LINGUIST List 2.525

Tue 17 Sep 1991

Qs: Chinese, media, professeure, classifiers, linguists

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  1. , a query
  2. Ron Smyth, Re: 2.517 That's
  3. , Professeur-E query.
  4. , acquisition of numeral classifiers
  5. , Who the heck is a linguist or what does it mean to do linguistics?

Message 1: a query

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 91 15:23:36 -0400
From: <hubu-pub.bu.edu>
Subject: a query
 For a study on the acquisition of Mandarin Chinese
classifiers, I am looking for any relevant data sets that might
be available, and I would be grateful for any references to
work on the acquisition of classifiers in Chinese. Thanks.
Qian Hu		e-mail address: hubu-pub.bu.edu
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Message 2: Re: 2.517 That's

Date: Sun, 15 Sep 91 11:57:59 EDT
From: Ron Smyth <smythlake.scar.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 2.517 That's
Re: media-induced language change: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,
and (I think) the Canadian Metric Commission (or whatever it's called) seem
to have tried to legislate the pronunciation KILometre instead of the usual
kilOMetre. I'm not sure whether kids who have grown up with this have
adopted it. It still seems rather tenuous. I seem to recall that at the
time the change was implemented, the rational was that you have
CEntimetre, MILLimetre, etc., but only devices such as therMOMetres get
the antipenultimate stress. I have always maintained that since everyone
says kilOMetres, the CBC is off base. Can anyone think of arguments of
this type that would refute these language police on their own terms? The
CBC style also imposes HARRassment for the usual harASSment. I don't know
anyone who wasn't born in a British dialect area who uses this, although there
may be the odd dialect snob who does. You might also check the effectiveness
of the Office de la Langue Francaise in Quebec. They have 'legislated'
hundreds of forms. I recall in the early days seeing published lists
with headings 'forme fautive' and 'forme francaise', where the former was
what everyone always said and the latter was either a French French form, or
an invented one.
Ron Smyth
smythlake.scar.utoronto.ca
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Message 3: Professeur-E query.

Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1991 16:16:54 +1000
From: <butaredeakin.OZ.AU>
Subject: Professeur-E query.
Given Jean Veronis' concern (Re:Professeure,Tue.10 Sep.91); Are there really
"a number of things we [linguists or French?] can do"? To put the question a
bit differently; Should linguists also try to play a "prescriptive" role,
when confronted by some "arbitrariness" in a language?
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Message 4: acquisition of numeral classifiers

Date: Mon, 16 Sep 91 16:37:57 -0400
From: <hubu-pub.bu.edu>
Subject: acquisition of numeral classifiers
 For a study on the acquisition of Mandarin Chinese
classifiers, I am looking for any relevant data sets that might
be available, and I would be grateful for any references to
work on the acquisition of classifiers in Chinese. Thanks.
Qian Hu		e-mail address: hubu-pub.bu.edu
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 5: Who the heck is a linguist or what does it mean to do linguistics?

Date: Tue, 17 Sep 91 08:42:26 PDT
From: <ctlnttviolet.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Who the heck is a linguist or what does it mean to do linguistics?
As a reply to my earlier question (intended as a
point of departure for possible debate) of "what is
a linguist", someone said it is "someone who does
linguistics". Quite. Actually, mea culpa for not
asking the question right, which should have been,
what does it mean, "to do linguistics?"
The motivation for such a question is the
apparent fragmentation of the field of linguistics
into subfields whose practicioners are reluctant to
admit the practicioners of other subfields are also
"doing linguistics". Thus, cognitivists and sociolinguists
look askance at each other, theoreticians and applied
linguists don't talk to each other, and so on. If we are
all "doing linguistics," how come such subdivisions are so
deep and seem to impede rather than foster communication?
And if we aren't all doing it, who is and who isn't
(and what are the latter doing, anyway?)
I wonder if anyone out there might be interested in this
topic.
Milton Azevedo
ctlnttviolet.berkeley.edu
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