LINGUIST List 3.629

Thu 13 Aug 1992

Qs: Multilingual texts, Verb thesaurus

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Greg Lessard, Request for text samples
  2. (reg Lessard, Thesaurus help ??

Message 1: Request for text samples

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 92 00:22:36 EDRequest for text samples
From: Greg Lessard <lessardquvinci.francais.QueensU.CA>
Subject: Request for text samples

I am forwarding the following request on behalf of one of our research
assistants. Any help would be appreciated. Message follows:

I am currently working on a project at Queen's University in Canada
that requires me to gather several bodies of text in various languages
(e.g. Latin, English, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, German,
Russian) and in a variety of markup schemes (COCOA, SGML, etc.).
These pieces of text would be used in an undergraduate course in
Computing in the Humanities. Could anyone prepared to give me such a
sample (of about 1000 lines or so in length) kindly e-mail it to

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Thesaurus help ??

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 92 14:11:07 CSThesaurus help ??
From: (reg Lessard <awaywoodchrist.acu.EDU.AU>
Subject: Thesaurus help ??

I am attempting to construct a thesaurus of mathematical activity verbs.
The task is analogous to the project undertaken by Ballmer and
Brennensthul (1981) - "Speech act classification: A study in the lexical
analysis of speech activity verbs".
A lexiographic approach isn't tenable, for example the OED lists only 139
verbs with specific mathematical senses and most of these are idiosyncratic
(capitate) or technical curiosities (bi-quadate, prewellorder). The verbs
of interest (let, given, attack, satisfy, touch, assign) aren't examined in
respect of their use in mathematics. The alternative is to collect a
suitable corpus for study.
I am hoping to map differences between natural language use and
mathematical use through a case grammar description of the verbs in use (
Cook 1979 - Case Grammar: development of the matrix model).
I need 1) either
 to find a corpus of machine readable mathematics (In english
from the last 100 years). Unfortunately abstracts won't serve.
to find software suitable for preparing mathematics texts for computer
2) to locate software to reliably tag verbs, adjectives, and prepositions
in a million word corpus of mathematical writing (MSDOS UNIX or MAC). Does
anyone know if the software used in the Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen (LOB)
(Johansson 1989) tagging project is available, and would it be suitable ?
3) Advice on any recent developments in the formal content analysis of
texts using a case grammar approach.

The intention behind producing such a thesaurus is as a step to developing
a cognitive model of mathematical activity. At the modelling stage verb
groups will be tested with mathematicians for a presupposition order.
Andrew Waywood,
Australian Catholic University,
Christ Campus
Oakleigh 3166
Fax 61 3 563 3605
Andrew Waywood, | Phone : 61 3 563 3628
Lecturer, | Fax : 61 3 563 3605
Christ Campus, | E-mail :
Australian Catholic University. | Post : PO Box 213, Oakleigh, 3166.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue