LINGUIST List 10.464

Mon Mar 29 1999

Qs: Aural/Visual Dominance, Exclamations, Quotation

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Craig McL. Wallace, aural vs visual dominance in language learning
  2. David Harris, Question about exclamations/interjections
  3. E. Kaisse, Quotation about the downhill slide of Latin

Message 1: aural vs visual dominance in language learning

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 10:11:02 +1300
From: Craig McL. Wallace <>
Subject: aural vs visual dominance in language learning

Can anyone possibly direct me to current material/bibliographies 
on the above please?

What discipline is most likely to be interested in this? 
Neurolingistics? Psycholinguistics? 

Many thanks in advance
Craig McL. Wallace
M. Ed Admin (ELT)(Adelaide), Dip SLT (ESOL), 
Dip. Tchg, LTCL(TEFL)(Lond), B.A., 
in progress: PhD (Applied Linguistics)
(NSW University, Sydney, Australia)
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Question about exclamations/interjections

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:54:11 -0500
From: David Harris <>
Subject: Question about exclamations/interjections

Question about exclamations/interjections:

I am interested in exclamations and, to some degree, interjections. I'd like
to get some insight into the variety of semantic functions they have in the
various languages of the world, ie. what kinds of meanings are typically
covered and what typically isn't. English, for example, has exclamations for
demanding someone's attention (Hey!), making a sudden realization/catching
someone in the act (Aha!), expressing surprise (Wow!), reaction to pain
(Ouch!/Ow!), reaction to cold (Brrrr!), pleasure (Mmmm...), getting back at
someone (Ha!), and many of others. I'd like to know if someone has attempted
to comprehensively list all the various exclamations found in English
(including clicks, whistles, gestures, and whatever other extra-verbal
varieties might exist) and in other languages. I managed to track down a
Spanish-English Dictionary of Exclamations in the library, but it seemed to
place more emphasis on real words and phrases that are used in exclamatory
fashions such as "Praise the Lord!" Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be much
out there.

I'm also interested in the crossover between exclamations and interjections,
ie. words that can be used independently but which have meaning within a
sentence, as well. For example, in English, the word "Ha!" is often used to
express the concept of besting someone else or, perhaps, to express pleasure
at someone else's bad luck. This can be inserted into a sentence like the
following: "I told Mom that you hit me and now she says I can hit you back
so ha!" or "I knew he had a way with women, but wow!" Incidentally, I guess
"wow" used as a verb would apply here, too, as in "You really wowed them
with that speech about Arctic vacation destinations."

Durbin Feeling's Cherokee-English dictionary has a small section on
exclamations. It seems that many of the items mentioned there double as
independent forms (which, I believe, qualify as exclamations) and items used
in phrases (which are, I believe, interjections). "Hv", for example, ('v' is
pronounced as a nasalized schwa rhyming with the male form of the French
indefinite article 'un') which pretty much means the same thing as English
"huh" can be used as a clitic on the end of nouns and verbs or as an
independent item. The former is similar to the meaning in English "Pretty
good, huh?" while the latter means the same as (and sounds almost the same
as) independent English "Huh?"

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks,

 -David Harris,
 Washington, DC
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Quotation about the downhill slide of Latin

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 07:42:20 -0800 (PST)
From: E. Kaisse <>
Subject: Quotation about the downhill slide of Latin

I'm trying to locate a vaguely recalled quotation, which I imagine I
read in an intro to linguistics a decade or two ago. It sounds like
your usual prescriptive grammarian decrying the decline of English and
the fact that young people have lost all ability to speak properly --
but it turns out to be about 2000 years old and to have been written
by a grammarian decrying the decline of Latin.

Thanks all


Ellen Kaisse, Professor
Department of Linguistics
University of Washintgon
Box 354340
Seattle, WA 98195-4340

(206) 543-6004 (phone)
(206) 685-7978 (fax)
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue