LINGUIST List 3.142

Thu 13 Feb 1992

Qs: Registers, Acquisition

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Michael Newman, airplane talk
  2. , Query re language learning among retarded
  3. , query: sociolinguistic registers
  4. "Bruce E. Nevin", Query: brain research
  5. , off the wall
  6. Michael Henderson, Proceedings wanted
  7. Fran Karttunen, Re: 3.134 Linguistics and Popular Press

Message 1: airplane talk

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 92 19:10:17 ESairplane talk
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.bitnet>
Subject: airplane talk

Has anyone ever noticed how on planes the announcements almost always use
a stress pattern normally used for emphatic forms of verbs. For example,
We WILL arrive at LaGuardia at 8:00
There ARE unusually strong winds.
We HAVE reached the cruising altitude.
We ARE the 23rd in line for take off.
As you MAY have noticed we ARE in a holding pattern.

My father (an archprescriptivist) pointed this out to me complaining about it,
and I DID ask an airline steward about it, but he couldn't figure out what I
was talking about. So it ISN'T an explicit part of their training as far as
I can tell. I have also noticed this pattern occasionally on subways.

There IS a sick passanger at a train at Queens Plaza. So we WILL be delayed.
This 'R' train WILL be making express stops only till 179th street.

I should point out that in all these cases the normal informational pattern
WOULD seem to call for an unmarked stress pattern. For example the 'R'
usually makes local stops, so the fact that is EXPRESS should receive the
most stress. The same could be said for the most of the airplane quotes.
By the way, these are not real examples, but enough CAN be collected on any
flight.
Michael Newman
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Message 2: Query re language learning among retarded

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 92 13:11:32 EDQuery re language learning among retarded
From: <maxwell%jaarsutafll.uta.edu>
Subject: Query re language learning among retarded


In a recent reply on the Proto-World problems, Carol Georgopoulos
writes:

>There are exciting and challenging and even "sexy" developments in
>modern linguistics:...the LINGUISTIC significance of the claim
>that autistic children have normal language; ditto for apparently
>similar facts with respect to Downs' Syndrome kids...

In my (very) generative linguistics training, I had always heard that
language acquisition was largely independent of general intelligence,
and I have faithfully repeated this statement without really knowing
what I was talking about. I have nonetheless been impressed at how
our (normal) children have learned the "difficult" things (e.g.
constraints on wh-movement), even when they couldn't seem to learn
some of the "simple" things (e.g. irregular past participles), in
agreement with the idea that the grammar learning faculty (as opposed
to, say, the ability to memorize irregular forms) is innate and
distinct from general intelligence.

Could someone fill me in on the truth? Do Downs Syndrome children
(or other retarded children) learn language at the same rate as
others, or do they learn more slowly but end up at about the same
level? Are there some areas where they always remain behind (e.g.
vocabulary, irregular morphology)?

By the way, I think this sort of thing should appeal to the general
population, as it has real implications for the worth of the
individual, despite whatever handicaps s/he may have.

Replies can come to me (at the address below), and I can summarize
for the net, if there's interest.

********************************************************
Mike Maxwell Phone: (704) 843-6369
JAARS Internet:maxwelljaars.sil.org
Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173
********************************************************
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Message 3: query: sociolinguistic registers

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 92 09:37:12 ESquery: sociolinguistic registers
From: <elc9jprime.acc.Virginia.EDU>
Subject: query: sociolinguistic registers

A graduate student who is studying the sociolinguistic register of
bus drivers requests references to work on related registers (e.g.
CB radio talk) or on register in general. Please send suggestions
to me, and I will post a summary to the net.
Ellen Contini-Morava
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Message 4: Query: brain research

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 92 11:57:37 ESQuery: brain research
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevinccb.bbn.com>
Subject: Query: brain research


Is there a good place to look for a survey and summary of research into
brain function and language capacities (lesions, aphasia, etc.)?

I heard a bit of an interview with Myrna Gopnik on the radio yesterday,
in which she described the phenomena discussed in 3.141. Anyone know
where this research is reported in the literature?

Please reply to me, I'll summarize to the list.

	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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Message 5: off the wall

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 92 10:21:36 -0off the wall
From: <suzannegarnet.berkeley.edu>
Subject: off the wall


Does anyone out there know the origin of the expression 'off the wall'? Is
it, as someone suggested, from some racquet sport?
--Suzanne Fleischman
 suzanneucbgarne.berkeley.edu
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Message 6: Proceedings wanted

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 92 12:35:51 CSProceedings wanted
From: Michael Henderson <MMTHUKANVM.bitnet>
Subject: Proceedings wanted

A student of mine is desperately seeking a copy of New Sounds 90: Pro-
ceedings of the Amsterdam Symposium on the Acquisition of Second-Lan-
guage Speech, ed. by J. Leather & A. James. Appears to be published by
U. of Amsterdam Press. Our Interlibrary Loan can't help; can anyone out
there?

Michael M. T. Henderson
Linguistics Dept., U. of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-2140
mmthukanvm.cc.ukans.edu
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Message 7: Re: 3.134 Linguistics and Popular Press

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1992 9:04:17 HRe: 3.134 Linguistics and Popular Press
From: Fran Karttunen <kartunenuhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Re: 3.134 Linguistics and Popular Press

This morning there was a report on NPR about a paper just presented to the
AAS (I think). I missed it, but it was reported to me by a nonlinguist
that the paper was by some geneticists who discovered a family in which
half the members "couldn't do" past tenses and plural forms (like
"walked" and "pencils"). I asked whether this was supposed to be some
sort of cognitive problem or a pronunciation problem or what, but I
couldn't get a clear answer, just that the geneticists are all excited
about it. Did anyone out there catch it? And what was the paper
actually claiming?

Fran Karttunen
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