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LINGUIST List 16.1627

Sat May 21 2005

Qs: Negation Systems; Referential Competence

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <foxlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Claire Lampp, Negation Systems
        2.    José Luis González Escribano, Referential Competence

Message 1: Negation Systems
Date: 20-May-2005
From: Claire Lampp <lamppemail.unc.edu>
Subject: Negation Systems

Dear Linguists,

I am a graduate student working on a master's thesis dealing with the
development of systems of negation. More specifically, I am looking at the
three negators in Hindi. Bhatia (1995) has classified these as ''mat''
(non-honorific imperative), ''na'' (subjunctive, honorific, imperative,
conditional, participial and gerundive phrases), and ''nahi?:'' (elsewhere).
Thus far most of the research I am aware of has focused on the formal
split in their development. I am looking for information on other
languages with multiple negators whose use is divided along similar
functional lines. Information on the historical development of such systems
would be especially welcome. Thank you for your help.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Genetic Classification
Historical Linguistics
Language Description

Subject Language(s): Hindi (HND)
Message 2: Referential Competence
Date: 21-May-2005
From: José Luis González Escribano <scribbytelecable.es>
Subject: Referential Competence

Dear colleagues,

I am interested in exploring in some depth the referential competence of
typical educated native speakers. The ultimate source of that interest, of
course, is Putnam's well-known story about the division of linguistic labour and
subsequent literature (Fodor on elms, etc.). After taking all that more or less
for granted for many years, it suddenly dawned on me that I had never seen
empirical confirmation of the extent to which use of core
vocabulary is expert-dependent, and that, in case such a study really does
not exist, it might well be worth undertaking! I have tried to find
psycholinguistic literature on the specific topic of mature speakers'
referential competence, but without much success so far, so I am tempted to
believe that perhaps nobody has taken the trouble to examine Putnam's claim
in detail. Of course, my more sensible half tells me that that just can't be
true, so here is my query to you all:

Does anybody know of any (preferably experimental) empirical work in which
Putnam's classic claim is really subjected to careful scrutiny?

Any information, or help, in any guise, I receive from you on this matter
will be much appreciated and explicitly acknowledged in any future work on
the topic. I will also post a summary to the list if the number and quality
of the replies justifies it.

Best regards

JLG Escribano
Universidad de Oviedo

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

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