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LINGUIST List 16.2832

Sun Oct 02 2005

Qs: Comparative Adjectives; Corpora in Lang Testing

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

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
        1.    Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani, Comparative Adjectives
        2.    Fiona Barker, Use of Corpora in Language Testing

Message 1: Comparative Adjectives
Date: 02-Oct-2005
From: Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani <fxr41yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Comparative Adjectives

Dear Linguist,

Are you aware of any language or dialect in which (either or both of) the
following phenomena exist? The phenomena are as follows:


A positive adjective is followed by a segment, whether a vowel or a consonant,
when it is used attributively, but not predicatively. A hypothetical example
(from English) might be as follows:

the good + (Vowel/Consonant) + picture vs. the picture is good.

Please note that the segment is neither an agreement marker nor a gender marker.


When used attributively, certain comparative adjectives imply emphasis on the
concept conveyed by the positive form of the adjective(s) at stake. This
phenomenon must exist when an utterer used a comparative form without any
positive or basic form earlier used, or when there is no standard of comparison.
A hypothetical English example might be as follows:

The sentence "I want a bigger desk." is used when there is no other desk around,
while "bigger" implies not "bigger than any other desk", but "big+ Emphasis".

In this case, the comparative marker (CMPR) tends to, or seems to, function as
an emphasis marker (EMPH).

I will be grateful for your comments. Please send them to me as soon as possible.

Dr. M.-R. Fakhr-Rohani

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Message 2: Use of Corpora in Language Testing
Date: 30-Sep-2005
From: Fiona Barker <Barker.FCAMBRIDGEESOL.ORG>
Subject: Use of Corpora in Language Testing

Fellow list members

I am preparing a review chapter on the use - past, present & future - of corpora
in language testing to be published next year. I work for a UK-based exam board
and would be interested to hear about what has been done to date or is being
planned in the UK and other countries. I would like to ensure as wide a coverage
in my review as possible.

If you know of any references on the use of corpora in relation to the
assessment of any language or have any related information please contact me
off-list and I will post a response. I would appreciate any suggestions by the
end of October.

Please forward this request to colleagues or let me know if there is another
suitable mailing list for this request.

Thank you in advance.
Fiona Barker

Dr Fiona Barker
Validation Officer
Cambridge ESOL
1 Hills Road

Linguistic Field(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics

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