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LINGUIST List 16.2347

Mon Aug 08 2005

Qs: Autism & Indirect Speech Acts; Japanese Word Order

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

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        1.    Mikhail Kissine, Autism and Indirect Speech Acts
        2.    Bittor Hidalgo, Japanese Word Order

Message 1: Autism and Indirect Speech Acts
Date: 08-Aug-2005
From: Mikhail Kissine <mkissineulb.ac.be>
Subject: Autism and Indirect Speech Acts

Dear all,

I'm looking for references focusing on the understanding and/or production
of indirect speech acts by children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Many thanks in advance

Mikhail Kissine

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
Message 2: Japanese Word Order
Date: 08-Aug-2005
From: Bittor Hidalgo <bittorhidalgoeuskalnet.net>
Subject: Japanese Word Order

Regarding query: http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2124.html#1

Some 20 days ago I addressed a question about the real or claimed rigidity of
verb-final order of Japanese. I addressed the same question to LinguistList,
Funknet and Jpling, and will resume the most interesting answers.

Tom Givon and Dan I. Slobin remembered that these kinds of discussions were like
"old hats" that "must already be" surmounted (even if they are not). T. Givon
explicitly stated that: "All natural languages with 'rigid' word-order have much
free-er word-order in actual natural (oral) communication, with much
pragmatically-determined variation. Put another way, rigid VO [WO] is relative,
never absolute." And added: "The normal degree of VO [WO] variability in most
'rigid'-VO [WO] languages is 5%-10% of the total sample."

Bart Mathias stated in the same way: "Spoken Japanese is not quite a *rigid*
verb-final language, but when the verb (plus suffixes) is followed by anything,
what follows is always a sort of afterthought, or correction--addition of data
that might not be understood after all. The ''afterthoughts'' may be themes,
subjects, objects (direct or indirect), or adverbials".

About historical data Bart Mathias clearly states: "Whether it has *always* been
so [rigid verb-final], who can say? We only have data for a millennium and a
quarter. In that data, so far as I have seen, such postposing of pre-verb
elements does not occur in prose, even in dialog. (I suspect cases might be
found in poetry.)" But I didn't find either any reference about word order
historical variation.

B. Mathias explicitly cites also the fairly omission of the verb in Japanese,
but he confesses to have not idea where find a study and collection about theses
cases in real discourse.

Thanks also to Melanie Siegel and Mark Mitchell for their comments about
post-verbal particles.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Japanese (JPN)

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