LINGUIST List 2.829

Mon 02 Dec 1991

Disc: Grammar Checkers, Clicks, Say what

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Leslie Burkholder, grammar checkers
  2. "Bruce E. Nevin", say what vs. do what
  3. Michael Newman, Re: 2.818 Singular They, Human Research
  4. , RE: 2.814 Responses: Clicks, French Terms, Hiatus, Do What
  5. , Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,
  6. Susan Ervin-Tripp, Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,

Message 1: grammar checkers

Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1991 12:52:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Leslie Burkholder <lb0q+andrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: grammar checkers
>One of the questions I asked in my earlier query about grammar and
>style checkers was whether anybody knew publications about the way
>users worked with them and evaluated them. As it turned out, I
>received several answers to my other questions, but not to this one....
>Is it really
>the case that nobody has done any research on this topic and published
>it?
Try the following:
(1) An unpublished study by Sandy Friedlander and Cheryl Giesler at
Carnegie Mellon University about 5 years ago. Friedlander is now at
Drexel University in Philadelphia PA (Dept of Technical Communications).
I think the study used Writer's Workbench.
(2) Peek et al, "The efficacy of syntax checkers on the quality of
accounting students' writing", Computers and Composition, Aug 1989.
There are several different problems. I doubt any of them have been
researched well. Among them:
(1) Correct identification of syntax errors. This includes: flagging a
string as an error, and correctly identifying the kind of error. Many
remarks have been made about grammar checkers
(2) Differences in the ability of novice and expert writers to make use
of the advice provided by grammar checkers. Grammar checkers are often
suggested as aids for undergraduate students (novice writers) but
reviewed by practiced expert writers.
(3) Transfer of any learning that might have taken place while using a
grammar checker to subsequent writing.
Leslie Burkholder
CMU
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Message 2: say what vs. do what

Date: Tue, 26 Nov 91 12:27:10 EST
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevinccb.bbn.com>
Subject: say what vs. do what
Monica Macaulay observes:
>At least for me, "say what?" is not only a request for repetition.
>It also expresses incredulity. My "do what?" informants say that
>"do what?" doesn't have this - that it's much more neutral.
As a former speaker of a dialect with both forms, remembered intuition
is that "Say what?!" is a reduction of "You say what?!" and "Do what?"
is a reduction of "You want me to do what?" As is usual with
reductions, the intonation of the unreduced form is retained, as far as
possible, in the reduced form.
	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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Message 3: Re: 2.818 Singular They, Human Research

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 91 15:09:22 EST
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.818 Singular They, Human Research
In reply to David Powers suggestion for 3ps indeterminate for what has
(unfortunately) come to be known as singular they, I'm afraid that this does
not solve the problem. Actually I should say it does not solve the problems.
'Singular THEY would be a wonderful name because it's short and easy to under-s
tand. The problem with it is that it implies that some sort of singular quality
has somehow leaked into the pronoun THEY itself. It is hard to imagine what
sort of singularity that is supposed to be. It's evidently not syntactic--THEY
 does not start taking 's's on its verbs; and it's not notional--if the antece-
dent is EVERY, for example, it does not seem singular in any semantic sense.
Whatever name is suggested would have to describe this usage of THEY in some
way. Yet 3ps indeterminate doesn't either. First there are a number of cases
of singular THEY in which the gender of the referent is actually known. Here's
one particular obvious case from the NY Times:'When you have a friendship with
A FEMALE, you don't want to ruin it by telling THEM that you like THEM.' NYT
5/1/91)
For that reason I still use singular THEY, but I make sure to note my problems
with that term. For the simple situation of indeterminate-gender I follow Den-
nis Baron (1981. 'THE Epicene Pronoun: The word that failed. AMERICAN SPEECH 56
: 83-97) and use the Greek word for common gender, EPICENE. It's not transpa-
rent, but it is precise.
Michael Newman
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Message 4: RE: 2.814 Responses: Clicks, French Terms, Hiatus, Do What

Date: Wed, 27 Nov 91 16:29 GMT
From: <JL1vaxa.york.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: 2.814 Responses: Clicks, French Terms, Hiatus, Do What
Re Alexis Manaster Ramer's comments on clicks - the 'French clicks' are
a bit of a problem as Marchal (Phonetica, 1987, 44:30-37) doesn't
actually present any intra-oral pressure data - the EPG data presented
are amenable to a number of interpretations (eg 'percussives' in the
sense of Pike) - or acoustic waveforms which might reveal the characteristic
'big spikes'. With respect to AlexisU coment on Mitchell's
phonetic observation about clicks. It's highly unlikely that a
phonetician of Mitchell's sophistication would
confuse 'glottalization' (whatever that may be construed as meaning)
with velaric initiation. I also wonder what Alexis means by the 'well attested'
'glottalized t'(= realization of 'emphatic'). I've observed a variety of
phonetic events associated with 'emphatics' produced by Arabic speakers
but IUve not observed something which could straightforwardly
be labelled 'glottalized' (maybe this is just a UK vs USA
terminological difference)
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Message 5: Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,

Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1991 16:24 CST
From: <CARLSONvicvx1.vic.uh.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,
Would like to thank those of you who responded to my query
about communicative strategies across groups. Some of the
references you gave appear to have potential for my quest
for developing classroom strategies. Would be happy to
receive any more that come to mind.
 Thanks very much.
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Message 6: Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,

Date: Sun, 1 Dec 91 20:16:57 -0800
From: Susan Ervin-Tripp <ervin-trcogsci.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.827 Responses: Macs, Tag Questions, Communicative Strategies,
 Helium
Re Boggs: Speaking, Relating, and Learning: A study of Hawaiian children
at home and at chool. Stephen T. Boggs, Ablex, 1985. There is a substantial
literature from the Kamehameha project, much referenced in Boggs' book.
S. Ervin-Tripp
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