Linguistics dreams

Night before last my sleep was tortured by endless linguistics dreams — in this case, dreams about morphology. My linguistics dreams are intense and vivid; they always concern some pressing analytic issue, touched off by some data file, website, or publication which always turns out to exist only in my dream. On several occasions I’ve wakened and gone to the computer to find this material, realizing in the process that the idea I’m checking on makes no sense at all; I go back to sleep and the dream returns full-strength. I keep thinking that I really should be taking notes on my thoughts.

When I wake up during this process I always try to shift myself to sex dreams; they are much more pleasant and they have the possibility of a satisying resolution. But that never works.

Good ideas sometimes come to me on long solitary walks. And often in the shower. But never in my dreams. No Kekulé carbon rings for benzene for me — but then Kekulé is said to have had the image of a snake biting its tail come to him in a day-dream reverie, not a nighttime dream.

 

2 Responses to “Linguistics dreams”

  1. Link love: language (52) | Sentence first Says:

    […] linguistics dreams are intense and […]

  2. John Cowan Says:

    If you took notes, they’d probably look like William James’s famous nitric-oxide insight: “Overall there is a smell of fried onions”. (I actually experienced this overall smell one day walking down 8th St. in Manhattan, though it was probably due to a greasy-spoon with an overactive ventilator fan.)

    My sex dreams never have satisfying resolutions: they always end in frustrated awakening, and I understand this is commonplace.

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