Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deep Structure

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:18 AM

The concept of "deep structure," once a popular meme,
has long been abandoned by Chomskians.

It still applies, however, to the 1976 mathematics, diamond theory  ,
underlying the formal patterns discussed in a Royal Society paper
this year.

A review of deep structure, from the Wikipedia article Cartesian linguistics

[Numbers in parentheses refer to pages in the original 1966 Harper edition of Chomsky's book Cartesian Linguistics .]

Deep structure vs. surface structure

"Pursuing the fundamental distinction between body and mind, Cartesian linguistics characteristically assumes that language has two aspects" (32). These are namely the sound/character of a linguistic sign and its significance (32). Semantic interpretation or phonetic interpretation may not be identical in Cartesian linguistics (32). Deep structures are often only represented in the mind (a mirror of thought), as opposed to surface structures, which are not.

Deep structures vary less between languages than surface structures. For instance, the transformational operations to derive surface forms of Latin and French may obscure common features of their deep structures (39). Chomsky proposes, "In many respects, it seems to me quite accurate, then, to regard the theory of transformational generative grammar, as it is developing in current work, as essentially a modern and more explicit version of the Port-Royal theory" (39).

Summary of Port Royal Grammar

The Port Royal Grammar is an often cited reference in Cartesian Linguistics  and is considered by Chomsky to be a more than suitable example of Cartesian linguistic philosophy. "A sentence has an inner mental aspect (a deep structure that conveys its meaning) and an outer, physical aspect as a sound sequence"***** This theory of deep and surface structures, developed in Port Royal linguistics, meets the formal requirements of language theory. Chomsky describes it in modern terms as "a base system that generates deep structures and a transformational system that maps these into surface structures", essentially a form of transformational grammar akin to modern studies (42).

The corresponding concepts from diamond theory are

"Deep structure"— The line diagrams indicating the underlying
structure of varying patterns

"A base system that generates deep structures"—
Group actions on square arrays for instance, on the 4×4 square

"A transformational system"— The decomposition theorem 
that maps deep structure into surface structure (and vice-versa)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chomsky and Lévi-Strauss in China

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:31 AM

Or:  Philosophy for Jews

From a New Yorker  weblog post dated Dec. 6, 2012 —

"Happy Birthday, Noam Chomsky" by Gary Marcus—

"… two titans facing off, with Chomsky, as ever,
defining the contest"

"Chomsky sees himself, correctly, as continuing
a conversation that goes back to Plato, especially
the Meno dialogue, in which a slave boy is
revealed by Socrates to know truths about
geometry that he hadn’t realized he knew."

Socrates and the slave boy discussed a rather elementary "truth
about geometry" — A diamond inscribed in a square has area 2
(and side the square root of 2) if the square itself has area 4
(and side 2).

Consider that not-particularly-deep structure from the Meno dialogue
in the light of the following…

The following analysis of the Meno diagram from yesterday's
post "The Embedding" contradicts the Lévi-Strauss dictum on
the impossibility of going beyond a simple binary opposition.
(The Chinese word taiji  denotes the fundamental concept in
Chinese philosophy that such a going-beyond is both useful
and possible.)

The matrix at left below represents the feminine yin  principle
and the diamond at right represents the masculine yang .

      From a post of Sept. 22,
  "Binary Opposition Illustrated" —

A symbol of the unity of yin and yang —

Related material:

A much more sophisticated approach to the "deep structure" of the
Meno diagram —

The larger cases —

The diamond theorem

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Binary Opposition Illustrated

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Click the above image for remarks on
"deep structure" and binary opposition.

See also the eightfold cube.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:30 PM

For the Church of Synchronology, a correction of
a recent New York Times  obituary by Daniel Lewis —

Actor Gene Wilder died early Monday, Aug. 29, not, as 
earlier reported, late Sunday, Aug. 28.

NY Times correction: Gene Wilder died early on Mon. Aug. 29, not on Sun. Aug. 28.

See also the last Log24 post of Sunday night, Aug. 28 (Angles of Vision)
and the first post of Monday morning, Aug. 29, 2016 (Roll Credits).

* For some reading related to the title, see an Evil Genius page
by the late David Lavery mentioning Colin Wilson's novel
The Mind Parasites .  Great entertainment for the tinfoil-hat crowd —

"More and more I feel like the narrator of Colin Wilson's 
The Mind Parasites , a phenomenologist who, along with
a dedicated group of compatriots, struggles clandestinely
to overthrow alien invaders that have secretly
taken captive the 'deep structure' of the human mind." 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Raiders of the Lost Code

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

From a web page

Breaking the Code of the Archetypal Self:
An Introductory Overview of the Research Discoveries
Leading to Neo-Jungian Structural Psychoanalysis

Dr. Moore will introduce his research and discoveries
with regard to the deep structures of the Self.
Tracing the foundations in the tradition of Jung’s
affirmation of the collective unconscious, Moore
will present his “decoding of the Diamond Body,”
a mapping of the deep structures of the Great Code
of the psyche. . . .

From the same web site

Googling "Jung" + "Diamond Body" shows that
Moore's terminology differs from Jung's.
The octahedron that Moore apparently associates
with his "diamond body" was discussed by Jung
in a different context. See selections from Ch. 14
of Jung's Aion
 "The Structure and Dynamics of the Self."

Dr. Moore appears as well in the murder-suicide story 
of last night's 11:18 PM ET post.

For the relevance of Aion  to "deep structures,"
see Jung + Diamond + Structure in this  journal
and, more specifically, "Deep  Structure."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Contrapuntal Interweaving

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 AM

The title is a phrase from R. D. Laing's book The Politics of Experience .
(Published in the psychedelic year 1967. The later "contrapuntal interweaving"
below is of a less psychedelic nature.)

An illustration of the "interweaving' part of the title —
The "deep structure" of the diamond theorem:

IMAGE- A symplectic structure -- i.e. a structure that is symplectic (meaning plaited or woven).

The word "symplectic" from the end of last Sunday's (Oct. 11) sermon
describes the "interwoven" nature of the above illustration.

An illustration of the "contrapuntal" part of the title (click to enlarge):

The diamond-theorem correlation


Sunday, June 12, 2011

For Commencement Day at Stanford

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:30 PM


See also June 2, 2007, and June 19, 2010,
as well as Kernel of Eternity in this journal.

Some background— Square of Opposition
in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
and Deep Structures in this journal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday March 18, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Gallic Clarity

Yesterday’s entry Deep Structures discussed the “semiotic square,” a device that exemplifies the saying “If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, then baffle ’em with bullshit.”

A search today for what the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson might have meant by saying that the square “is capable of generating at least ten conceivable positions out of a rudimentary binary opposition” leads to two documents of interest.

1. “Theory Pictures as Trails: Diagrams and the Navigation of Theoretical Narratives” (pdf), by J.R. Osborn, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (Cognitive Science Online, Vol.3.2, pp.15-44, 2005)

2. “The Semiotic Square” (html), by Louis Hébert (2006), professor, Université du Québec à Rimouski, in Signo (http://www.signosemio.com).

Shown below is Osborn’s picture of the semiotic square:


Osborn’s discussion of the square, though more clear than, say, that of Rosalind Krauss (who reverses the bottom two parts of the square– see Deep Structures), fails. His Appendix A is miserably obscure.

On the brighter side, we have, as a sign that Gallic clarity still exists, the work of Hébert.

Here is how he approaches Jameson’s oft-quoted, but seemingly confused, remark about “ten conceivable positions”–

The Semiotic Square,”
  by Louis Hébert


The semiotic square, developed by Greimas and Rastier, is a means of refining oppositional analyses by increasing the number of analytical classes stemming from a given opposition from two (life/death, for instance) to four (for example, life, death, life and death (the living dead), and neither life nor death (angels)) to eight or even ten.


The actantial model, isotopy and the semiotic square are undoubtedly the best-known theoretical propositions that have emerged from the Paris School of semiotics, with Greimas as its central figure. Like the actantial model and the veridictory square, the semiotic square is designed to be both a conceptual network and a visual representation of this network, usually depicted in the form of a “square” (which actually looks like a rectangle!). Courtés defines it as the visual representation of the logical structure of an opposition (cf. Courtés, 1991, 152). The semiotic square is a means of refining oppositional analyses by increasing the number of analytical classes stemming from a given opposition from two (for instance, life/death) to four (for example, life, death, life and death (the living dead), and neither life nor death (angels)) to eight or even ten. Here is an empty semiotic square.

Structure of the semiotic square

5. (=1+2) COMPLEX TERM
1. TERM A  
9. (=1+4)
10. (=2+3)

7. (=1+3)


6. (=3+4) NEUTRAL TERM

The + sign links the terms that are combined to make up a metaterm (a compound term); for example, 5 is the result of combining 1 and 2.


The semiotic square entails primarily the following elements (we are steering clear of the constituent relationships of the square: contrariety, contradiction, and complementarity or implication):

1. terms
2. metaterms (compound terms)
3. object(s) (classified on the square)
4. observing subject(s) (who do the classifying)
5. time (of the observation)

2.1.1 TERMS

The semiotic square is composed of four terms:

Position 1 (term A)
Position 2 (term B)
Position 3 (term not-B)
Position 4 (term not-A)

The first two terms form the opposition (the contrary relationship) that is the basis of the square, and the other two are obtained by negating each term of the opposition.


The semiotic square includes six metaterms. The metaterms are terms created from the four simple terms. Some of the metaterms have been named. (The complex term and the neutral term, despite their names, are indeed metaterms).

Position 5 (term 1 + term 2): complex term
Position 6 (term 3 + term 4): neutral term
Position 7 (term 1 + term 3): positive deixis
Position 8 (term 2 + term 4): negative deixis
Position 9 = term 1 + term 4: unnamed
Position 10 = term 2 + term 3: unnamed

These ten “positions” are apparently meant to explain Jameson’s remark.

Hébert’s treatment has considerably greater entertainment value than Osborn’s. Besides “the living dead” and angels, Hébert’s examples and exercises include vampires, transvestites, the Passion of Christ, and the following very relevant quotation:

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday March 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Deep Structures

The traditional 'Square of Opposition'

The Square of Oppositon
at Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

The Square of Opposition diagram in its earliest known form

The Square of Opposition
in its original form

"The diagram above is from a ninth century manuscript of Apuleius' commentary on Aristotle's Perihermaneias, probably one of the oldest surviving pictures of the square."

Edward Buckner at The Logic Museum

From the webpage "Semiotics for Beginners: Paradigmatic Analysis," by Daniel Chandler:

The Semiotic Square of Greimas

The Semiotic Square

"The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the 'logical square' of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully (Greimas 1987,* xiv, 49). The semiotic square is intended to map the logical conjunctions and disjunctions relating key semantic features in a text. Fredric Jameson notes that 'the entire mechanism… is capable of generating at least ten conceivable positions out of a rudimentary binary opposition' (in Greimas 1987,* xiv). Whilst this suggests that the possibilities for signification in a semiotic system are richer than the either/or of binary logic, but that [sic] they are nevertheless subject to 'semiotic constraints' – 'deep structures' providing basic axes of signification."

* Greimas, Algirdas (1987): On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory (trans. Paul J Perron & Frank H Collins). London: Frances Pinter

Another version of the semiotic square:

Rosalind Krauss's version of the semiotic square, which she calls the Klein group

Krauss says that her figure "is, of course, a Klein Group."

Here is a more explicit figure representing the Klein group:

The Klein Four-Group, illustration by Steven H. Cullinane

There is also the logical
    diamond of opposition

The Diamond of Opposition (figure from Wikipedia)

A semiotic (as opposed to logical)
diamond has been used to illustrate
remarks by Fredric Jameson,
 a Marxist literary theorist:

"Introduction to Algirdas Greimas, Module on the Semiotic Square," by Dino Felluga at Purdue University–

The semiotic square has proven to be an influential concept not only in narrative theory but in the ideological criticism of Fredric Jameson, who uses the square as "a virtual map of conceptual closure, or better still, of the closure of ideology itself" ("Foreword"* xv). (For more on Jameson, see the [Purdue University] Jameson module on ideology.)

Greimas' schema is useful since it illustrates the full complexity of any given semantic term (seme). Greimas points out that any given seme entails its opposite or "contrary." "Life" (s1) for example is understood in relation to its contrary, "death" (s2). Rather than rest at this simple binary opposition (S), however, Greimas points out that the opposition, "life" and "death," suggests what Greimas terms a contradictory pair (-S), i.e., "not-life" (-s1) and "not-death" (-s2). We would therefore be left with the following semiotic square (Fig. 1):

A semiotic 'diamond of opposition'

As Jameson explains in the Foreword to Greimas' On Meaning, "-s1 and -s2"—which in this example are taken up by "not-death" and "not-life"—"are the simple negatives of the two dominant terms, but include far more than either: thus 'nonwhite' includes more than 'black,' 'nonmale' more than 'female'" (xiv); in our example, not-life would include more than merely death and not-death more than life.

* Jameson, Fredric. "Foreword." On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory. By Algirdas Greimas. Trans. Paul J. Perron and Frank H. Collins. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1976.

"The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God."

The Gameplayers of Zan, by M.A. Foster

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon,
 Gravity's Rainbow

Crosses used by semioticians
to baffle their opponents
are illustrated above.

Some other kinds of crosses,
and another kind of opponent:

Monday, July 11, 2005

for St. Benedict's Day

Click on either of the logos below for religious meditations– on the left, a Jewish meditation from the Conference of Catholic Bishops; on the right, an Aryan meditation from Stormfront.org.

Logo of Conference of Catholic Bishops     Logo of Stormfront website

Both logos represent different embodiments of the "story theory" of truth, as opposed to the "diamond theory" of truth.  Both logos claim, in their own ways, to represent the eternal Logos of the Christian religion.  I personally prefer the "diamond theory" of truth, represented by the logo below.

Illustration of the 2x2 case of the diamond theorem

See also the previous entry
(below) and the entries
  of 7/11, 2003.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

and Narrative

Click on the title
for a narrative about

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis,
 (co-) author of

Artemiadis's 'History of Mathematics,' published by the American Mathematical Society

From Artemiadis's website:
1986: Elected Regular Member
of the Academy of Athens
1999: Vice President
of the Academy of Athens
2000: President
of the Academy of Athens
Seal of the American Mathematical Society with picture of Plato's Academy

"First of all, I'd like to
   thank the Academy…"

— Remark attributed to Plato

Monday, March 24, 2003

Monday March 24, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:52 PM

Orwell’s question, according to
an admirer of leftist Noam Chomsky:

“When so much of the BS is right out in the open,
why is it that we know so little about it?
Why don’t we see what’s right in front of our eyes?”

Deep Chomsky:
Lying, Truth-Telling,
and the Social Order

“First of all, I’d like to thank the Academy….”
— Quotation attributed to Plato

The New Yorker of March 31, 2003, discusses leftist academic Noam Chomsky.  The online edition provides a web page listing pro-Chomsky links.

Chomsky’s influence is based in part on the popularity of his half-baked theories on linguistics, starting in the 1950’s with “deep structure” and “transformational,” or “generative,” grammar.

Chomsky has abandoned many of his previous ideas and currently touts what he calls The Minimalist Program.

For some background on Chomsky’s recent linguistic notions, see the expository essay “Syntactic Theory,” by Elly van Gelderen of the Arizona State University English Department.  Van Gelderen lists her leftist political agenda on her “Other Interests” page.  Her department may serve as an example of how leftists have converted many English departments in American universities to propaganda factories.

Some attacks on Chomsky’s scholarship:

The Emperor’s New Linguistics

The New Grammarians’ Funeral

Beyond Chomsky

Could Chomsky Be Wrong? 

Forty-four Reasons Why the Chomskians Are Mistaken

Call for Papers, Chomsky 2003

Chomsky’s (Mis)Understanding of Human Thinking

Anatomy of a Revolution… Chomsky in 1962

…Linguistic Theory: The Rationality of Noam Chomsky

A Bibliography

Some attacks on Chomsky’s propaganda:

LeftWatch.com Chomsky page

Destructive Generation excerpt

The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky

Partners in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers

Chomsky and Plato’s Diamond

Like another purveyor of leftist nonsense, Jacques Derrida, Chomsky is fond of citing Plato as a precedent.  In particular, what Chomsky calls “Plato’s problem” is discussed in Plato’s Meno.  For a look at the diamond figure that plays a central role in that dialogue, see Diamond Theory.  For an excellent overview of related material in Plato, see Theory of Forms.

Powered by WordPress