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LINGUIST List 16.2103

Thu Jul 07 2005

Qs: Frequency of Sounds; 'Do'-Support & 'Not Only'

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Yuri Tambovtsev, Frequency of Speech Sounds in American Indian Languages
        2.    Andrew McIntyre, 'Do'-Support and 'Not Only'

Message 1: Frequency of Speech Sounds in American Indian Languages
Date: 07-Jul-2005
From: Yuri Tambovtsev <yutambhotmail.com>
Subject: Frequency of Speech Sounds in American Indian Languages

Dear LinguisList colleagues,

In 1938 a Russian ethnographer and archeologist Prof.Dr. Aleksey P. Okladnikov
published an article on the rehistory of the Siberian tribes, in which he put
forward a theory that Neolitic tribes of Siberia crossed the Bering ice or earth
bridge to Noethern America. In the Americas there were found no ape remnants,
this is why the origin of man was not possible. A.P. Okladnikov believed that
the settlement of the Northern America had at least two waves in the Paleolitic
times. Some linguists after that tried to find the similarities between the
languages of the tribes of Siberia and the Indians of America. I'd like to
compare the sound chains of the languages of the Siberian aboriginal peoples and
the sound chains of the languages of the American Indians. I failed to find any
data on the frequency of occurrence of the speech sounds in the languages of
American Indians. There were no publications on the frequencies of occurrence of
speech sounds in the aboriginal Siberian languages either.

This is why, in 1973 I started the project of counting the frequency of
occurrence of speech sounds in Siberian languages. Then in 1986 Prof.Dr. William
Cowan of Carleton university (Canada) sent me "Eastern Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa
Dictionary by Richard A. Rhodes" to start the investigation of the frequency of
occurrence of speech sound in the AmerIndian language of Ojibwa. We have
computed several AmerIndian languages, among them Cree, Ojibwa, Totonac, etc.
Now we've got data on the frequency of occurrence of speech sound chains of some
30 AmerIndian languages. We are trying to compare their data to the other
languages of Siberia and the world. The total number of the computed languages
is 176. We are looking for co-operation with those American linguists who would
like to compute some more languages of the Americas to obtain the frequency of
occurrence of speech sounds.

We'd be thankful to those colleagues who could advise us on where to publish the
article on the typological closeness (distances) of AmerIndian languages.
Looking forward to hearing from those who can co-operate with us soon to

Remain yours sincerely

Yuri Tambovtsev, Novosibirsk, Russia

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Message 2: 'Do'-Support and 'Not Only'
Date: 06-Jul-2005
From: Andrew McIntyre <ajmciweb.de>
Subject: 'Do'-Support and 'Not Only'

Dear Linguists,
Many (perhaps most) English native speakers agree with the following
judgements regarding 'not only':

(1)She not only sings, she also plays piano.
(2)She doesn't only sing, she also plays piano.
(3)*She does not only sing, she also plays piano. [* for stress on 'sing';
ok-ish with stress on 'not' or 'only'.]

One could attribute the badness of (3) in the relevant varieties to the
idea that (3) involves constituent negation, as (4) suggests.

(4) 'not only does she sing, she also plays piano')

But it is not immediately clear why there can be varieties accepting (2)
but not (3), and why (3) seems possible to some native speakers
(although it is worth noting that most attestations of (3) I have come
across are from non-natives). It is also not clear what differences
between 'only' and 'just' are responsible for a reversal in judgements
in (1), (3) and (4).

These points raise various questions about 'do' support, negation and
focus particles, and seemed worth following up on. After consulting
Google and several learned individuals, I still know of no literature on
the problem (beyond a footnote in Kayne's 'Overt vs. covert
movements', in 'Syntax' 1(2)/1998/128ff).

I would thus ask whether anyone has seen descriptions of the syntax
or semantics of 'not only' (or at least of something relevant, like work
on negated focus particles).

I will summarise relevant responses.

Dr. Andrew McIntyre

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

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