LINGUIST List 13.2444

Wed Sep 25 2002

Qs: Swadesh, Lang Class Size

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  1. Robin Allott, query: Swadesh
  2. jvarela, Re: Language class size

Message 1: query: Swadesh

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 18:11:07 +0100
From: Robin Allott <>
Subject: query: Swadesh

In the chapter on glottochronology in the posthumously published The
Origin and Diversification of Language 1972, Swadesh presents a
100-word Basic List. However I have seen references to a 200-word
Swadesh list. Where does this come from? When was it compiled? The
100-word list figured in Swadesh's 1960 article in Spanish, on which
the chapter in the 1972 book was based.

Robin Allott email:
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Message 2: Re: Language class size

Date: 24 Sep 2002 22:03:54 -0000
From: jvarela <>
Subject: Re: Language class size

Could you folks please help us out? We need to come up with a list of
reasons why it is not pedagogically sound for a language class to have
30 or more students.

The MLA some time ago published guidelines to the effect that language
classes should be 12 to 20 students to be effective. Army language
courses hover at around 8. Universities expect us to have 30 or more
per class.

Please respond asap because we are under pressure to justify our
position: that more is not better in language class size.


Jose L. Varela-Ibarra, Chair
Languages and Humanities
Eastern Kentucky University
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