LINGUIST List 16.149

Tue Jan 18 2005

Qs: Gesture/Spoken Language; 'What on Earth' Construct

Editor for this issue: Steven Moran <stevelinguistlist.org>


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Directory


        1.    Joan Leopold, Gesture and Spoken Language
        2.    maria polinsky, 'What on Earth' Construction



Message 1: Gesture and Spoken Language

Date: 17-Jan-2005
From: Joan Leopold <joanleopoldhotmail.com>
Subject: Gesture and Spoken Language


Does anyone have references to historical or recent articles on the issue of:
 
 whether gesture language existed before and preceded all forms of spoken
 language; or whether gesture language always coexisted with spoken language.
 
 Thank you. 
 
 Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Message 2: 'What on Earth' Construction

Date: 17-Jan-2005
From: maria polinsky <polinskyling.ucsd.edu>
Subject: 'What on Earth' Construction


In several languages, questions of the type ''what on earth'', or ''what
the hell'' (what on earth/the hell were you thinking?) involve the mention
of hell or devil. Some examples: wh- the hell (English), que diable
(French), Was zum Teufel (German), wh- le-'azazel (Hebrew). I am curious
how widespread this tendency is and whether or not it represents an ''areal
cultural'' phenomenon, somehow rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. So
here are my two questions:
1) are there any studies of the composition of what-the-hell expressions?
2) how do these expressions pattern in other languages?
I will be happy to post a summary of your responses. 

Thank you!
Maria Polinsky 

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
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