LINGUIST List 12.2366

Mon Sep 24 2001

Qs: "bin L-X-den" Pronunciation, Intro Ling Text

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  1. Mark L. Louden, Osama bin L-X-den
  2. Deborah Ruuskanen, Intro to Linguistics book for Entrance Exam

Message 1: Osama bin L-X-den

Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 13:19:16 -0500
From: Mark L. Louden <>
Subject: Osama bin L-X-den


You may have noticed a number of people pronouncing Osama's patronymic
as "bin L[au]den" rather than "bin L[a:]den" (something that has caused
me to constantly do double-takes when listening to the radio recently).
My hunch is that this substitution has something to do with the
markedness of [a:] in American English. Anyone want to hazard a guess
what's going on here? Has anyone observed parallel phenomena? I will
summarize all responses.


Mark Louden
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Message 2: Intro to Linguistics book for Entrance Exam

Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 18:34:18 +0300
From: Deborah Ruuskanen <druUWasa.Fi>
Subject: Intro to Linguistics book for Entrance Exam

We've just been told we need to change the linguistics book for the
entrance exam, and we need to give the admin people the title of the new
book by the end of this week (Friday 28 September). Basically we need a
book that introduces linguistics to the layman, i.e. a 'study of
language' type book. The level is more or less equivalent to secondary
school grads in the USA or the UK, and since they have to buy it, it
should not be too expensive (around �12 pounds UK, 20 Euros, 15 dollars
US). It should also cover more than one theory of syntax, e.g. a book
that considers Chomsky to be the only authority on syntax is not
acceptable: talking about syntax and 'rules of grammar' as a general
idea without getting into any theories at all is ok.
We've been using Trask, R.L. (1995) Language: the Basics. We like the
Trask book. But we've been using it for five years and now we have to
get another book. HELP!
Reply to me personally at
and I'll summarise for the list if there's enough interest.
Deborah D.K. Ruuskanen
Prof. of English Linguistics, University of Vaasa, Finland
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