LINGUIST List 2.239

Friday, 17 May 1991

Disc: V/3, Black Engl, Hyouston, Pronoun Doubling, Cog ling

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Jan Olsen, V/3 in West Germanic
  2. "Bruce E. Nevin", Black English
  3. Joe Stemberger, Re: Hyouston
  4. John E. Koontz, Pronoun Doubling in Siouan
  5. , cognitive linguistics revisited (sorry)

Message 1: V/3 in West Germanic

Date: Fri, 17 May 91 17:35:45 +0200
From: Jan Olsen <>
Subject: V/3 in West Germanic
There are quite a number of articles that discuss cases of V/3 clauses
in German comparable to the one cited in Alexis Manaster Ramer's posting -
there are also further types of V/3 construction. The most recent article
I know of is
Christiane Thim-Mabrey, Satzadverbien und andere Ausdruecke im Vorvorfeld,
DEUTSCHE SPRACHE 1988: 52-67. 

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Black English

Date: Fri, 17 May 91 15:11:57 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
Subject: Black English
Last I heard, the basis of Black English was in a trade language
widely used in W. Africa, associated with Manding Empire (sp? cf.
Mande presumably), and also basis of Black Portugeuse, Black French,
etc. Don't know about affiliation with Swahili. This is old
information, and I would welcome new. It was, then, a standard
of inter-group communication prior to slavery in these continents.

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Re: Hyouston

Date: Fri, 17 May 91 14:34 CDT
From: Joe Stemberger <>
Subject: Re: Hyouston
Peter Gingiss asks about the loss of /h/ in words like HOUSTON.

I grew up in an area (Central Pennsylvania) where the /h/ is always 
absent. As is often the case with dialect speakers, I find 
pronunciations WITH the /h/ very odd-sounding.

The usual treatment of the loss of /h/ is that it is the tail-end of
a series of changes going back hundreds of years. Old English had
/hl/, /hr/, /hw/, and /hy/. The /hl/ was first simplified to /l/, then 
/hr/ was simplified to /r/. As far as I know, no English dialect has
either /hl/ or /hr/ anymore. The simplification of /hw/ to /w/ is more
recent, so that a few dialects still have the /h/. The simplification
of /hy/ to /y/ is even more recent and much less widespread.

Unfortunately, I can't give any references to all that, since I'm not
in historical linguistics or dialectology. But it's a well-known
phenomenon, and it shouldn't be hard to track down the research on it.

Interestingly, there's hardly ever any communication difficulty resulting
from the loss of /h/. I've had the most difficulties with HUMAN LANGUAGES

---joe stemberger
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Pronoun Doubling in Siouan

Date: Fri, 17 May 91 09:44:42 MDT
From: John E. Koontz <>
Subject: Pronoun Doubling in Siouan
Many of the Central Siouan languages have some paradigms in which pronouns
are doubled. The doubled material is all part of the inflectional prefix
string. (Note that I am not counting multiple prefixes that result from the
presence of two separately inflected stems in a single form, but only true
double inflection of the main verb.) All of the examples that I can think
of involve adding a more transparent element to a form in which the existing
or more "inner" pronominal elements is relatively obscure, i.e., it does not
pattern like the "regular" paradigm. As this should make clear, double
inflection is not general, or general within particular syntactic contexts.
It is morphologically (lexically) conditioned. In some cases it is possible
that the doubling came into existence in a period in which the inflectional
string was "proclitic" and the pronominals "independent." However, in other
cases the double inflection plainly results from recent reanalysis of the
inflectional strings. 

An Omaha-Ponca (Central Siouan/Mississippi Valley/Dhegiha) example that is

Regular Pattern Irregular Pattern Irregular Pattern wi/Doubling

Simple Dative Simple Dative

 a- e- ppaghe `I make it' eppaghe `I ... for him'
ra- re- shkaghe `you make it' reshkaghe `you ... for him'
 gi- gagha `he makes it' giagha `he ... for him'

There are other paradigms with similar characteristics, e.g., the reflexive
and reflexive possessive, and the phenomenon is not restricted to this class
of g-(initial) stem. Other "irregular" stem types are affected analogously.

One that has developed since c. 1880:

Regular Pattern Older Form Newer Form

 a- tta~be `I see it' atta~be
ra- shta~be `you see it' rashta~be
 da~ba `he sees it' da~ba

Note that V~ is a nasal vowel; r = edh; gh = voiced (nonstrident) velar
fricative; sh = esh; accent is not marked; (to simplfy) the dative transitive
stem (regularly in gi-) is used obligatorily in contexts where a better
object exists than the object assumed by the simple transitive stem.

Doubling does not affect the independent pronominals, which are used for
focus only (e.g., for wi `I', wi tta~be is `it was I who saw it; I (emph.)
saw it'; (to answer your question,) I saw it'). 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 5: cognitive linguistics revisited (sorry)

Date: 17 May 91 11:39:24 EST
From: <>
Subject: cognitive linguistics revisited (sorry)
A while back there were some postings about the rightful or
wrongful appropriation of the term 'cognitive' by some linguists.
At the risk of resurrecting the issue (which is not what i hope
to do), i would like to post a passage from an article of Ron
Langacker's in the Center for Research in Language (CRL) (Vol. 1,
No. 3, 1987) which i just came across and which attempts to
explain why he and others like him use the term 'cognitive
linguistics' for the kind of work they do.

I have the whole article on disk, so if anyone would like to see
it, please ask me and i'll send it to you (it's entitled "The
Cognitive Perspective"). There is also a way to get these
electronic files from the CRL but i can't find their e-mail
address right now.


 "The term "cognitive perspective" is adopted mainly for
lack of a better option. Since generative grammarians
loudly proclaim the psychological relevance of their work,
concern with cognitive issues is not per se what distin-
guishes the two outlooks. Rather they differ in their con-
ceptions of the nature of linguistic knowledge, how it
relates to other facets of cognitive organization, and what
kinds of theoretical models are appropriate for language and
for cognition in general. Thus, in speaking of the cogni-
tive perspective, I am referring to one of two broadly-
contrasting approaches to these issues. It does however
imply a far more immediate and intimate connection between
linguistic investigation and specific developments in other
branches of cognitive science than is suggested by the gen-
erative world view."

 "This is most obvious in the case of semantics, for the
whole point of truth-conditional semantics is to avoid any
postulation of mental constructs in the characterization of
semantic structure. In accordance with its origin in logic
and empiricism, truth-conditional semantics is by nature
objectivist; the meaning of an expression is taken to be the
set of conditions under which it is true--it is specifically
not equated with any kind of conceptualization or cognitive
processing. This outlook places stringent limitations on
both the phenomena examined and how they are treated.
Excluded, for example, are figurative language, any semantic
contrasts that do not reduce to differences in truth condi-
tions, and those aspects of the meaning of complex expres-
sions that are not strictly compositional (e.g. anything
contributed by appreciation of the context or by "extra-
linguistic" knowledge)."

 "Whether these restrictions are justifiable, and whether
truth-conditional semantics is revelatory within its chosen
domain, are issues that we need not address. What does con-
cern us is the emergence and rapid growth, within the last
decade, of a movement known variously as "subjectivist",
"conceptualist", or "cognitive semantics". Many different
theories and approaches can be subsumed under these rubrics;
what they share is the notion that meaning is a mental
phenomenon which must ultimately be described as such, and
that natural-language semantics is far richer than logic-
based models would lead us to suspect. Here, of course, I
can offer only the briefest description of the scope of cog-
nitive semantics and some of its basic ideas and results."

[End Linguist List, Vol. 2, No. 239]
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue