Noam and Adele were two adventurous linguists from America. One day, while out looking for new data, they came across a gap in a theory which led down to an underground world populated by two warring nations: the Constructionuffs and the Generafers. The Constructionuffs had developed a flexible but highly networked society, tolerant of change and open to adaptation whereas the Generafers had evolved a hierarchical, strict and categorical way of life underpinned by broad yet abstract values. Noam was whisked off on the sailboat La Minimaliste to Generasia whereas Adele was taken by train, El Constructiconador, to Constructionland.
Adele rapidly secured a leadership role for herself among the Constructionuffs while Noam was equally successful in rising quickly through the ranks of the Generafers. And this rise to prominence was serendipitous indeed for the Generafers and the Constructionuffs were on the verge of war over an island that lay between their two kingdoms, the island of Let Alone. The Generafers wanted not only to rename the island with abstract and semantically empty quasi-
Well, Noam and Adele got to work publishing books and papers on the respective views of the island. So successful were they in this endeavour that the Generafers and the Constructionuffs decided to adopt those alternative views of the island and limit themselves to simply viewing the island, enjoying its mysteries and complexities, and abandoning their plans to adapt it.
All’s well that ends well, and Noam and Adele journeyed back to the surface. Although they had been underground for 10 months, only an hour had passed on the surface and they were both in time to teach their respective postgraduate syntax courses.