LINGUIST List 4.1081

Tue 21 Dec 1993

Qs: Ph.D. Requirements, Focus Constructions, Georgian

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  1. "Dennis.Preston", Ph.D. Requirements
  2. Steven Schaufele, Query: comparative focus constructions
  3. MARC PICARD, Phractured Phrases
  4. Ivan A Derzhanski, Georgian judgements?

Message 1: Ph.D. Requirements

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 93 12:27 EST
From: "Dennis.Preston" <>
Subject: Ph.D. Requirements

We are in the process of revising our Ph.D. language and comprehensive
examination requirements at Michigan State. Of course, we can consult catalogs
to determine sister institution requirements, but I would very much like to
hear of any recent changes at sister institutions which may not yet be in
print or, more pertinently from this list, any comments or suggestions. I
think this is not of enough general interest to summarize to the entire net,
but I will be happy to save a downloading of any interesting discussion and
send it to any who request it.
Dennis Preston
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Message 2: Query: comparative focus constructions

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1993 13:19:50 Query: comparative focus constructions
From: Steven Schaufele <>
Subject: Query: comparative focus constructions

I'm interested in doing a survey of focus constructions amongst the world's
languages. I don't know how many languages have been looked at
sufficiently closely for the question to be properly asked. But i know of
some languages (e.g. English) in which (unless one uses a cleft
construction) a constituent getting at least contrastive focus is typically
put as late in the clause as is grammatically possible:

1a. I gave a book to JOHN.
 b. I gave John A BOOK.

2a. We put the books ON THE TABLE.
 b. On the table we put THE BOOKS.

I know of other languages (Hungarian, Sanskrit, and many other South Asian
languages) in which the focussed constituent is typically put in a position
immediately adjacent to the verb. In Hungarian, the focus position is as
far as i know always before the verb, but i'm not convinced this is the
case in all languages with 'adverbal' focus.

Does anyone know of any other options? I'd like to know what there is in
the literature on as many languages as possible. If adverbal vs.
clause-final focus are the only options (apart from biclausal constructions
like the English cleft), can any typological generalizations be reliably
made about them? For instance, do all languages with typically adverbal
focus favour head-final phrase structure? Do all languages with typically
clause-final focus favour head-initial phrase structure? Any suggestions,
especially of good published studies, and discussion welcome. If desired
i'll post a summary.

Dr. Steven Schaufele 217-344-8240
712 West Washington Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

*** O syntagmata linguarum liberemini humanarum! ***
 **** Nihil vestris privari nisi obicibus potestis! ****
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Message 3: Phractured Phrases

Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1993 16:56:15 Phractured Phrases
From: MARC PICARD <PICARDVax2.Concordia.CA>
Subject: Phractured Phrases

When people say THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE, the intonation they use indicates
that they mean "that's everything she wrote". Once in a while, however,
someone will say it as if it were "THAT'S ALL", SHE WROTE. Dooes anybody know
which of the two is the original?
This is similar, it seems to me, to Leo Durocher's famous NICE GUYS FINISH
LAST which he never said. What happened was that one day during spring
training, he was sitting with a sports reporter watching the team they
were going to face that day practicing before the game. The reporter asked
him what he thought about that team's chances that year, and he said:
"Nice guys. Finish last", i.e. they're nice guys but they'll finish last.

Does anybody know of any other cases of this type?
Marc Picard
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Message 4: Georgian judgements?

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 93 14:10:41 GMGeorgian judgements?
From: Ivan A Derzhanski <>
Subject: Georgian judgements?

Can anyone provide me with judgements on the following Georgian sentences?

(1a) guSin vc'erdi c'erilebs.
(1b) guSin vc'ere c'erilebi.
(1c) guSin c'erilebis c'eraSi viqavi.

(2a) guSin mteli saGamo vc'erdi c'erilebs.
(2b) guSin mteli saGamo vc'ere c'erilebi.
(2c) guSin mteli saGamo c'erilebis c'eraSi viqavi.

(3a) guSin sami saati vc'erdi c'erilebs.
(3b) guSin sami saati vc'ere c'erilebi.
(3c) guSin sami saati c'erilebis c'eraSi viqavi.

(4a) mteli c'eli vc'erdi c'erilebs.
(4b) mteli c'eli vc'ere c'erilebi.
(4c) mteli c'eli c'erilebis c'eraSi viqavi.

(5a) erti saati vk'idodi surats.
(5b) erti saati vk'ide surati.
(5c) erti saati suratis k'idvaSi viqavi.

(6a) dGes dilit Cais vsvamdi.
(6b) dGes dilit Cai vlie.
(6c) dGes dilit Cai davlie.

didi madloba,

 --Ivan A Derzhanski
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