LINGUIST List 11.2162

Fri Oct 6 2000

Qs: Joos/van der Post Refs, Internet Keywords

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  1. colkitto, references needed
  2. Russell Arent, Classification of Internet Search Keywords

Message 1: references needed

Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2000 00:53:51 -0400
From: colkitto <>
Subject: references needed

1) Would anyone have a concrete reference for Martin Joos saying something
alkon the lines of "languages can differ unpredictably", or words to that

2) Apparently some elderly Bushmen once told Laurens van der Post that among
their immediate (within living memory) forebears were several people who
could "talk the baboons' language". Would anyone have a concrete reference?

Thanks in advance,

Robert Orr
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Message 2: Classification of Internet Search Keywords

Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 11:17:15 -0500
From: Russell Arent <rarentSTCLOUDSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Classification of Internet Search Keywords

The following inquiry is from a business professor, Dr. Wenyou Dou, who is
not a member of LINGUIST. Please direct all replies to Dr. Dou
<wdouSTCLOUDSTATE.EDU>, who has agreed to acknowledge and summarize all
responses received 


My name is Wenyu Dou and I am an assistant professor of Marketing at St.
Cloud State University. I am currently pursuing a study on how search
engines display targeted banners that correspond to search keywords used by
Internet users, e.g., a banner for for the keyword "travel".

Along with my co-authors, we propose a simple keyword classification
scheme that divides search keywords into three categories based on the
specificity of the meaning of keywords. For instance, we would classify
the word "air travel" as a "broad" search keyword, the word "discount
air travel" as a "moderate" search keyword, and the word "discount air
travel to Europe" as a "narrow" search keyword. One of our research
questions is to find out how search engines deal with the three
different levels of search keywords. For example, would a search engine
deliver an exact banner (e.g., a banner for a discount travel agency)
for a "moderate" keyword "discount travel"? Or, would the search engine
display a banner that is broader (narrower) than the keyword?

As we are not trained in linguistics (especially semantics), we are
really not sure about the appropriateness of this classification scheme
and whether it has been proposed in linguistics research. We would like
to ask for a favor from you or your colleagues in directing us to the
relevant literature in your field or providing us with some suggestions.

Your help on this will be certainly be appreciated and properly

Thank you very much.


Wenyu Dou
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