LINGUIST List 2.736

Thu 31 Oct 1991

Qs: Think/believe, Language acquisition

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Nancy L. Dray, Address query
  2. , think, believe
  3. , E-mail address query
  4. , E-mail address query

Message 1: Address query

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 91 16:35:02 CST
From: Nancy L. Dray <>
Subject: Address query
Does anyone have a current address ("snail mail"--I don't think she's
on e-mail) for Mary Ellen Ryder? I believe she's at Boise State
University in Boise, Idaho, but I can't seem to locate her address.
Thanks very much.
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Message 2: think, believe

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 91 18:47:36 MST
From: <jbarndenNMSU.Edu>
Subject: think, believe
In an AI project, I've recently started to consider
(a) The differences between usage/meaning of the verbs ``think'' and
(b) The fact that ``think'' is often used as if it were speech verb, as in
 John thought, ``Mary must have taken the car''.
(c) The fact that the examples like the following are common:
 I must be more careful next time, John thought
 where there are no quotation marks but their use would be appropriate.
(d) As a sort of dual of (b), the fact that speech verbs are often used
 (metaphorically??) to portray thought, as in
 I must be more careful next time, John said to himself.
(e) The fact that ``think'' in certain contexts can be used to portray speech
 (as well as thinking), as in
 I must be more careful next time, John thought aloud.
I'd be very grateful for any pointers to work on any of (a) to (e), and would of
course be glad to supply a listing of any pointers I receive. Pointers can be
to any sort of literature (linguistic, psychological, philosophical, ...).
Under (a) I'm particularly, but not exclusively, interested in ``think'' as
having a greater tendency to imply occurrent (active) thinking events as
opposed to stable/long-term/background mental states, and in ``think'' as
having a greater tendency to imply conscious as opposed to unconscious belief.
These tendencies are clearest in the past-tense, pseudo-speech usage as in (b).
Though neither a polyglot nor a machine-translation researcher, I'd be
interested in observations of similar phenomena, or lack of them, in other
languages (especially Spanish, French, German, Chinese or Japanese, with which
colleagues are familiar).
Incidentally, all the above examples are closely modelled on things I've seen
in perfectly mundane sources such as detective novels, children's books,
pulp magazines, etc.
-- John Barnden
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Message 3: E-mail address query

Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1991 10:04 EET
From: <>
Subject: E-mail address query
Does anyone know e-mail addresses for people working at the University of
Paris III (Sorbonne-Nouvelle)? (The answers, if any, can perhaps be sent
directly to me, rather than to this list.) Thanks in advance.
Juhani H{rm{
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Message 4: E-mail address query

Date: 31 October 91, 13:00:53 MST
From: <>
Subject: E-mail address query
Greetings and Happy Halloween!:,
I'm new to the list so excuse me, if I'm
a littles short on protocol. I've been reading the
mail that comes from the linguist list diligently and
find the discussion very intersting. I'm not a linguist
by training nor by any stretch of the word. I'm
however interested in the important role which language
plays in our lives and in our society as a whole.
I'm a graduate student in sociology and my main
interest is in cultural sociology. I have studied
minority cultures in the United States, especially
Chicano culture.
 My main interest in language is in its relationship
with culture. My undergraduate thesis was a study of Chicana/o
college students' ethnic identity. I studied the
use of the Spanish and English languages by the students
and tried to draw correlations between language use
ethnic identity, and political identity. The main
question was: How does Spanish language use or lack
of use relate to one's identity? How does speaking
Spanish affect one's outlook on their culture?
I believe that I have found some interesting
correlations and would like to gain better more
extensive knowledge about linguistics so that I can
understand these correlations better.
 I have read minimal amounts by sociolinguists and
have found this to be very helpful. My meager understanding
of some of Whorf's writings has also been a big help.
 I'm looking to gain a better understanding of
language acquistion and the different roles which men and
women (specificaly mothers and fathers) play in
teaching language to the following generation.
 I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for asking
for help in this area (if it isn't I'm sure I'll
be notified) but is there anyone who can lead me
to some studies concerning language acquistion
especially those which discuss language acquistion
in the Chicano culture? Can someone offer a short
bibliography? I also need something which will discuss
Whorf's ideas on the differences between languages,
especially concerning differences in realities
which people who speak different languages experience.
 This information is needed to strengthen some of
the claims I make in the thesis. I intend to use this
information to carve out a piece to present at a couple of
 Your help would be greatly apreciated thanks.
Louis McFarland
Department of Sociology
Arizona State University
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