LINGUIST List 2.563

Thu 26 Sep 1991

Qs: Semantics, Hebrew, Tag questions, Turkic, etc.

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Grammar and the self
  2. cameron shelley, compositional semantics
  3. "Bruce E. Nevin", Hebrew name etymology
  4. Christophe Fouquere, Hebrew name etymology
  5. Ralf Thiede, query: psycling textbooks
  6. "m. sokolik", ASL as a Second Language
  7. carole chaski, tag questions in gpsg
  8. John Phillips, Soviet Turkic languages
  9. , Crash space for NWave

Message 1: Grammar and the self

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1991 17:07:16 GMT
Subject: Grammar and the self
Mu"hlha"usler and Harre''s recent book "Pronouns and People"
(Blackwell 1990) cites extensively the work of Dorothy Lee,
especially her 1950 article (J. Abnormal and Social Psychology)
which claims that aspects of Wintu grammar are underlain by a
different conception of the self from that of SAE models.
Examples such as the following are given (drawn here from Lee's
article - the versions in M&H from Lee via Forrai have become a
bit garbled somewhere along the line):
limelda - ail-I (I am sick)
tutuhum limtcada - mother ail-tca-I (my mother is sick)
The point being made is that the first person inflection can be
used of the speaker's intimates as well as the speaker. Being
sceptical of such Whorfian argumentation, I wonder if this is
simply a -tca- voice change construction type which allows "ethic
dative"/possessors of subjects to control verbal inflection -
with no necessary inferences to be drawn about conceptions of
Other materials on Wintu (e.g. Pitkin's grammar) are not
available here so I can't check the details. I'd be grateful if
someone can fill me in on this point, and anything else on Wintu
or related languages which could bear on this argument.
>From Lee's article it appears Wintu also has an
alienable/inalienable possession distinction, with constructions
such as:
I-am-red face
Lee comments "unlike us, a Wintu self is identical with parts of
the body, and is not related to them as other". The self also
apparently includes clothes, to judge by her example:
you-are-ripped clothes
Wintu also operates with a cardinal direction system of spatial
orientation and does not use a body-based system (left-right etc)
according to Len Talmy (citing Pitkin) in his 1983 article "How
Languages Structure Space". Now all the Australian Aboriginal
languages I have worked with also operate a similar cardinal
direction system *and* all have a strong formal
alienable/inalienable possession distinction. This got me
wondering, in an uncharacteristically Whorfian fashion, if there
is something in this association. So please let me know if you
have further examples of Earth-based cardinal direction systems
and alienable/inalienable going together, or, even better,
disconfirming examples of where one occurs without the other. I
should perhaps clarify what I mean by Earth-based systems here: I
mean not just that north-south-east-west exist in the language
but that they are used pervasively to the exclusion or virtual
exclusion of left-right-front-back systems in everyday discourse.
Patrick McConvell, Anthropology, Northern Territory University,
PO Box 40146, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia
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Message 2: compositional semantics

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 91 11:47:21 -0400
From: cameron shelley <>
Subject: compositional semantics
Has anyone been saving the recent discussion thread on compositional
semantics? If so, could you send me a copy? It would be much
appreciated as someone here has requested to see the contributions
but I haven't been saving them...
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Message 3: Hebrew name etymology

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 91 12:37:39 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
Subject: Hebrew name etymology
What is the etymology of the name Emmanuel, or more exactly of the
emmanu- part of it?
	Bruce Nevin
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Message 4: Hebrew name etymology

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 91 03:49:42 +0100
From: Christophe Fouquere <>
Subject: Hebrew name etymology
I am working on Second Language Acquisition.
Does anybody know where I can find corpora of errors done by learners ?
This research concerns mainly the acquisition of French, but English corpora
will be ok.
Christophe Fouquere
Universite Paris-Nord
93430 Villetaneuse
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Message 5: query: psycling textbooks

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 91 12:23:35 EST
From: Ralf Thiede <FEN00RT1UNCCVM.BITNET>
Subject: query: psycling textbooks
I need help: I will teach an introductory course in psycholinguistics in
Spring and have not yet found a good textbook. Has any of you made good
experiences with a textbook that is up to date, has the calibre and easy
reading level of Clark & Clark, and doesn't short-change linguistic the-
ory for anecdotal descriptions of experiments? I should add that I will
teach this for linguistics students and English majors, not in a depart-
ment of psychology. I would very much appreciate any recommendation; if
you prefer, you can respond directly to <FEN00RT1UNCCVM>. I will later
post a bibliography with comments compiled from any answers I might get.
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Message 6: ASL as a Second Language

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 91 10:54:28 CDT
From: "m. sokolik" <>
Subject: ASL as a Second Language
I received the following message from a colleague at Boston University.
Anyone so willing is asked to respond.
 Hey, I just got handed this... in yesterday's issue of
"BU Today," there's an article about various subversive factions on campus
who would actually claim that ASL is not just a variant of English and should
be allowed to count towards the undergrads' foreign language requirement. (As
a matter of fact, the brightest student in my class last year wanted to do
this, I wonder what got into the poor dear?) But we have it on the word of our
Associate Dean, published for all the rest of the world to see, I quote:
"We sympathize with students who want to learn sign language. But it doesn't
answer the needs of CLA's language requirement. Using sign language is not the
same as speaking another language. American Sign Language students learn the
English language in different fashion. American Sign Language is another way of
speaking American English."
 So, I hope you will do your best to disseminate this gem to every person or
institution you can think of who might be willing to deluge this "academic"
with what he deserves. (His name is Burton Cooper, Associate Dean of the
College of Liberal Arts at BU. The zip is 02215.)
Thanks. Maggi Sokolik, Texas A&M
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Message 7: tag questions in gpsg

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 91 10:28:19 EDT
From: carole chaski <>
Subject: tag questions in gpsg
i am currently working on an analysis of the double modal construction
(e.g. well, we might could get a new car) in the gpsg framework and need
information about how gpsg handles tag questions. i'd appreciate any
contacts, bibliographic references or ideas about a gpsg account of tag
questions --published or otherwise-- so that i can get to the formation
of tags with fouble modals (e.g. could we might get a new car???). thank
you in advance.
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Message 8: Soviet Turkic languages

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 91 18:33:12 BST
From: John Phillips <>
Subject: Soviet Turkic languages
Have we any Turkic scholars here?
Dan Slobin writes of the `Turkic languages of the Caucasus
and Central Asia'. Did these `languages' exist before the
Russian revolution? A Turkish friend of mine claims to be
able to understand Azeri and Kazakh with little difficulty;
a man from the Iranian part of Azerbaijan I once knew told
me he had conversed without any difficulty with people from
Soviet Azerbaijan and from Kazakhstan. I remember reading
somewhere that prior to Soviet times the Turkic people of
this area had a common written and formal spoken language.
It is difficult to discover any more than this from the
literature, since pro-Soviet works will tell you how the
Russians introduced standard languages and literacy, while
anti-Soviet works will tell you how they invented new languages
based on outlandish dialects so as to prevent people
communicating with each other and fomenting rebellion.
Has anyone any idea just how close the modern languages
are, and whether their speakers consider them separate
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Message 9: Crash space for NWave

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 17:58:29 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Crash space for NWave
Our department is trying to find crash space for our visiting Polish
graduate assistant, who is brand-new to this country and on a very
limited budget. She needs crash space for 3 nights (Oct 3-5)
somewhere near Georgetown University--she will be attending the NWAVE
conference. We've contacted the NWAVE organizers, who have suggested
hotels, but we wondered if there was someone out there in LINGUIST-land
who might be kind enough to volunteer free space. Thanks in advance.
[Please send replies direct to: Thanks--
 Daniel Seely ]
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