LINGUIST List 3.415

Wed 20 May 1992

Qs: Intuitions, Gender, Lipolalia

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Allan Myrvang, Grammar Help
  2. Elaine R. Miller, query: Acquisition of Grammatical gender
  3. , Youth-gang lipolalia
  4. Monica Macaulay, Query: Sexist Example Sentences

Message 1: Grammar Help

Date: 14 May 92 11:13:02 +0200
From: Allan Myrvang <>
Subject: Grammar Help

Dear members,

My name is Allan Myrvang and I am a teacher of English in what is
equivalent to the British grammar school. In Oelen - a small parish
60 kilometres to the east of the town of Haugesund which is located
on the western coast of Norway.

Since English is a difficult language with all its nuances and since we
too seldom can afford to cross the Channel to visit you, I feel the need
of asking you to help me on some difficult grammatical points. Hoping you
will excuse me and be indulgent, I ask you to send the answers - should
there be any - to my personal address, since my questions are of a rather
elementary nature.

Question 1:

 | lived
John has | in Copenhagen for three years
 | been living

What is the difference between the simple and progressive form of the
verb? Do you in a deliberate way choose the simple form when the state
is regarded as fairly permanent, whereas you save the expanded form for
temporary states and limited durations? Or do you make no such distinc-
tions? When using stance verbs, I mean.

Likewise :

I have for this moment for ten years
 been waiting

Of course I know that the two instances given are not by any means
completely parallel, but I feel there is something here....

Thanks in advance!


PS Do British speakers and American speakers regard the queation in the
 same way, I wonder....

 # Private address: Working place: #
 # Allan Myrvang OELEN Grammar School #
 # Sildegrend N -5580 OELEN #
 # N - 5590 ETNE Tel.:04 - 76 82 22 #
 # Norway Fax :04 - 76 70 41 #
 # Tel.:04 - 75 64 33 #
 # Internet <AmyrvangOscar.BBB.No> #
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Message 2: query: Acquisition of Grammatical gender

Date: Thu, 14 May 92 14:32:38 PDquery: Acquisition of Grammatical gender
From: Elaine R. Miller <>
Subject: query: Acquisition of Grammatical gender

	I am beginning research on the acquisition of grammatical
gender in children, focusing on monolingual Spanish speakers and
bilingual (Spanish/English) speakers. Does anyone have any references
on this topic? I'd appreciate any help on this. Respond directly to me,
and I will post a summary to the list if there is interest.
	Another query: does anyone have an E-mail address for Maria
Estela Brisk, at Boston University?
	Thanks in advance.

Elaine Miller
Spanish Dept.
UC-Santa Barbara
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Message 3: Youth-gang lipolalia

Date: 15 May 1992, 22:48:18 CST Youth-gang lipolalia
From: <>
Subject: Youth-gang lipolalia

 Pardon the neologism: lipogram = writing without using a designated letter,
thus lipolalia would be the corresponding practice in speech.
Compare the discussion of English-Prime of a few months ago.
 Martin Walker of the Manchester Guardian reports from Los Angeles
about the youth gangs: "The Bloods, who never use a word beginning
with the letter C of their rivals, the Cripps, who in turn never use
a word beginning with B for Blood, are perhaps the best known."
 Urban myth, or linguistic data? Can anyone (dis)corroborate?
Lee Hartman, Southern Illinois University
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Message 4: Query: Sexist Example Sentences

Date: Tue, 19 May 92 10:16:44 ESQuery: Sexist Example Sentences
From: Monica Macaulay <>
Subject: Query: Sexist Example Sentences

I know that some time in the past (the 70's?) some linguists became
aware of the tendency to perpetuate sexist stereotypes in example
sentences ("John is a doctor"; "Mary is a nurse"), leading to the
use of gender-neutral names in examples (Kim, Sandy, Chris, etc.).
My question is: did anyone ever do (and maybe publish) a study
of this tendency in actual example sentences in linguistics textbooks
or articles?


Monica Macaulay
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