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LINGUIST List 17.1866

Fri Jun 23 2006

Qs: Left/Right Terms: Body Parts; Multi-media Teaching Materials

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Mary Raymond, Intrinsic Left/Right Terms for Body Parts
        2.    Scott Fults, Request for Multi-media Teaching Materials

Message 1: Intrinsic Left/Right Terms for Body Parts
Date: 20-Jun-2006
From: Mary Raymond <m.raymondsoas.ac.uk>
Subject: Intrinsic Left/Right Terms for Body Parts

Dear Linguists

Do all languages have intrinsic terms for distinguishing left and right body

I am working on spatial reference in Kubokota, an Oceanic language which
uses mainly absolute frame of reference (e.g. lexicalising geographic
direction in verbs such as ‘go landward’, ‘go seaward’). After a recent knee
operation my partner was more than usually concerned with the importance
of being able to identify one leg from the other (‘Please operate on my
left/#seaward knee!’), and wanted to know what languages do if they only
use absolute frame of reference (FoR).

Three languages I have investigated, Kubokota, Balinese and Guugu
Yimithirr, have specific terms for ‘right hand’ and ‘left hand’, which are used
only to refer to body parts, while using absolute FoR elsewhere in the

Does anyone know of a language which does not use left and right for
differentiating paired body parts? If so, what do speakers do instead? If not,
is this a linguistic universal?

Thanks for your help.

Mary Raymond

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            General Linguistics

Message 2: Request for Multi-media Teaching Materials
Date: 20-Jun-2006
From: Scott Fults <swfwam.umd.edu>
Subject: Request for Multi-media Teaching Materials


The linguistics department at the University of Maryland is changing much
of its introduction to linguistics course. The course is taken entirely by
non-linguistics majors (though, we hope some of them become intrigued
enough to go on to majoring in linguistics). We are asking for your help
in acquiring digital multi-media teaching demonstrations and tools in an
effort to make the course more engaging for these kinds of students.

I know that there have been several requests for this type of material
before on the LINGUISTList. But seeing as how fast technology changes, and
how fast websites come and go, I thought it was time for another try. I
will, of course, make the information that I receive available in a summary
(in fact, I might put together a website with links, downloads, etc.)

We are looking for pictures, sound and video files that deal with any
aspect of linguistics that you use in your linguistics courses, i.e.,
phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax. But, we are especially
interested in examples that demonstrate principles in sociolinguistics,
animal communication, sign language, pragmatics, writing systems,
acquisition, and psycholinguistics.

We are not asking for your teaching materials, i.e., slides, class notes,
etc. Just the multimedia examples or demonstrations that you might use to
help teach a particular point. For instance, we are looking for things
like: audio/video clips of babies cooing, babbling, etc., video of ASL or
Nicaraguan Sign Language that demonstrates a particular grammatical
example, audio of Hawaiian Creole, or the stimuli used in a famous
experiment, etc.

If you have multi-media materials that you would like to share with us,
please send an email to me at: swfwam.umd.edu. Please include the
following along with the email:

1) the file or a link to the file
2) your name and affiliation
3) whether there are any copyright restrictions on the material
4) whether or not you would like the file to be freely available on our website
5) any other comments or instructions that you think are relevant

Thank you,

Scott Fults
University of Maryland, College Park

Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics

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