LINGUIST List 4.532

Wed 07 Jul 1993

Disc: Last Posting: Acronyms

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Paul T Kershaw, Acronyms (both discussions)
  2. David Powers, Re: 4.501 Sum: Redundant acronyms
  3. Robert D Hoberman, Acronyms
  4. Michael Picone, Derivations of acronyms

Message 1: Acronyms (both discussions)

Date: Sun, 27 Jun 93 17:23:44 EDAcronyms (both discussions)
From: Paul T Kershaw <kershawpstudent.msu.edu>
Subject: Acronyms (both discussions)

An example I thought of a few days ago but which I have finally gotten the time
to offer, concerning both current discussions of acronyms, i.e. the
pronouncability issue and the redundancy issue: The common "Please R.S.V.P"
(where S.V.P., of course, stands for s'il vous plait = if it you pleases) is
redundant (bi-lingually, falling into the soup de jour of the day trap) and,
for some speakers (for me and some people I know, at least) is read as
"Ruzz-vip" (compared to the pronouncable BYOB = Bring Your Own Beer/Booze,
which I've never heard as /bjab/ or /bjob/).
Where certain acronyms have vowels but are still spelled out, here we have no
vowels but still a word-like pronunciation.

Also, in the area of acronyms, how do we classify acronyms within acronyms?
The TSI, for instance, leaps to mind (TESOL Summer Institute, that is). How
deep could we conceivably go? (For instance, if the TSI starts publishing
proceedings, could these be the TCP = TSI Conference Papers?) Frightening.

-- Paul Kershaw, Michigan State University
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Re: 4.501 Sum: Redundant acronyms

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1993 12:11:07 Re: 4.501 Sum: Redundant acronyms
From: David Powers <powersinf.enst.fr>
Subject: Re: 4.501 Sum: Redundant acronyms

There is an interesting interaction between ACRONYMS and TRADEMARKS,
because (at least according to US law), trademarks are meant
to be used (by their owners) as adjectives, and use as a noun
is taken as the first step on the road to becoming generic,
redundant acronyms are at times a legal necessity!

The question is, does this reinforce or merely reflect a tendency
to coin adjectives rather than nouns?

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

Message 3: Acronyms

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1993 12:45:56 Acronyms
From: Robert D Hoberman <RHOBERMANccmail.sunysb.edu>
Subject: Acronyms


Paul Baltes mentioned (in 4.502) "la Cia", an acronym in Spanish though not in
English. Here's a similar instance from Hebrew, a language that loves
acronyms: the big YMCA in Jerusalem is universally known in Hebrew as the
/imka/ (with penult stress).

Bob Hoberman
rhobermanccmail.sunysb.edu
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Derivations of acronyms

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 93 11:03:28 CDDerivations of acronyms
From: Michael Picone <MPICONEUA1VM.UA.EDU>
Subject: Derivations of acronyms

Note to Linguist List: a previous mailing was accidentally sent that was
not properly edited for posting. Sorry. MP

Concerning redundant acronyms, Andy Way writes:

"One thing of note: no (or very few, at any rate) contributions (as yet) from
non-English speaking countries. I think it may be a phenomenon from noun-final
languages rather than noun-initial ones like the Romance languages, but we'll
have to wait and see."

Andy may be right about that, but of related interest is the fact that
in the Romance languages, the bare acronym serves as a stem for derivations
much more readily than in English. I have done a little work on
derivations using acronyms as stems in French, as part of an overall look
at neological strategies in that language.

As a good example: both Eng. and Fr. use parallel acronyms as designations
for AIDS/SIDA. In Fr., however, this has served as a stem for all kinds of
creations: sidatique, sidateux, sidaique (with trema accent over the second
i), sideen (with acute accent on first e), sidien, sidastrose, sidatorium,
sidalologue, even (playfully) psida or psyda (psychose + sida = AIDS phobia).

This is a new phenomenon for French which is part of the effort to augment
lexical generating resourses that can produce synthetic terms. Some
other Romance languages also share this feature, to varying degrees. Surely
there is a phonological interface that has to do with the metric and syllable
structure that lends itself to this kind of thing.

N.B. I disagree with the remarks to the effect that in French _sigle_ and
_siglaison_ refer only to alphabetisms as opposed to acronyms. _Sigle_
covers the whole general phenomenon, and _acronyme_ refers to a subset. The
latter term, in fact, is a borrowing from English that gets limited use in
French compared to the widespread use of longstanding _sigle_.

Michael Picone
University of Alabama
mpiconeua1vm.ua.edu
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue