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of the Summer Institute of Linguistics,
University of North Dakota Session
Volume 48 (2004)
Volume editor: J. Albert Bickford
Names of Plants in Kalam Kohistani (Pakistan)
Joan L.G. Baart, Esther L. Baart-Bremer and Muhammad Zaman Sagar
(24 pages, 519 Kb)
This paper presents a preliminary ethnobotanical lexicon of plant names in the Kalam Kohistani language, spoken in the mountainous north of Pakistan. The list includes 203 Kalam Kohistani plant lexemes, with their English and Urdu glosses; 137 of these are tentatively identified with their Latin scientific names. Many of the glosses include brief notes on the occurrence and local uses of the plants. The paper ends with an index of 116 English common plant names with their Kalam Kohistani equivalents, followed by an index of scientific names.
Optimality Theory and Ethical Decision Making
Steve and Mónica Parker
(11 pages, 243 Kb)
Optimality Theory (OT) is a formal linguistic model in which grammars consist of a universal set of violable constraints that are ranked in a language-particular hierarchy. Lower-ranked constraints are often forcibly violated in order to improve satisfaction of higher-ranked constraints. The optimal or most harmonic pronunciation of a given word is that output candidate which best fulfills the language-specific ranking for a selected input form.
In this paper we show how OT can be invoked and efficaciously applied to the task of moral decision making in those situations when two or more principles conflict. For example, Christians are expected to have fellowship with other believers. At the same time, Christian wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. Now what if a Christian woman is married to an unbelieving husband who tells her not to go to church? In cases such as these, it is impossible to fulfill both requirements simultaneously. Consequently, we claim that moral failure or sin cannot be directly correlated with disobedience in and of itself. Disobedience is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for sin. Rather, we propose a novel and precise definition of "sin" as choosing a biblically non-optimal course of behavior.