LINGUIST List 10.99

Fri Jan 22 1999

Qs: Native speaker, Borrowing, Chomsky, Degrees

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  1. Peter hl, Native Speakers Wanted
  2. Greg Watson, "Re-borrowing"
  3. Bernard Comrie, Chomsky reference
  4. Alysse Lemery Rasmussen, Distance Learning Degrees (On-Line)

Message 1: Native Speakers Wanted

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 15:03:20 +0100
From: Peter hl <oehlIMS.Uni-Stuttgart.DE>
Subject: Native Speakers Wanted

Dear Collegues:

I am looking for native speakers of several languages: Indoeuropean
other than GErmanic and Romance (e.g. Celtic, Greek, Persian, Hindi,
Sindhi, etc.), Turkish Japanese (bilingual? English would be fine,
German even better), for the comparative part of my dissertation in
generative syntax. Some knowledge about syntactical theory would be
fine. I am offering knowledge of German and English, further
diachronic and generative linguistics.

Beste Gruesse:

Peter Oehl.


Peter G. Oehl
Graduate Program of the University of Stuttgart
"Linguistische Grundlagen fuer die Sprachverarbeitung"
(Linguistic Foundations of Language Processing)
Institut fuer Linguistik/Germanistik
Universitaet Stuttgart - Postfach 10 60 37 - D-70049 Stuttgart - Germany

Tel.: 0049 - 711 - 121 - 34 57 FAX.: 0049 - 711 - 121 - 31 41
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Message 2: "Re-borrowing"

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:01:54 +1100
From: Greg Watson <>
Subject: "Re-borrowing"

Whilst researching the spoken English of Finnish Australians I seem to
have come across an interesting phenomenon. My informants frequently
use words which seem to have been originally borrowed from English
when they speak Finnish. Admittedly, this is not so unusual but these
words are then re-borrowed when they speak English. For
example, the use of governmentti in English. Originally
government in English, it is borrowed and phonotactically
changed to governmentti in Finnish, but then is not pronounced
as government, but rather governmentti, when English
is again the language of conversation. The word has been
re-borrowed back into English.

I'm unaware of any literature on this apart from the concept of
hybrids, or blends, by Lehiste (1988) and the concept of phonotactics
(the marking of foreign derived words). But, in the above case, the
English word in question is no longer foreign when English is the
medium, although it was in Finnish. There is also the possibility that
the word in question has dual status in both languages so the
informants don't differentiate between the two. But I don't
place a lot of weight upon this theory.

Any comments and references (particularly published articles) to
similar behaviour would be most appreciated.

Please reply to:
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Message 3: Chomsky reference

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 08:55:06 +0100
From: Bernard Comrie <>
Subject: Chomsky reference

I seem to recollect that Chomsky somewhere draws an analogy between
attempts to teach language to non-human primates and an imaginary
island where birds are waiting to be taught how to fly. Can anyone
direct me to the source?

Prof. Dr. Bernard Comrie 
Director, Department of Linguistics

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Inselstrasse 22 tel +49 341 99 52 301
D-04103 Leipzig tel secretary +49 341 99 52 300
Germany fax +49 341 99 52 119

Secretary's e-mail (Ms. Julia Cissewski):
Departmental web page
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Message 4: Distance Learning Degrees (On-Line)

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 18:14:51 -0500
From: Alysse Lemery Rasmussen <>
Subject: Distance Learning Degrees (On-Line)

I understand that a number of universities are beginning to offer MA
degrees over the internet (with some "contact" often required).
There's such a program for ESL out of England and another (a few years
back) out of South Africa. Does anyone know if any of the US
Universities are offering an MA by Distance Learning/Internet and/or
Summer Study programs?

Thanks so much



Alysse Lemery Rasmussen
Instructor ASL & Spanish, co-owner TeachASL (listserv for Teachers of ASL)
Lemery Surname Research & other neat things:
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