LINGUIST List 3.288

Tue 24 Mar 1992

Disc: Morphophonemics, Slang, Evolution

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Elizabeth Laurencot, Re: 3.278 Agent, Vietnamese, Machine Grammar
  2. , Re: 3.264 V and V
  3. Brian Linson, Re: gank
  4. , When Language First Appeared

Message 1: Re: 3.278 Agent, Vietnamese, Machine Grammar

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 92 12:38:29 ESRe: 3.278 Agent, Vietnamese, Machine Grammar
From: Elizabeth Laurencot <LAURENCOUCONNVM.UCONN.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.278 Agent, Vietnamese, Machine Grammar

re: "zh" versus "dzh" in W. Brewer's list of words (mirage, barrage, etc.)

Well, if you're weird, I am, too.
At least you're not alone!
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Message 2: Re: 3.264 V and V

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 92 09:27:47 GMRe: 3.264 V and V
From: <Rosemary.Stevensondurham.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 3.264 V and V

> Re: 'Feed a cold and starve a fever'
> A (linguist) friend insists that the true version of this is
> 'Feed a cold and starve of fever'.
> That is, the saying really means the opposite of what I, at any rate,
> always thought it meant: if it contains the 'of', it's telling you
> NOT to eat while you have a cold, or you'll die ('starve') of fever.
>
> So, LINGUIST-net enthusiasts, which is it?
>
> Carol Georgopoulos


 This seems to be a dispute of long standing. A colleague refers me to
 a source, 'Playboy' (circa 1978), where a cartoon of two aging rabbis
 (one pointing over the other's shoulder) has the caption: 'See, right
 there. In the Talmud. It says "Feed a cold and starve a fever".'

 Rosemary Stevenson
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Message 3: Re: gank

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 92 3:41:40 ESTRe: gank
From: Brian Linson <blinsonlinc.cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: gank

this is what i understand about *gank*

gank cannot be properly identified as a new verb in midwest american slang
it is used on both the west and east coasts of the united states, being
observed throughout southern california and cities in the northeast and may
have distribution elsewhere.
its meaning is not specifically 'shoplifting'. it is a term
equivalent to ripoff, in an abstract sense.
its usage is associated with the slang of young black men and women.
I suspect it has spread through popular culture.

some samples from ice cube:

1) and i'll jack any tom dick and hank. that's the name of the suckers i did
gank
---to 'jack' means to steal from as in
i would jack them for their nissan trucks---

2) i couldn't stop you from getting ganked.
---refers to the way his ex-partner is getting ripped-off by his manager---

Brian Linson
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Message 4: When Language First Appeared

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 92 15:30:00 ESWhen Language First Appeared
From: <Alexis_Manaster_RamerMTS.cc.Wayne.edu>
Subject: When Language First Appeared

Am I wrong in assuming that most linguists would say that there
is ABSOLUTELY no evidence available that would allow us to answer
this question?

It seems that some people tend to assume that language arose
at the same time as the human species, either because they
define Homo sapiens sapiens as the first hominid with language
(but that seems to beg the question) or because they cannot
imagine either (a) pre-sapiens with language or (b) sapiens
without. For whatever amusement value it may have, I have
published a paper not too long ago which sketches a way of
reasoning which would make language PREDATE the species, and it
is not hard to come up with a scenario on which language came
(long) after the species.

But all these are just plausibility arguments, not evidence
one way or the other.
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