LINGUIST List 13.2722

Mon Oct 21 2002

Qs: Lang Transfer, Vowel Harmony

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  1. yooulee noh, language transfer
  2. Les Zsoldos, vowel harmony in the Finno-Ugric languages

Message 1: language transfer

Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 13:24:23 +0000
From: yooulee noh <>
Subject: language transfer

Hello. All

I'm a student in NYU TESOL program. As one of my projects, I'm
planning to study language transfer, especially Korean to English. The
specific topic of my project is negative questions. For example,
Koreans will answer in Korean "No, I can play guitar." to the nagative
question such as "Can't you play guitar?" When Koreans say "no",
unlike English, it is not related to the truth of the ability but
negates the semantic content of what the person is asking. Because of
this, Korean students learning English, in particular beginners, tend
to make mistakes when they answer to negative questions in English.

If you know some books, research papers, or articles about this topic,
would you kindly reply me? Or, if you have general suggestions or
comments on my topic, please reply me. Thank you very much in advance.

646-654 6585
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Message 2: vowel harmony in the Finno-Ugric languages

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 20:16:10 +0000
From: Les Zsoldos <>
Subject: vowel harmony in the Finno-Ugric languages

I'd like to know more about vowel harmony in Mordvin, Cheremis (Mari),
Votyak (Udmurt) and Zyryan (Komi). Are there many examples of vowel
harmony in these languages? Do they have palatal harmony (front/back)
and labial harmony (rounded/undround) or only one or the other? Do
the two dialects of Mordvin (Erzya and Moksha) exhibit differences in
their systems of vowel harmony or are they identical? Here's a good
example of vowel harmony in Hungarian: megyek, jo:vo:k and csina'lok.
These words mean I'm going, I'm coming, I'm doing/making. These verbs
consist of a stem plus linking vowel and k. The o: corresponds to a
mid front rounded vowel, and a' to a long vowel. Are there similar
paradigms in the languages which I've already named?

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