LINGUIST List 2.396

Saturday, 10 August 1991

Qs: Latin, Natural lg, Lg and dialect

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Directory

  1. , Latin Reflexives (?)
  2. , NL as specification language
  3. , language & dialect

Message 1: Latin Reflexives (?)

Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1991
From: <A_DENCHFENNEL.CC.UWA.OZ.AU>
Subject: Latin Reflexives (?)
Latin Reflexives (?)
In attempting to discover species of anaphor related to
that in Martuthunira, an Australian language (see
separate posting - if brave), I stumbled across an
interesting example of the Latin reflexive possessive
adjective 'suus' "his own":
Ariovistus ad Caesarem legatos mittit uti ex
suis (=Caesaris) aliquem ad se (=Ariovistum)
mitteret
"Ariovistus sent ambassadors to Caesar to ask that Caesar
should send some one of his (Caesar's) men to him
(Ariovitstus)."
--	Mountford, J. (ed) (1938) Bradley's Arnold Latin
	Prose Composition. Paragraph 350.
(And, incidentally, who is the pro in the bottom level
clause? How do we know it's Caesar?)
I approached a couple of classics scholars (who are not
also linguists) and they were quite happy with the use of
*se* in the example (the reflexive which here refers back
to Ariovistus, the subject of some preceding clause), but
were intrigued by the possessive *suis* referring back to
a non-subject.
I'm more interested (though having failed Latin at
school) in the general properties of these so-called
reflexives. As far as I can see, neither *se* or *suis*
are anaphors under principle A of GB binding theory
(given that they can generally find an antecedent outside
their own (even finite) clause). My reading of orthodox
Latin grammar suggests they both be "subjective", though
perhaps not "nuclear" (in Bresnan's typology which
also includes "logophoric" - eg. Icelandic long distance
reflexive sig).
I imagine someone(s) must have checked this out before.
Any comments?
Alan Dench
Department of Linguistics
University of Western Australia
Nedlands, WA 6009
A_DENCHfennel.cc.uwa.oz.au
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Message 2: NL as specification language

Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1991 14:13:45 +0200
From: <fuchsifi.unizh.ch>
Subject: NL as specification language
I would appreciate pointers to publications which report on attempts to use
as specification language a subset of natural language that can be translated
into first-order predicate logic, or Horn clauses .
Thank you.
Norbert E. Fuchs
Department of Computer Science
University of Zurich
CH-8057 Zurich
Switzerland
fuchsifi.unizh.ch
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Message 3: language & dialect

Date: Wed, 7 Aug 91 17:12:11 CST
From: <huttardallasutafll.uta.edu>
Subject: language & dialect
 Who first said when and where the oft-repeated "A language is a dialect
 with its own army and navy."?
 Thanks.
 George Huttar (huttartxsil.sil.org)
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