LINGUIST List 12.2064

Mon Aug 20 2001

Qs: Writing, Quantification and Negation

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  1. Tosh, Sociocultural approaches to writing
  2. Bart Geurts, Quantification and negation

Message 1: Sociocultural approaches to writing

Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 18:56:41 -0400
From: Tosh <>
Subject: Sociocultural approaches to writing

I need some help with references for the thesis I am planning to write.
This is my abstract

- ----------
In the current sociocultural approach to writing, learning to write is seen
as an ability to learn the norm of the community to which the student seek
admission. However, how the teacher can efficiently make the student
"enculturated" (Johns, 1997) is open to discussion (Knoblauch and Brannon,
1984; Bizzel, 1992; Freedman, 1994; Dias, Freedman, Medway, Par´┐Ż, 1999).

In this research, I am interested in answering the following questions:
- When evaluating a student's essay, do professors look for the same
features that are valued in professional writing?
- Can teachers explicate these features so that the students can accurately
evaluate their own essays? (One study shows a positive evidence. See
Sengupta, 1999)
- Does an identity as a professional (rather than just a student) help the
students apply their explicit knowledge to their writing? (suggested in
Johns, 1997)

I plan to answer the above questions through questionnaires, interviews, and
analyses of papers.
- -----------

I am looking for references in following areas
- Research methodology
- Teacher's evaluation criteria
- Student's ability to evaluate essays (critical reading)
- Identity as a writer (rather than a non-writer)

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Linguistics, 4th Year Honors
Carleton University


- ----------
"The world seems logical to us because we have already made it logical."

 - Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Will to Power"
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Message 2: Quantification and negation

Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 14:56:10 +0200
From: Bart Geurts <>
Subject: Quantification and negation

It is generally agreed that the German sentence in (1a), transliterated in
(1b), may be construed as being synonymous with (2). This reading is
somewhat problematic, because it seems to require that only the negative
part of "kein Auto" be fronted.

(1a) Alle Professoren haben kein Auto.
(1b) All professors have no car.

(2) Not all professors own cars.

It has been suggested to me that the English sentence in (1b) admits of the
same construal, and I would like to know if that is correct, and if there
dialectal or idiolectal variation in this point.

It seems to me that it is fairly easy to read (3a), where I suppose "no
geniuses" must be read predicatively, as synonymous with (3b), and would
like to know if this is true, and if so, whether this reading is easier to
obtain than in the case of (1b):

(3a) All professors are no geniuses.
(3b) Not all professors are geniuses.

Finally, I would be interested to know if speakers' intuitions about (1b)
and (3a) are somehow related to their intuitions about sentences in which
negation associates with the verb, such as the following:

(4) All professors aren't ill.

Bart Geurts
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