LINGUIST List 16.149
Tue Jan 18 2005
Qs: Gesture/Spoken Language; 'What on Earth' Construct
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Gesture and Spoken Language
'What on Earth' Construction
Message 1: Gesture and Spoken Language
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.
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
Message 2: 'What on Earth' Construction
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.
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
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