LINGUIST List 2.218

Sunday, 12 May 1991

Disc: Colourless green ideas, Acronyms

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  1. bert peeters, Colourless green ideas / D'incolores idees vertes
  2. Ellen Prince, Re: Acronyms

Message 1: Colourless green ideas / D'incolores idees vertes

Date: Sun, 12 May 91 10:51:21 +1000
From: bert peeters <peeterstasman.cc.utas.edu.au>
Subject: Colourless green ideas / D'incolores idees vertes
Who has said what about Chomsky's example in (1) and its French equivalent in
(2)? I'm trying to compile a list of references to discussions of both. Please
send your reply to the list or to myself.

(1) Colourless green ideas sleep furiously
(2) D'incolores idees vertes dorment furieusement

If anyone has the text of Dell Hymes' poem om the matter, I'd like him or her
to come forward. (Or isn't there such a poem?)

Bert Peeters <peeterstasman.cc.utas.edu.au>
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Message 2: Re: Acronyms

Date: Sat, 11 May 91 23:04:57 -0400
From: Ellen Prince <ellencentral.cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: Acronyms
joe giampapa writes:

>On the compression of names, one university roommate I had claimed that his
>surname was an acronym: "Ritvo", for "Rabbi ... etc." (I forgot the rest.)
>Before him, I have never heard of such instances.

acronyms are very well entrenched in jewish tradition. one very common
example is the jewish surname 'katz', an acronym for koph-tsade 'k-ts', the
first letters of 'kohen-tsadik' 'righteous priest'. the family name 'asch'
is likewise an acronym, aleph-shin, for the town/name 'eisenstadt' (written
in yiddish ALEPH-yod-yod-zayin-nun-SHIN-tav-aleph-tav'). max weinreich
discusses many more in his 'history of the yiddish language' (univ. of chicago
press, 1980). of course, this is not restricted to yiddish-origin terms. the
spanish jewish philosopher maimonides (1135-1204) was known as the 'rambam',
an acronym for 'rabbi moses ben maimon'. 

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