LINGUIST List 2.152

Monday, 22 Apr 1991

Disc: Dura mater, Intuition, Pronoun, Text Encoding, Tone

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Richard Coates, The Dura mater
  2. David E Newton, Intuition or Intuition?
  3. "NORVAL SMITH, RE: Pronoun Agreement
  4. "NANCY M. IDE, Text Encoding Initiative
  5. "Larry G. Hutchinson", Re: Grammatical Tone

Message 1: The Dura mater

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 91 09:36:42 +0100
From: Richard Coates <>
Subject: The Dura mater

It may interest people that the phrase "dura mater" for the outermost
wrap of the brain and spinal cord is a loan translation of the Arabic
al-'umm al-jaliida (or al-jaafiya), literally 'hard mother'; because,
says the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, "it was thought to be
the source of every other membrane in the body".

Richard Coates
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Message 2: Intuition or Intuition?

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 91 23:46 GMT
From: David E Newton <>
Subject: Intuition or Intuition?
It seems to me that the discussion on intuition currently running may be
suffering, as many such email discussions do, from a different understanding
of what the term 'intuition' actually means. On the one hand, Rick Wojcik used
the word to describe some of the hunches that he, and linguists in general,
have about their work. Richard Ogden asks why intuition is a good thing when
looking for phonological theories, and says he feels that intuition is not
necessarily a good yardstick from which to begin measuring different theories.
Surely, however, his feeling too is intuition?! Maybe I'm missing something,
but it seems possible that his intuition is telling him, "Don't trust
intuition"! In which case, what he and Rick Wojcik mean must be two different
concepts, or at least the same one looked at from different perspectives.

Semantics rears its head yet again!


David E Newton } the way our system is at the } moment,I'd go for .vaxb myself!
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Message 3: RE: Pronoun Agreement

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 91 13:00 MET
Subject: RE: Pronoun Agreement
Pronoun agreement/Alison Henry

Glasgow Middle Class Scottish Standard English

Me and him are/*is going
*I and he are going
Us and them are/*is going
*We and they are going

Us students are going
We students are going (more formal)

These are/*is mine

Are there any eggs?
Is there any eggs? (less good)

There was only us
*There were only us

It was us who were/was kicking
It was me who was kicking

There were 6 eggs
There was 6 eggs (less good)
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Message 4: Text Encoding Initiative

Date: Sun, 21 Apr 91 14:07 EDT
From: "NANCY M. IDE <>
Subject: Text Encoding Initiative
In response to Margaret Seguin's query about the TEI: The Text Encoding
Initiative is in its second two-year cycle, which will end in June, 1992. For
those who may not have yet heard about the TEI, it is an international project
sponsored by the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the Association
for Computational Linguistics, and the Association for Literary and Linguistic
Computing, to develop standards for encoding machine readable textual and 
linguistic data. Fifteen other scholarly organizations, including LSA (and the
American Anthropological Association), sponsor it as well. 

So far, the TEI has produced a preliminary draft of its Guidelines for encoding
machine readable textual and linguistic data, which was made available in June
1990 to interested parties (whom we hope will comment on the guidelines in
order to feed information into the final version, which will appear in June
1992). The first draft reflects the work during the first cycle of several
committees within the TEI--most interesting for LINGUIST members, the group
headed by Terry Langendoen which deals with representing phonological,
morphological, and syntactic information. Feedback from LINGUIST members on
this part of the guidelines would be very welcome. 

Thus the answer to the direct question is yes, there will be something as
straight-forward as a manual for the standards. There should be several
publications: a general guide which will grow out of the current draft, a
user's tutorial manual, a reference manual, and possibly a book of examples as
well. All will be available next year. In the meantime, the current draft is
available for comment and use.

Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the current draft of the guidelines or
learning more about the TEI can contact the editor, Michael Sperberg-McQueen,
U35395UICVM.bitnet. Note that a Listserve list called TEI-L is available as
well for those with an on-going interest in the TEI's work. Again, contact
Michael Sperberg-McQueen for information on joining TEI-L.

Nancy M. Ide

Steering Committee, Text Encoding Initiative
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Message 5: Re: Grammatical Tone

Date: Mon, 22 Apr 91 11:37:02 -0500
From: "Larry G. Hutchinson" <>
Subject: Re: Grammatical Tone
Re Michael Henderson's query (on behalf of Ken Miner) about grammatical tone:
Temne (Sierra Leone) uses tone to distinguish def/indef, past/nonpast, and
to mark onsets of relative clauses. Otherwise, tone functions very like
English stress - there are a FEW lexical minimal pairs, but only a few. This
is fairly common in African languages I believe. I can't tell without
further clarification if this is what Miner means by "nonlexical tone".

[End Linguist List, Vol. 2, No. 152]
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