LINGUIST List 3.597

Tue 21 Jul 1992

FYI: Prof. Zhu Dexi; CNN; Minitel

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Prof. Zhu Dexi
  2. Victor Raskin,
  3. "Jack Kessler", FYI France: some new information sources

Message 1: Prof. Zhu Dexi

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1992 09:54 PDTProf. Zhu Dexi
From: <>
Subject: Prof. Zhu Dexi

Prof. Zhu Dexi, one of the most respected and renowned
linguists of China, passed away at 6:06a.m., Sunday, July 19, at
the age of 71. His death is a great loss to linguistics, and to all
who knew him. Prof. Zhu had been diagnosed as having an
advanced stage of lung cancer last Dec. while visiting at the
University of Washington. Subsequently he left for Palo Alto,
CA to be with his children and received qigong treatment from
a qigong master from China who also used Chinese medicine for
his treatment. This May, because of some severe pain in his
leg, he went to the Stanford University Hospital for radiation
treatment. At the same time, he was also using a new drug
recently invented in China. Unfortunately he contracted some
kind of infection or cold and had been quite sick since some
time in June. In the early morning of July 16, his son found
him suddenly out of breath. Within 5 minutes he was sent to
the Stanford University hospital by ambulance but by that time
he had already suffered brain damage because of the lack of

A Zhu Dexi Memorial Fund has been set up to help his family
and to remember him not only as an eminent leader-scholar in
our field, but also as a beloved friend. Please send
contributions to:

 Zhu Dexi Memorial Fund
 424 College Ave., Apt. A
 Palo Alto, CA 94306

(Tel. of the Zhu family: 415-327-3309)
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Message 2:

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 92 1:06:32 EST
From: Victor Raskin <>

Yet another media alert... Did anybody see the 90-second feature on
CNN Headline News Sunday, July 19, 1992, evening about endangered
languages of Mexico and an anthropologist from the University of
Florida who is trying to record them? The correspondent (I think Frank
Cable was the name--seriously!) presented it as something nobody had
ever done before and the anthropologist as an unsung hero. I wonder
whether the LSA Secretariat considers it its duty to call the network
and set the record straight. I know that CNN will not run a
disclaimer, but maybe somewhere in their database endangered languages
will be entered under linguistics and linked to Franz Boas and his
illustrious company for four-five generations down.

Victor Raskin
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Message 3: FYI France: some new information sources

Date: Thu, 16 Jul 92 00:26:01 -0FYI France: some new information sources
From: "Jack Kessler" <>
Subject: FYI France: some new information sources

Two new ideas for those of you who have been wondering what's been
happening at the Bibliothe`que de France and in French libraries

1) The Bibliothe`que de France's "3615 Tolbiac" information service
now has been launched on Minitel. It presents a very good overview and
current events summary for anyone wishing to obtain an introduction
to the France controversy or for someone wanting to catch up
with the latest news.

For those of you who haven't yet used Minitel: this is the same
Minitel service which is so omnipresent -- 6 million distributed
terminals, many millions more free distributed pc software, every
hotel, home, and bicycle shop -- in France. Joint ventures now have
been launched with four of the US BabyBells -- Pacific Telesis' is
called "101 Online" -- but still the easiest thing is to telephone
(914) 694-6266 and request their free pc or MAC diskette. The
simple login procedure on the diskette will set up an account which
will bill to your VISA card. Use charges vary from free to many
dollars per minute, but there is a great deal of interest which you
can reach for under 30 cents per minute.

Minitel will give you access to about 14,000 French online
services, including the French telephone books and train schedules
and the CNRS' enormous PASCAL/FRANCIS (their online "Bulletin
Signaletique"), and now including many library services and an
increasing number of French online public access catalogs (all the
bibliothe`ques municipales are working hard on this). All the
services are divided among a set of different "kiosk" numbers,
which correspond to different rates of fee for their use. These are
"3614", "3615", "3616", etc.: numbers which you enter from your
main Minitel screen (in the US I believe you still must use the
prefix "F" before the above numbers to connect to France). The
Minitel "Guide des Services", reached by entering "MGS" from the
main screen, is an incomplete but still very useful indexing system
for finding service names and kiosk numbers (The Bibliothe`que de
France's "Tolbiac" is on 3615.)

2) For those of you who simply can't get enough of Parisian
controversy, the latest issue of _Le De'bat_ (mai-aou^t 1992 nume'ro
70, ISSN 0246-2346) contains a hair-raising article by the
journal's director, Pierre Nora, dredging up all the criticism and
juicy gossip which has been flung against the France project
so far, and flinging it once again. Nora is not a fan of the
Bibliothe`que de France. His renewed attack is seconded by George
Le Rider, in a second piece subtitled "...des correctifs
insuffisants." These two are followed, however, by three articles
on the impending grave problems of, respectively, the university
libraries, the Sorbonne library, and the BPI library at the
Beaubourg Centre Pompidou. This naive outsider wonders whether, if
Nora and other critics have such violent objections to the
solutions being proposed for the Bibliothe`que Nationale
collection, they might have some constructive suggestions for what
apparently is a deteriorating situation among French libraries
generally, according to their own journal?

Jack Kessler
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