LINGUIST List 2.350

Friday, 19 July 1991

Disc: Dissimilation, Diacritics, Gender

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  1. "John A. Rea", Dissimilation exercise
  2. , Dissimilation exercise
  3. Robert D Hoberman, Diacritics
  4. , Gender

Message 1: Dissimilation exercise

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 91 20:34:42 EST
From: "John A. Rea" <JAREA%UKCC.uky.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Dissimilation exercise
I have used the following material for an exercise on dissimilation, based
on the latin suffix -alis alternating with -aris.
 familiaris corporalis
 peculiaris mortalis
 consularis coronalis
 lunaris principalis
 militaris regalis
 singularis virginalis
 popularis dorsalis
You can phrase your own questions to have the student specify when to expect
-alis versus -aris, and to name the process involved. To make the underlying
form (if I dare use the term) stand up and identify itself, one can add such
additional items (probably only after the student has handled the above) as
minimalis, capitalis, hospitalis, navalis, animalis, etc. For extra fun one
can then see what additional information he can supply about liberalis,
floralis, pluralis, lateralis, etc. The carry over into English borrowings
is pleasing to students. Hard core Latinists will know about the few
counter-examples and why they exist and why not to bother undergraduates
about them, and may even suspect that not all adjectives in -alis / -aris
are historically the same batch of kittens -- I interject this to avoid
being preached at by those who claim to know more Latin than I because they
are licensed Classicists.) There are more examples than the above if you
want to impress students with your erudition.
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Message 2: Dissimilation exercise

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1991 19:29 EET
From: <>
Subject: Dissimilation exercise
When reading Vicki Fromkin's query, I came to think about the series
dent-al / palat-al / ... / vel-ar (not *vel-al). I don't know if this
is a synchonic rule in English, but there must be a synchronic Latin
rule behind it; perhaps some Latinist reading this list can clarify
the question. -- Jouko Lindstedt, U of Helsinki
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Message 3: Diacritics

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1991 12:51
From: Robert D Hoberman <RHOBERMAN%ccmail.sunysb.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Diacritics
In response to Ron Hofmann's query about traditional English pronouncing
diacritics, Nota Bene with its Special Language Supplement provides all those
he asked for except the double-o with macron or breve. I find it much more
convenient than Word Perfect for inserting, searching, and changing letters
with diacritics and special characters like edh. It also supports various
laser fonts. In a couple of months, the NB people say, their new product
Lingua will be out, replacing the Special Language Supplement. They say it
will make using the special characters and diacritics much easier and will have
an expanded character set (700 Latin, plus Greek, Cyrillic, and right-to-left
Hebrew). (It is planned eventually, but not right away, to include the IPA.)
You can ask them whether the double o with diacritics is included; they are
Dragonfly Software, 212-334-0445.
Furthermore, NB is good at sorting (alphabetizing) and has some data-base
capabilities, and it is very easy to set whatever sorting order you want, with
any of the available diacritics.
Bob Hoberman
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Message 4: Gender

Date: 15 JUL 1991 17:38:18 JST
Subject: Gender
My understanding of gender in linguistics is as a sub-classification of
nouns, usually 2, possibly 3 genders in European languages -- & I extend
this to include the 5 'genders' of some Bantu languages -- commonly
reflected in the morphology of semantically related verbs & adjectives.
If Amy Sheldon (or sociology) uses this same term for social roles, then
we (& she) should speak of grammatical & sociological gender. Perhaps
some were using sex-roles or simply sex for the latter, thinking that
gender is a matter of syntax & morphology.
Your results look exciting, Amy, would like to hear more, but beware
that unmodified, 'gender' has a long history of use in linguistics in
a different way that you use it.
'Register' I thought was a style in the repetoire of a speaker that he
might use on appropriate occasions; so masculine/feminine registers are
appropriate only for transvestites, no? Ron Hofmann
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