LINGUIST List 12.2350

Sat Sep 22 2001

Qs: Eng/Future Reference, Computers/Minority Langs

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Benedikt Szmrecsanyi, online qiestionnaire on future time reference in English
  2. Chuck Coker, Computer Localization for Minority Languages

Message 1: online qiestionnaire on future time reference in English

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 19:00:03 +0200
From: Benedikt Szmrecsanyi <>
Subject: online qiestionnaire on future time reference in English

Dear colleagues,

I am currently working on a project that deals with the expression of future
time reference in Present Day English. More specifically, I am looking into
a number of syntactic factors (for instance, contexts of negation) that may
make speakers more likely to employ a specific future marker form. Also, I
am analyzing patterns of regional as well as stylistic variation.

Although my approach is primarily corpus-based, I would also like to base my
interpretations on data that have been obtained through elicitation tests.
To that end, I have designed a questionnaire that is available online and
that can be submitted online. It should take no more than 4-5 minutes to
fill it out (although all you have to do is basically click). The
questionnaire is available at

Everyone is welcome to participate; comments, questions, or remarks, are of
course greatly appreciated. At the same time, however, I would like to point
out (preventively, so to say) that almost none of the data that is submitted
to respondents' judgement is made up by me; all data - except some stuff in
section I - have been actually produced by native speakers, and the option
that these speakers chose to employ is always included among the
alternatives from which you can choose.

I do promise to post a summary of the findings of this questionnaire in a
few weeks or so!

thanks for your participation,
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Message 2: Computer Localization for Minority Languages

Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 14:44:25 -0700
From: Chuck Coker <>
Subject: Computer Localization for Minority Languages

With most, if not all, of modern computer operating systems, one can easily
switch back and forth between "localizations".

For example, I am currently using my computer as an English-language
computer: English text, English menus, English keyboard layout, English
error messages, etc. If I want to, I can change my computer to a
Spanish-language computer: Spanish text, Spanish menus, Spanish keyboard
layout, Spanish error messages, etc.

I am interested in localizing computers for minority languages. For example,
I might want to change my computer to a Hualapai-language computer: Hualapai
text, Hualapai menus, Hualapai keyboard layout, Hualapai error messages,
etc. Or Cahuilla or Luise�o or Cupe�o and so on.

I have the technical skills to do this for Windows, Macintosh, or Linux
computers. Windows and Macintosh are the dominant desktop operating systems
by far, as Linux and other Unix flavors are for web servers and other server

What I would like to know is:

1. Has anyone else already done this for minority languages anywhere in the
world? I don't want to spend my time reinventing something that already

2. Is there a need for such a product? If I did develop localization
"modules" for minority languages, would anybody have an interest in using
them? I envision the product being used by people trying to revive a
disappearing language. I don't want to waste my time developing something
that will never be used.

3. Does anyone have any thoughts about developing localization "modules" to
support minority languages? I already know that the audience for such a
product would be very small and specialized.

I will post a summary of all responses to this list.

Thank you,
Chuck Coker

- --------------------------------------------------------------------
Chuck Coker <>
Software Developer, Tyrell Software Corporation
23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204
Laguna Hills, California 92653 United States
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