The Role of Language in Telepathic Communication—Gebhard von Blucher and Moira Daugherty Gaugauh Kamadugha — JLSSCNC Vol I, No 4 Contents Poetry Corner: The Sinking Of Linear Thinking—Aya Katz

Review Article

Lamb, Sydney. 1977. Mathematical Games, Puzzles, and Fallacies. New York: Arco Publishing Company, Inc. 71 pp.

Linguistic historiography over the past few years has awakened to the importance of numerology in the development of linguistics this century, particularly in the generative school (see, for example, G.D. Duvkal’s “Science or Mysticism? The Importance of Numeral Notation in Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures”). The little-known volume which is the subject of this review demonstrates the even greater significance of numerology as the foundation of Sydney Lamb’s stratificational grammar. The book first appeared in 1965, under the title The Magic of Numbers. Both the publication date and the original title are noteworthy: the first since it shows that this book was published one year before Lamb’s Outline of Stratificational Grammar, the second because it states more plainly than the later title the mystical significance attached by the author to the ideas within.

The guiding theme of this book is that numbers, and the world, are not haphazard agglomerations but rather beautifully patterned systems. It thus stands to reason that the world can be understood and its problems resolved through appreciation of these patterns. The exposition is programmatic: beginning with the aptly named first section “Number Patterns”, it progresses through a number of sections revealing ever greater intricacy of patterning until finally the initiate is deemed ready to progress to problem solving. Word problems show the applicability of numerology to such areas as carpentry, sheep farming, and Bedouin inheritance law. Several “games” reveal to the acolyte his superiority over his unenlightened brethrenhis access to mystical knowledge beyond their ken. Finally, syncretistic religion arrives in the final two sections, “Geometrical Puzzles” and “Magic Squares, Circles, and Triangles” (emph. mine). On pages 47 and 48 we see careful representations of a Star of David, a Greek Cross, and a Buddhist prayer wheel. Later we see another cross, two chevrons (symbolic of ancestor worship), several more prayer wheels (Lamb’s high regard for Eastern religions is well-attested), and lastly, a Masonic pyramid. Following the pyramid there is only the answer section, which stands as revealed truth to the persevering acolyte.

It remains for further research to elucidate the precise ways in which numerology has underlain all of Lamb’s linguistic work, although a few are obvious prima facie: e.g., the geometrical nature of Lambian network diagrams obviously is meant to show that they are informed by a higher level of consciousness than other, nongeometrical linguistic tools (recall that geometry was placed at the end of The Magic of Numbers). Critical analysis based on the volume reviewed here will obviously make much of Lamb’s other work far more comprehensible.

Reviewed by Henry Morgan, Panama City, Panama

The Role of Language in Telepathic Communication—Gebhard von Blucher and Moira Daugherty
Poetry Corner: The Sinking Of Linear Thinking—Aya Katz
Gaugauh Kamadugha — JLSSCNC Vol I, No 4 Contents