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FYI: Pidgins & creoles, Mon page, Semiotics

Author: Mikael Parkvall

FYI Body: Dear colleagues,

We are very pleased to finally be able to introduce CreoLIST, an
electronic mailing list for discussion on pidgins, creoles,
intertwined languages, language contact, and related subjects.

When writing this, it is about four hours since we publicly announced
the list to 150 persons with interest in the field, and we now have
about 20 subscribers. We hope that as many of you as possible will
join us. We are sure that you will find it worthwhile, and we are
convinced that it will contribute to the vitality of the debate on
language restructuring.

To subscribe, send a blank message to "" with
"%SUBSCRIBE" _in the subject line_ (and please don't forget the %).
You will then automatically receive a welcome message which provides
you with further information.

If you know others who may be interested in joining the list, please
redistribute this message to them.

See you on CreoLIST!

Best regards,

Mikael Parkvall
Jens Edlund

Department of Linguistics
Stockholm University

Dear LINGUIST readers,

Last semester, I taught an undergraduate field methods course on the
Mon language (Mon-Khmer family, Burma and Thailand). This year, instead of
having students write term papers, I had them produce web pages abou
various parts of the grammar of the language, and combined the results into
a brief on-line grammar of the language.

Those interested in the results may view it a Three of my students and I are continuing
to revise the pages this semester, and comments are very much welcome.

Overall, I was happy with the result, and I think I will do this
again for the next field methods I taught. I felt that some advantages of
this approach were:

* students were more engaged in a collaborative effort, rather than
ten separate term papers
* students were excited about using new technology
* students had a clearer sense of the need for accuracy (since our
results are open to the public)
* the technology of the web allowed us to include sound files
illustrating some of the phonological distinctions in the language.
* the hypertext nature of the web makes cross-references easy
* students did not have to spend much time learning HTML (the markup
language for web pages)


* it is very difficult to maintain consistency in the spelling of
words across all the pages - this is a constant headache that we're still
working on.
* possibilities for using different fonts (especially phonetic
fonts) is currently very limited for most web browsers, so we couldn't use
all the special symbols we wanted.
* the instructor needs to know HTML pretty thoroughly to make this
work. (On the other hand, HTML is really very simple. Anyone who can do
modern linguistics certainly has the ability to learn this in a few days.)

If anyone else is interested in talking about the use of web pages
for online grammatical sketches or for field methods classes, I'd be happy
to talk about it with you.

Best wishes,
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
George Aaron Broadwell,
Anthropology; Linguistics and Cognitive Science,
University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY 12222 | 518-442-4711
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to
examine the laws of heat" -- John Morley

The third lecture in my course on the World Wide Web called
"Critical Semiotics" is now online. The course, sponsored by the
Cyber Semiotic Institute, is embedded in the web site of the _Semiotic
Review of Books_ (located at
Please see the description of the second lecture below.


LECTURE THREE: The Implications of Codes.


Roland Barthes' _S/Z_ and a wide array of code theorists.


I'd appreciate it if you would bring this lecture to the attention
of those who also might be interested and I encourage you
to send me your feedback about it at:

Scott Simpkins

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