LINGUIST List 2.253

Monday, 27 May 1991

Misc: Albanian Dictionary, Taiwanese Names

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  1. , Invers Dictionnary of Albanian
  2. , resend: Name and Law--Taiwan

Message 1: Invers Dictionnary of Albanian

Date: Mon, 27 MAY 91 19:36 N
Subject: Invers Dictionnary of Albanian
To my last message if there was anybody interested on albanian language,
some people have replayed. For them or for any one else who is interested
on albanian language I'm sending this second message:
When I was working in the Institute of Linguistics of the Accademy of
Sciences in Albania, I have elaborated an Inverse Dictionnary of Albanian
and here, at the Scuola Normale of Pisa I have reelaborated it in some
formal aspects and reprinted.
This dictionnary have not been published, so if there is anybody interested
on it, I will make a copy and send it.
The words are taken from "Fjalor i Shqipes se Sotme", Tirana, 1984, which
is the last version of the albanian language dictionnary and is/are signed also
the grammatical category/ies of each word.
The costs of reproducing (180 pp) and posting it are around the 35.000 italian
lire or $30 USD.
| Aleksander Murzaku internet: |
| Scuola Normale Superiore bitnet: murzakuipisnsib |
| Piazza dei Cavalieri, 7 tel: +39/50/597111 |
| I-56126 PISA fax: +39/50/563513 |
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Message 2: resend: Name and Law--Taiwan

Date: Mon, 20 May 91 16:47 U
Subject: resend: Name and Law--Taiwan
The current situation in Taiwan makes it rather difficult for me to remark
on Bill Baxter's note on name approving procdures in Taiwan. The govern-
ment has just announce the end of mobilization period against communist
insurgency (i.e. ceased to treat the PRC as 'seditious bandits'). This
is another big step towards liberalization and democracy. On the other
hand, four indepence advocates have just been prosecute of sedition, based
on a law most deemed out-of-date aftert the end of the mobilization period.
The fact that one of the four prosecuted is a graduate student of Tsing Hua
University and that he was arreste on Campus stirred wide-spread protest
in Taiwan, especially from student and intellectuals. Now, one can argue
from many points of views, such as that it is a bad law but it is a law, or
that this is a case where the ruling party is intentionally establishing
'white terror' after they have abandoned the mobilization period. Person-
ally, neither of the above positions are acceptable. The ruling party does
have a history of practicing 'white terror' (roughly corresponding to the
period of McCarthy
ism). And its record is no where comparable to a true
western democracies. But it is also true that the recent leaders have
clearly shown their sincerity towards democractizing and liberalizing
the old system and that situations have improved substantially in the
past few years. There is no doubt that the government is moving too
slowly for most democracy-oriented people (which, fortunately is in the
clear majority). But whether they could have moved faster or what price
needed to be paid at a faster speed are two hypothetical questions that
both sides of the debates can argue but will most likely fail to come
up with a covincing answer.
My ambivalence to the 'curent' background serves to explain why I will be trying
 to stay as close to the facts without subjective comments. There is a very
loosely defined clause in the law alowing registry officials to refuse to
register 'indecent' names, such as 'pig shit' reported in by Baxter. But
I think this clause is there to protect the young child and to avoid future
toubles (since it is quite difficult to chang your name, as one might
expect. 'Indecncy' is actually a reason one can use to justify his change
of name application). Local functionaries maight enforce this rule or not
ans they often invoke this clause as benebolent intervention. A case in point
is that many elder Taiwanese women still have the name of Wang3shi4, which is
difficult to translate but means roughly 'I(the naming parent) don't want a girl
 but since this girl is born, I will just rasie her willing or not.' Many ha
changed their names later but many others chose to retain their roginal name
for convenience (because deeds are in this name etc.) The fact is that very
few people are likely to choose this name for thier daughter again. Even though
 any registry official is likely to invoke the law and disallow this name, but
I tink the public censure is stronger in this point. As for Japanese-like
names. The fact is that Chinese in Taiwan were FORCED to change to Japnanese
names durinf the Huan2minghua4 (becoming the emporors' subjects). My mother,
a honor student in junior high school, believes that she was denied admission
to senior high school for several reasons, one of them being thier family's
failure to convert to Japanese names (she got in a couple of years later, after
the surrender of the Japanese). Any Naturalized Japanes citizen are
required to convert to a Japanese name up to now. A not unlikely reason
for Baxter's for disallowing a Japanese name may be a overenthusiastic
effort to convert the Japanese names back to Chinese names immediately after
the end of World War II. The fact is that there still quite a few people with
a Japanese style given name, such as tai4lang2 (Jp. Taro), etc. But all
the prople have changed back to their roiginal Chinese family name.
(Of course the case with aborigines are more dificult to say, their convertion
from Japanese names to Chinese names are not tutomatical. I am glad to hear
that many aboriginees activists are using their names in their own languages
now to proclaim their ethnical identity.)
Chu-Ren Huang, Institute of History and Philology

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