LINGUIST List 2.611

Mon 07 Oct 1991

Misc: Responses

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , specific/referential
  2. Eric Schiller, Re: 2.597 For Your Information
  3. Marjorie K M Chan, Acquisition of (Mandarin) Chinese classifiers: References
  4. John Phillips, Re: query Mongolian
  5. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 2.607 Queries
  6. "Bruce E. Nevin", Webster
  7. Henry "S." Thompson, Re: 2.574 That's and WordCruncher
  8. Peter Cole, Microsoft Word

Message 1: specific/referential

Date: 1 Oct 91 14:12
From: <>
Subject: specific/referential
I have recently read quite a few papers from various traditions that
deal with the semantics of specificity/referentiality (I am working on
a typological study of indefinite pronoun distinctions like English
some/any). The following are some generalizations that seem to hold, although
I have my own biases, of course:
SPECIFIC is used for an NP if the speaker presupposes the existence of a
referent. The typical example is something like the following:
She wants to get married to an Ainu speaker.
On the specific reading, there is an Ainu speaker (e.g. the one she did
fieldwork with and fell in love with) that she wants to marry. On the
NON-SPECIFIC reading, all she cares about is that her future husband speaks
Ainu, whoever he will be (e.g. because she wants her children to acquire
her ancestors' language, which she no longer speaks).
CONCRETE is a term that I have seen particularly in Russian-language
works, but also in Czech. It seems to be used in exactly the same way as
SPECIFIC. (A good place to look is Elena V. Paducheva's book "Vyskazyvanie i
ee otnesennost' s dejstvitel'nost'ju", Moskva 1985, which contains a very
clear discussion of basic notions of the semantics of reference.) By the way,
the term SPECIFIC is sometimes attributed to Fillmore (a 1967 paper in the
journal Glossa), although I would be interested to hear whether it was used
before. If this term was coined so recently, that explains why the Russians
have a different one.
REFERENTIAL is most often used in contrast to GENERIC. For example,
adjectival modifiers are generally NON-REFERENTIAL, whereas genitival
modifiers may be referential:
Humboldtian views vs. Humboldt's views
Similarly, dependent compound members and incorporated nouns tend to be
NON-REFERENTIAL: apple tree, bike rental, etc.
Sometimes people use REFERENTIAL in the sense of SPECIFIC (and NON-REFERENTIAL
in the sense of NON-SPECIFIC), e.g. Givon in the 1978 paper in Universals of
Human Language, Vol. 4 (ed. J. Greenberg, Stanford). There is of course a
clear similarity between the two senses, so to a large extent your usage
depends on your theory of these meanings.
Martin Haspelmath, Free University of Berlin
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Message 2: Re: 2.597 For Your Information

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 91 17:09:12 CDT
From: Eric Schiller <>
Subject: Re: 2.597 For Your Information
Re: Mac/Word/Renumbering
I suggest you just give them a copy of Nisus and tell them to incorporate
all the features. Including, of course, the ability to attach sounds
to strings of text. Meanwhile, I'll just stick with Nisus - a much
more powerful program with unlimited macro support.
Eric Schiller
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Message 3: Acquisition of (Mandarin) Chinese classifiers: References

Date: Wed, 2 Oct 91 15:30:10 EDT
From: Marjorie K M Chan <>
Subject: Acquisition of (Mandarin) Chinese classifiers: References
In response to Qian Hu's inquiry of references on acquisition of Mandarin
Chinese classifiers, probably the most accessible are work by Mary
Erbaugh, such as "Taking stock: the development of Chinese noun classifiers
historically and in young children" in Colette Craig's (ed.) 1986 book,
_Noun classes and categorization_ (Amsterdam: John Benjamin).
Kin Ken Loke (perhaps still at National U. of Singapore?) has also done
research on the topic.
e.g. A psycholinguistic study of shape features in Chinese (Mandarin)
 Sortal classifiers. (1982, D. Phil. thesis, U. of York, York, England.)
 "Young children's use of Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) sortal
 classifiers", in Henry S.R. Kao and Rumjahn Hoosain's (1986) edited
 volume, _Linguistics, psychology, and the Chinese language. (Centre
 of Asian Studies, U. of Hong Kong).
I'd be interested in knowing of other L1 acquisitional studies on
classifiers in Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, or other dialects
(or "varieties").
Marjorie Chan
Dept. of E. Asian L & L
Ohio State University
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Message 4: Re: query Mongolian

Date: Fri, 4 Oct 91 13:20:01 BST
From: John Phillips <>
Subject: Re: query Mongolian
I don't know of a Mongolian font for the Mac, but there is one for the
Xerox Star. This was demo'd at IJCAI in 1983 and is reviewed in an
article in Scientific American, July 1984, by Joseph Becker. There is
an example of the Mongolian font on p. 85 - it looks correct and is
visually pleasing. (I'm indebted to my colleague Graham Wilcox for
putting me onto this.)
			John Phillips
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Message 5: Re: 2.607 Queries

Date: Fri, 04 Oct 91 10:25 PDT
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.607 Queries
to Ken Matsuda re priming literature. It is vast. Look at any recent
psycholilnguistics text book or recent issues of LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE
PROCESSES or other psycholinguistics journals -- a few books which
will provide more references than you will probably want:
 PSYCHOLINGUISTICS:CENTRAL TOPICS by Alan Garnham 1985 Methuen - London,NY
 PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE - David W. Carroll 1986 Brooks/Cole Publishing Co
or more substantive: LEXICAL REPRESENTATION AND PROCESS edited by
 William Marslen-Wilson - 1989. MIT - Bradford Books
or look at volume IIIof LINGUISTICS: THE CAMBRIDGE SURVEY ed by F Newymeyer
 VA Fromkin
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Message 6: Webster

Date: Mon, 7 Oct 91 10:37:30 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
Subject: Webster
Dennis Baron asked a while back about a PC "Webster's" dictionary
from Random House.
Random House has been trying very hard to take a bite out of
Merriam-Webster's deservedly large market share for a good number
of years, cp. their much touted (and self-congratulatory) "usage
panel" for the flag-waving American Heritage Dictionary.
The PC slant appears to be an effort to shore up their left wing.
Merriam-Webster (out in Springfield, MA) has a citation file
many times larger than any other dictionary maker except probably
the OED. I recommend Sidney Landau's _Dictionaries: the art and craft
of lexicography_ for amusin' and amazin' insights into the economics
and politics of dictionary publishing.
	Bruce Nevin
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Message 7: Re: 2.574 That's and WordCruncher

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 91 15:31:54 BST
From: Henry "S." Thompson <>
Subject: Re: 2.574 That's and WordCruncher
Wrt David Powers's request for real data:
Here are all the examples of "that's" as a relative in the first half
of a corpus of 16 hours/1million words of natural dialog (... means a
pause in the original, [] means i`ve left out a bit in copying from
the transcript):
>From the one that's sort of S-shape.
Past the shel- shelter that's over the top.
Ehm, what's your next thing that's marked?
down from the hide-out err ... that ... that's just up the left-hand side
[] is it the part that's the lowest down or the part []
You got the one that's coming more, almost like, almost eh, horizontal.
Have you got a public footpath that's just like to ...
Is there anything else that's in ... eh, that's causing ...
Right, on my drawing I've got a chapel that's about an inch long on []
there's a wee bit that's almost at a horizontal.
Yeah, the far away one, the one that's ...
the very bottom line like imagine that's cut in half.
straight line down there that's the edge of the golf course. [unclear
	what this is - ht]
 plus twenty-three more in the second half.
There are no examples of "whose" in the corpus at all.
As far as I can see, none of the examples of "that's" as a relative
are of the sort under discussion. Sorry.
 Henry Thompson, Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh
 2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 31 650-4440
 Fax: (44) 31 650-4587 ARPA: JANET:
 UUCP: ...!uunet!mcsun!ukc!cogsci!ht
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Message 8: Microsoft Word

Date: Wed, 02 Oct 91 07:20:45 EDT
From: Peter Cole <AXR00786UDELVM.BITNET>
Subject: Microsoft Word
There are two features that would be very useful: 1) autorenumbering of exampl
es as in Renumber; 2) an automatic backup save as in Mac Word Perfect. The lat
ter feature creates a backup which is deleted when you close down normally.
But if the system goes dead etc., the backup is there when you reboot. I don't
like normal autosave because I may have messed something up and be on the verge
of abandoning the change when the save takes place, but the WP backup save does
not do that. It is only there when things go wrong. Another important thing w
ould be for Microsoft to provide alternate key combinations for those used to
Word on another platform e.g. Windows. The pull down menus are nearly the same
but the key combinations are different. What I really want is Mac key combinat
ions to be available on Word for Windows. A more reliable ability to read the
file formats from other versions of Word would also be useful.
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