LINGUIST List 2.635

Thu 10 Oct 1991

Qs: Pauses, Tense, Rhetorical qs, PC

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Directory

  1. Liz Shriberg, filled pauses
  2. Niko Besnier, English dialectal verb-ending form
  3. Niko Besnier, Rhetorical questions: Query
  4. Paul Heisterkamp, Political Correctness: What is it?

Message 1: filled pauses

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 91 00:59:11 PDT
From: Liz Shriberg <eesspeech.sri.com>
Subject: filled pauses
Does anyone know of any cross-linguistic work on hesitation phenomena?
In particular I am interested in filled pauses (like "um" and "uh"
in English; "euh" in French.) Any type of information (phonetic/phonological
form, prosodic characteristics, function, distribution, etc.) would be
extremely helpful. Information on languages other than English,
French or German would be especially appreciated. Anecdotal information
on a language you have worked on would also be great, as would suggestions
for people to contact.
And, if anyone knows the answer to either of the following mysterious
questions (both are things I heard second-hand and cannot find the answers
to) please let me know (and you should win a prize. . .):
 1) in what language(s) is the high front vowel /i/ used as a filled
 pause?
 2) on what island in the South Pacific is the form "um-um" used as a
 filled pause?
Thanks very much for any help,
Liz Shriberg
<eescogsci.berkeley.edu>
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Message 2: English dialectal verb-ending form

Date: Wed, 09 Oct 91 21:05:39 EDT
From: Niko Besnier <UTTANUYALEVM.BITNET>
Subject: English dialectal verb-ending form
A couple of my undergraduate students maintain that the verbal
ending *-s* in the first-person singular (e.g. `I says') is a past-
tense marker in the social/regional dialects that have this
feature. I tried to verify whether this was the case but have not
been able to find the answer. I was under the impression that it
was a present-tense form, and wonder if my students are not
confusing the narrative present with the past tense, since the form
will frequently occur in narratives. Can anyone enlighten me on
this? Is *-s* only associated with the first-person singular, or
with other persons as well? What is its exact regional/social
distribution?
Niko Besnier
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
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Message 3: Rhetorical questions: Query

Date: Wed, 09 Oct 91 21:08:55 EDT
From: Niko Besnier <UTTANUYALEVM.BITNET>
Subject: Rhetorical questions: Query
A social anthropologist colleague of mine is working on transcripts
of Kenyan political meetings (KiSwahili _baraza_), which are full
of rhetorical questions, and has asked me for references on
rhetorical questions. The most useful for her purposes would be
any work taking a discourse analytic/functional/sociolinguistic
perspective. Any suggestions?
Niko Besnier
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
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Message 4: Political Correctness: What is it?

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 91 11:22:58 MET
From: Paul Heisterkamp <hei547dbulm1.uucp>
Subject: Political Correctness: What is it?
Here in a small town in Germany, I only hear rumors about this PC business,
which I did not take too seriuos. So, I was bewildered when someone asked
recently (in LINGUIST) whether the term 'Individual' was politically
correct or not.
My question those of you in the US: What IS Political Correctness really?
What is it there for (any relation to (at least the 'weak') Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis? And: cui bono?
Paul
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