master’s thesis update: one week to go

Just one more week until I have to prepare my master’s thesis for printing! Tonight I finished the contents of the chapter on the theoretical framework, just some examples and citations need a little more work. I’ll do that when my proofreaders say the content is okay and not full of logical wholes.

I’m quite content with another chapter, which is on special uses, metaphorical meanings and possible grammaticalisation. At the moment it’s longer than the chapters on the “normal” usage!

The biggest struggle is the statistics – I’m still not sure about more than half of the tags, so counting them is fuzzy business, and my first attempt of counting resulted in weird numbers that just didn’t add up when comparing the stats for the different aspects I’m looking into. Big drama last night. I’ll have to rework the categorisation, the tagging, and the stats before I’ll be able to write something decent on lexicalisation. And syntax. I hate describing fuzzy syntax stuff.

Morphology is mostly alright. So far I’ve refrained from working statistics into the morphology chapter; this will be reserved for the unlikely case of finishing the other things early enough. Putting affixes in categories and describing their use was quite nice for a change, though I’ll have to spend at least one more day on it to fill in all the examples and describe a few things more detailed.

Just so-so are the chapters on the data used, terminology, and inference. Inference is an interesting topic, but I lack the knowledge (and time) to research it in depth. The introduction is fairly solid, though the order could be better, and the outlook/conclusion will need some serious input in the end. Not sure about the troubleshooting chapter yet.

All in all I’ve more or less reached the absolute minimum of required pages; but this includes the still empty tables for these freaking stats. I’ll gain another page or two during the final formatting session by widening the side margins for my professors to write in their comments, but I’d rather be able to hand in at least the suggested 80 pages, the biggest tables not included in this figure.

In case you’ve made it so far through this bland post, thanks for reading, and please, send me some motivation, prayers, and maybe a few vegetables, I should stop living on sugary stuff.



master’s thesis … lost in translation

I need a good topic for my master’s thesis. Right now I’m sitting on my bed with the Swahili translation of Macbeth and hope that somehow I’ll get a better idea than analysing Shakespeare … why is there no Swahili version of The Lord of the Rings or 1984 or Brave New World? I found out someone wrote a science fiction novel in Swahili called Walenisi, but as far as I know it wasn’t translated to English – so much for comparing original and translation.

And I can’t start looking into the two other topics my prof proposed yet because both books are borrowed from the library by someone else right now. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a corner and convince myself that life without science could be happier. But would it? I’m not sure how long it would take until I’d be bored out of my mind. Maybe a year maximum.