LINGUIST List 3.824

Mon 26 Oct 1992

Qs: American English Corpora, Irish

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  1. rebecca wheeler, American English Corpera

Message 1: American English Corpera

Date: 25 Oct 1992 09:20:01 -0600American English Corpera
From: rebecca wheeler <REBWHLRCC.USU.EDU>
Subject: American English Corpera

I'm looking for American English corpora of relatively current
sources such as newspapers or novels. I've got a Mac IIsi and a CD-reader.
It, as usual, needs to be economical since I'm an independent scholar,
without University support.

 I'm aware of Wordcruncher CD (which has
novels by faulkner, cather, london etc.) and of FrontPageNews which
has annual international wire services text. The former is a bit older
than I want to be dealing with and the latter has a very cumbersome
search routine.

Of course, i'm also aware of the Brown and the LUNDES (sp) corpera, but
am looking, again for more contemporary encodings.

My purpose is lexical semantic research -- I look at the relationship
between semantics, syntax and pragmatics and want to be able to search
for a given lexical item, and pull up its syntactic and discourse context.

The corpus doesn't have to be tagged -- am willing to do that myself
at this point.

Anyone with info on such contemporary American corpora, do let me know.


rebecca wheeler
logan, utah
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Message 2: Irish

Date: 26 Oct 1992 19:02:02 +1000Irish
Subject: Irish

Following up the general discussion on language preservation and in
particular Rick Wojcik's comments about the social function of Breton,
I'd like to ask what social function Irish Gaelic has for the Irish. A
student reports that she overheard a tourist in Ireland who wanted
to hear it (in Dublin) receiving the following reply: "We don't speak
it, we only learn it." While this is not altogether precise, it does
appear that there are no genuine native speakers of Irish even in the
Gaeltacht. An enormous amount of money is spent on "reviving" /
preserving Irish, that does not seem to lead to its general use in
the society, nor to an increase in the number of native speakers. Why
is this done? Does Irish simply have a symbolic as opposed to social
function for the Irish and is that sufficient motivation to keep at
"learning" it? Do the Irish in fact need this symbol since independence?
Is it's preservation an act of homage by politicians rather than an
expression of the will of the people, etc? The student is planning to
do an in depth investigation into the domains of use of Irish by
speakers spanning a range of socio-economic and geographic variables
in an attempt to provide some answers to these questions. But any comments
speculations, theories, literature would be most welcome. Thanks.

Lloyd Holliday
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