectures to cite there

For the seminar participation I got full marks which is encouraging because that kind of group interactivity stuff I find quite stressful and difficult for me personally. Although I think it was more of a pass/fail thing and if you engaged in a minimally satisfactory way then you would get full marks. The module convener also send out generic feedback on the cohorts overall performance on the different assignments. It seems the essays (which was the other option for the second assignment I chose not to do) were a bit hit and miss, with the usual feedback of "best essays were those that answered the question closely and did not simply infodump material etc..." which I'll need to keep in mind for preparing for the exam.
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Well done! 68 is a very strong percentage indeed :awesome:

Referencing = :afraid: :hide: :ahhhhh:

Yay for full marks for seminar participation! I def would never get full marks if I'd been assessed on that, so hats off to you! :hat2:
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Well done! 68 is a very strong percentage indeed :awesome:

Referencing = :afraid: :hide: :ahhhhh:

Yay for full marks for seminar participation! I def would never get full marks if I'd been assessed on that, so hats off to you! :hat2:
Thank you I think it was just a case of if you turned up and said somethings in all the seminars you got the full marks but, who knows

To be fair "showing up and saying something in all the seminars" is still a pretty significant improvement for me I guess lol, since any kind of like...group interactive work was just not something I could really do much..at all, in the past anyway, cos of mental health stuff...which is why I kind of stopped going to labs entirely back when I was doing engineering because it was a bit too much to handle (and then later, lectures...and then to campus at all...lol :x

That said things being online helps that though to be fair, adds an extra layer of social spacing (I would say "social distancing" but that has a different meaning nowadays )
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Week 3 - Myth Module


So we had the second tutorial for the myth module yesterday. I don't think I really contributed that much this time, partly because I struggled to think of anything to say beforehand. The one point I suggested I don't think the lecturer really agreed on. Basically part of this weeks readings was a structuralist essay on the Prometheus myth, and the author argued that "not giving" and "hiding" something are the same and that was a key part of the analysis. This was based on one version of the story using "did not give" and the other using "hid". I felt that was a bit of a weak connection, although I couldn't really articulate why; the lecturer felt it was fine, on the basis both mean in a sense "to deny" that thing to another (although he also noted that he's been reading structuralist analyses for the better part of a decade so their logic might be more immediately obvious to him).

I did see the point he made, but while thinking of it afterwards it occurred to me that my issue was really that it felt like "hiding" implies some intentional action on the part of the subject, while "did not give" I feel doesn't necessarily have that same sense of intentionality. There's lots of things you can not give without really meaning to intentionally deny the thing - I don't give my dog treats a lot of the time, not to specifically deny him but just because I'm doing other things and don't really think about it! I also think this sense felt more the case for me (and so the difference was a textual issue rather than anything intentional on the part of Hesiod) because there was in one of the two myth texts that were the basis of this essay (Theogony and Works and Days) there was a metaphor about the gods seeing men (i.e. humans, more or less - women didn't come into it until after the Prometheus stealing fire thing) as we would leaves on a tree, which does suggest that then the actions of men are somewhat beneath the gods.

So it seems in some senses strange that Zeus would then be so specifically invested to intentionally be denying something (divine fire, in this case), at least in that very restricted sense of the particular bits of text we were looking at. However I suppose in the bigger picture the gods can and do take interest in mortal affairs a lot, and other than that one weaker point in the essay I have to say it was overall quite compelling. I only really identified that as something which didn't seem quite so consistent or a bit "out of a hat" when I was specifically looking for criticisms of the argument in the essay...

Of course also at the time of the seminar I couldn't put my finger on exactly why that point in the essay seemed like a weakness so I just brought it up without really having any argument behind it, which isn't great...I might go to the "open hour" on Mondays we have (sort of like an group office hour, separate to the lecturers actual office hour) and bring that up again in the context of the rest of the argument against it, to see if the lecturer can point out any issues in it when presented more fully.

I also still don't know what I want to do for my essay...

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Which of these would you use to help with making uni decisions?

Webinars (58)
13.39%
Virtual campus tours/open days (99)
22.86%
Live streaming events (39)
9.01%
Online AMAs/guest lectures (41)
9.47%
A uni comparison tool (99)
22.86%
An in-person event when available (97)
22.4%

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