LINGUIST List 3.822

Sun 25 Oct 1992

Qs: ASL and parameters; morphology; re-

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  1. Martti Arnold Nyman, Q: ASL and Parameter Setting
  2. , Inflectional and derivational morphemes
  3. Henry Churchyard, morphological Bushism...

Message 1: Q: ASL and Parameter Setting

Date: 23 Oct 1992 19:41:30 +0200Q: ASL and Parameter Setting
From: Martti Arnold Nyman <MANYMANFINUHA.bitnet>
Subject: Q: ASL and Parameter Setting

I have two related questions:

 (1) Are there any studies, published or in progress, on ASL or
other sign languages in terms of the 'parameter-setting' approach?

 (2) According to Chomsky, UG determines the class of possible
languages. Judging from the literature available to me, the
principles and parameters of the Chomsky-inspired UG have been
designed on the basis of the written/spoken modality of language.
Given the fact that (e.g.) ASL is a full-fledged human language
that capitalizes on the visual channel modality, it follows that
the ASL syntax must belong to the class of possible languages
defined by UG. A priori (i.e. not knowing ASL or any other sign
language), I reckon with the possibility that at least some of
the proposed parameters are modality-dependemt. (For instance,
what about the PRO-drop parameter?) In principle, channel-modality
should be kept apart from what is universal in language and
language processing. I'd like to know whether the inclusion of
ASL will give rise to major/minor/no changes in the present
design of (Chomskyan) UG.

Please, send any bibliographical references directly to me. I'll
compile a bibliography, if that seems feasible. Point (2) may
be of some theoretical interest. Insofar as I get theoretically
serious private responses, I'll summarize. Thanks.

Martti Nyman
Department of General Linguistics
University of Helsinki (
University of Turku (
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Message 2: Inflectional and derivational morphemes

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 92 12:46:18 ESInflectional and derivational morphemes
From: <NCCUT146TWNMOE10.bitnet>
Subject: Inflectional and derivational morphemes

Inflectional morphemes generally occur outside derivational morphemes.
Does this generalization apply to languages with infixes?
O.S. Her
National Chengchi Univ.
Taiepi, Taiwan
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Message 3: morphological Bushism...

Date: 23 Oct 1992 17:24:48 -0600morphological Bushism...
From: Henry Churchyard <>
Subject: morphological Bushism...

Pres. Bush in public statement today (10/23): "We are redetermined to" [move
ahead in relationship with Vietnam].

Anyone care to guess what the analogical model for this formation was, or
even what it is supposed to mean in particular?

 --Henry Churchyard
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