LINGUIST List 3.559

Sat 11 Jul 1992

Qs: Culture, CD-Rom, Epenthesis

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Directory

  1. bert peeters, Physics: culture dependent or independent?
  2. , 3.543 Please Respond: Linguistics CD-Rom, Mispased Idioms
  3. Martin Wynne, Chomsky citations
  4. , Epenthesis rules
  5. Brian, Query: Standard Codes for Languages and Dialects
  6. , Query: Stieber's Law
  7. , Query: Status of Chomsky's Minimalist Paper
  8. , Double Negation in Black English
  9. wynne janis, query: narrative

Message 1: Physics: culture dependent or independent?

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 92 10:10:33 +10Physics: culture dependent or independent?
From: bert peeters <peeterstasman.cc.utas.edu.au>
Subject: Physics: culture dependent or independent?

I'm currently into a bit of a slinging match with a physicist who reckons
physics is culture independent. Physicists do not, according to his view,
create their concepts, but discover them by observation of the facts. He
seems to be convinced that if physics had been persued by the Navahos or
by some Highland Papuans first (his and my examples in private discussion)
it would be exactly the same kind of physics than the one developed in
the West that we know now. Has anyone some views on this? I'm trying to
tell him he is wrong. Or am I?
To help me prove my case (if there is a case to be proven), could anyone
come up with languages where there is no concept for the (physical) concept
of "force"? My discussant's view is that if in a language there is no such
concept it will be created, because the physical forces of Western physics
are just there, in the world, for us to be observed. My view is that
without such a concept, there is no guarantee that you must develop a kind
of physics which is "Western" in outlook.
I need help!! Thanks.
Please send general comments (first question) to the list, and examples
of languages to me. I'll summarize.
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr Bert Peeters Tel: +61 02 202344
Department of Modern Languages 002 202344
University of Tasmania at Hobart Fax: 002 207813
GPO Box 252C Bert.Peetersmodlang.utas.edu.au
Hobart TAS 7001
Australia
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Message 2: 3.543 Please Respond: Linguistics CD-Rom, Mispased Idioms

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 92 10:35:39 mes3.543 Please Respond: Linguistics CD-Rom, Mispased Idioms
From: <blaesilili1.uni-bielefeld.de>
Subject: 3.543 Please Respond: Linguistics CD-Rom, Mispased Idioms

Since there is notably little work on encyclopedias (as the text type of for
 example the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Brockhaus and the Larousse, NOT so
 much as an idea), I am looking for those bits and pieces. I am especially
 interested in structural and user-oriented aspects of the matter (what are
 prototypical questions asked by a prototypical encyclopedia user ? are these
 questions supported by the text structure of encyclopedias and encyclopedia
 entries ?). I am also interested in comparisons with respect to encyclopedia
 concepts and encyclopedia projects and in approaches to bring the encyclopedia
 idea up to the state of the art in information technology (especially
 hypertext, ...).

Are there research activities going on in this field ? Do you know of any more
 up-to-date bibliographies or papers ?

Please tell me !

Christoph Blaesi
Fakultaet fuer Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft
Universitaet Bielefeld
Postfach 100 131

D-4800 Bielefeld 1

Germany
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Message 3: Chomsky citations

Date: Wed, 08 Jul 92 14:53:36 BSChomsky citations
From: Martin Wynne <LNP5MWcms1.ucs.leeds.ac.uk>
Subject: Chomsky citations

Forgive me if I missed this, but in the earlier discussion of
Chomsky's elevated position in the citations index, did anyone
work out how many of the citations were for his LINGUISTIC works
and how many were for his POLITICAL works. I ask this out of
general interest, and also because a colleague of mine is interested
to know the extent of his stature in academic political studies.
Comments on the latter could be directed directly to me.
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Message 4: Epenthesis rules

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 92 08:52:32 EDEpenthesis rules
From: <maxwelljaars.sil.org>
Subject: Epenthesis rules


Do epenthesis rules ever plausibly epenthesize more than one segment
at a given position? My suspicion is that they only insert a "C" or
a "V", but conceivably there are cases where they epenthesize a CC or
a VV. (Not an affricate or vowel with off-glide, but two separate
segments.) Conceivably there are even epenthesis rules that insert a
CV. Any examples?

By "plausibly" I mean, would a reasonable linguist ever propose such
an analysis (as opposed, perhaps, to a deletion analysis)--even
though constraint X in theory Y might rule out such an analysis.

Please send responses to me; I can summarize to the net and/or send
copies of replies to individuals if there is interest.

Mike Maxwell Phone: (704) 843-6369
JAARS Internet:maxwelljaars.sil.org
Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173
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Message 5: Query: Standard Codes for Languages and Dialects

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1992 13:31:00 -Query: Standard Codes for Languages and Dialects
From: Brian <DOHERTYBNR.CA>
Subject: Query: Standard Codes for Languages and Dialects

What numerical and alphabetic codes have been established for
representing languages and dialects in computer databases and
computerized information exchange? Is there an international
standard for representing the language (and dialect) of a spoken
utterance (as opposed to the written form).

The best that I have found is the three-character alphabetic code
used by the Cornell-SIL Language Archive as published in
Ethnologue by Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. However, it does
not have the status of an international standard and does not have
a corresponding numerical form that is published. Ideally the
standard numerical form would use 13 bits to represent the 5445
languages described. This would leave 3 bits out of two bytes to
reference up to 8 dialects.

The International Organization for Standardization does publish
two relevant standards but neither attempts to represent spoken
languages directly. The standard ISO 639: 1988 is a "Code for
the representation of the names of languages." It uses two
alphabetic characters to represent only 136 languages and does
not distinguish the various spoken forms of Chinese (Mandarin,
Cantonese, etc.).

The standard ISO 3166: 1988 is a "Code for the representation of
the names of countries." It presents three different codes to
represent the countries of the world. They can be of some use in
identifying dialects associated with different countries.

Is this all there is? Is there any interest in establishing an
ISO international standard?

-Brian Doherty
<dohertybnr.ca>

P.S. What is the UDC number (=20 for English, =951 for Chinese)
that is listed in the Annex to ISO 639: 1988(E/F)?
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Message 6: Query: Stieber's Law

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 92 21:28:44 EDTQuery: Stieber's Law
From: <Alexis_Manaster_RamerMTS.cc.Wayne.edu>
Subject: Query: Stieber's Law

If I may, I would like to repeat a query I posted some time ago
to which I received no responses:

Does anybody know who first proposed that analogical change
cannot introduce new phonemic contrasts into a language?

The earliest reference I have found is a paper by Z. Stieber,
written in Polish in the 1930's, but I think this must go
back further.

 -----------------------
I did receive ONE response (from Harry Bochner) regarding possible
counterexamples to this, namely, it has been assumed that glottalized
/y/ in Navaho is always of analogical origin. There are numerous
other claimed examples of this in the literature, but most of them
appear to be quite spurious (e.g., Ukrainian and Belorussian
/dzh/ (voiced alveolopalatal affricate) mentioned by Jakobson,
and certain umlauted vowels in Swiss German mentioned by Moulton
and Kiparsky).
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Message 7: Query: Status of Chomsky's Minimalist Paper

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 92 23:12:20 EDTQuery: Status of Chomsky's Minimalist Paper
From: <Alexis_Manaster_RamerMTS.cc.Wayne.edu>
Subject: Query: Status of Chomsky's Minimalist Paper



Does anybody know the publication status of Chomsky's
minimalist paper?
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Message 8: Double Negation in Black English

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 92 23:12:34 EDTDouble Negation in Black English
From: <Alexis_Manaster_RamerMTS.cc.Wayne.edu>
Subject: Double Negation in Black English



I am wondering if anyone has done research on double negation
in Black English in recent years. I am interested in particular
in an old claim of Labov's that double negation in BE spreads
across clause boundaries as in :

 Ain't no cat can't get in no coop

As it happens, I believe that Labov was wrong and that this
example illustrates a different phenomenon, namely, reinterpretation
of such structures as consisting of a single clause (with 'ain't'
becoming a negative marker. And I am looking for any relevant
research.
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Message 9: query: narrative

Date: Fri, 10 Jul 92 13:51:53 ESquery: narrative
From: wynne janis <JANISPURCCVM.bitnet>
Subject: query: narrative

Does anyone know of linguistic analyses of how shifts between narrator and
character roles are expressed? For example, one way is to switch to direct
quote. But I'm looking for cases without dialogue where the writer wants to
express the thoughts, feelings, or perceptions of a character, i.e., the writer
wants to present the perspective of the character. While I'm interested in how
the character's perspective is represented, I'm even more interested in how
the writer uses linguistic devices to show that the text is moving from the
narrator's perspective to the character's perspective.

Thanks in advance.

 Wynne Janis
 Janispurccvm
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