LINGUIST List 16.79

Thu Jan 13 2005

Qs: Superlatives; Interaction in Inquiry Offices

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        1.    Penka Stateva, Superlatives
        2.    Jana Kubista, Interaction in Inquiry Offices

Message 1: Superlatives

Date: 05-Jan-2005
From: Penka Stateva <>
Subject: Superlatives

Dear linguists,
 I am interested in the ways languages of the world form superlative
 constructions. So far I am aware of three morphological strategies: English
 type using a special superlative morpheme (-est/least), Slavic/Baltic type
 using both a comparative and a superlative morpheme, and Arabic type using
 the same morpheme to express comparative and superlative meaning. Each of
 these strategies are exemplified below:
 (1) John is the smartest. 
 (2)Ivan je najpametniji
    Ivan is most-smart-er 
    'Ivan is the smartest.'   (Serbo-Croatian)
 (3) Sa9da     Ahmad  a9la     al-dzhibaali     
     climbed  Ahmad  more-high the mountains
     'John climbed the highest mountain.'      (Standard Arabic)
 I would like to know if there exist other linguistic means in which
 superlativity can be expressed in different languages. To this effect, I
 would be very grateful if you could let me know how the following simple
 sentences are translated into your language:
 (4) John is the smartest.
 (5) John climbed the highest mountain.
 (6) John ran the fastest.
 Any further hints and pointers will be highly appreciated. Please respond
 directly to
 If there is sufficient response, I will post a summary.
 best wishes,
 Penka Stateva 
 Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Message 2: Interaction in Inquiry Offices

Date: 05-Jan-2005
From: Jana Kubista <>
Subject: Interaction in Inquiry Offices

Dear colleagues,

I am looking for literature and research projects dealing with interaction
in inquiry offices, especially in Slavic countries and languages (f.i.
tourist information offices, information desks at stations, in city
centres, city halls, cultural institutions ...). Are there articles or
books analysing these interactional situations and dialogues by
means/methods of conversational analysis, discourse analysis,
ethnomethodology, or similiar theories? 

I am also interested in any linguistic work in Slavonic languages that is
based on authentic, spontaneous dialogues (I didn't find so much yet, only
in Czech). 

Thank you very much for your help,


Jana Kubista (Technical University Dresden) 

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Language Family(ies): Slavic Subgroup
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