LINGUIST List 2.475

Sat 07 Sep 1991

Disc: Linguistics in Literature: Final Posting

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Betty Birner, Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467
  2. "Michael Kac", Re: Linguistic Terms in Titles
  3. "Michael Kac", Re: Linguist Novels, Films, TV
  4. , Linguists in film
  5. Joe Clifford, Linguistics in film
  6. , Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467
  7. "Michael Kac", Linguists and linguistics in literature

Message 1: Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 91 14:57:57 CDT
From: Betty Birner <birnercasbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467
I don't recall whether anybody has already mentioned this, but there
is a 1988 book by Milorad Pavic entitled "Dictionary of the Khazars:
a Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words." I haven't read it, but apparently
it is a novel in dictionary form. It was published in two forms,
labeled "male" and "female", which are said to be identical except
for, I think, 17 crucial lines.
Betty Birner
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Message 2: Re: Linguistic Terms in Titles

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 91 16:25:17 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Terms in Titles
Nancy Dray alludes briefly in a recent posting to a film called 'Ball of Fire'.
It's been a while since I've seen it but here are the particulars I recall.
The movie stars Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, as respectively an English
professor and a ganster's moll. Gary Cooper is Professor Potts, one of a group
of academics quartered in a New York brownstone researching a new encyclopedia.
He is writing the entry on slang and decides to go to a nightclub to learn some.
There he meets the Barbara Stanwyck character (I forget her name in the film),
she being a singer there and also the girlfriend of a bad guy on the lam from
the law.
Anyway, because she knows where her boyfriend is, the police are also after
her so she decides to hide out in the brownstone with Professor Potts and
his funny, eccentric fellow professors. And of course they fall in love,
totally inappropriately etc.
It's a Hollywood formula product but, taken on its own terms, wonderful.
The other professors are played by a whole stable of character actors
the best known of which is Oscar Homolka. One of the funniest scenes comes
toward the end when Professor Potts has to engage in fisticuffs with the
bad guys.
I'll give it three and a half stars.
Michael Kac
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Message 3: Re: Linguist Novels, Films, TV

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 91 17:18:35 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguist Novels, Films, TV
How could we have forgotten this one?
George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion', and the musical it spawned, 'My Fair
Lady' (of which there is a film version for which, if I am not mistaken,
Peter Ladefoged served as a technical consultant -- Peter can verify or
refute this piece of alleged information).
The character of Henry Higgins is supposed to be based on Henry Sweet.
And while we might not want to condone the blatant prescriptivism that
constitutes the essential plot gimmick, the Higgins character is intended
to be a serious phonetician.
Come to think of it, there's a movie version of 'Pygmalion' too, with
Leslie Howard as Higgins. The set for his living room includes some
recording equipment obviously connected with his professional work.
Michael Kac
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Message 4: Linguists in film

Date: Fri, 06 Sep 91 00:16:37 CDT
From: <GA5123%SIUCVMBRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Linguists in film
 One informant reminds me that the film "A Thousand Clowns" has a
child character who identifies dialects
("Upper East Side, but you spent a couple of years in Chicago").
 Also -- I was gratified to see the citation of "The Forbidden Planet"
and its philologist character (I'm sorry, I didn't record the name of
the contributor). I respectfully beg to add that Dr. Morbius, played by
Walter Pigeon in this 1956 classic,
was far more than just "one of the characters": he was
the one who "forbade" the Planet. His background as a
philologist -- far from being insignificant -- was what enabled him to
read the hieroglyphics of the ancient Krel civilization and thus to
recover and exploit their secrets.
 There was also a paperback book, post-production I think.
Lee Hartman, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, ga5123siucvmb.bitnet
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Message 5: Linguistics in film

Date: Fri, 6 Sep 91 08:55:28 -0600
From: Joe Clifford <clifford%clipr.colorado.edu%psych.colorado.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Linguistics in film
Forgive me if this one was mentioned; I have missed a few newsletters.
There was a Polish movie called _Camouflage_ which passed some years back
at the local art house. As I remember, it was rather political and
all the action took place at a week long linguistics conference on
an island.
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Message 6: Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467

Date: Fri, 6 Sep 91 09:54 MST
From: <WDEREUSEccit.arizona.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Novels, Films/467
To Peter H. Salus
The novel by Derek Bickerton is King of the Sea. A Berkley Book/published by
 arrangment with Random House. 1979. ISBN 0-425-04846-2. 199 pp. $2.50,
paperback.
In addition to the topic of dolphin language, there's also a bit of Hawaiian
Creole English in it.
Willem J. de Reuse
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Message 7: Linguists and linguistics in literature

Date: Fri, 6 Sep 91 16:54:26 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Linguists and linguistics in literature
I am told by Ken Anderson, a graduate student here, that there is a short
story by Henry Kuttner called 'Nothing but Gingerbread Left' which tells
how linguists won the Second World War.
Michael Kac
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