LINGUIST List 4.795

Tue 05 Oct 1993

Qs: Oesophageal speech, Language Files, Polarity, Language labs

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Oesophageal speech
  2. Language Files, Request for Comments on Text
  3. Laurie Bauer, a piece of data
  4. , Language Labs

Message 1: Oesophageal speech

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 93 10:20 BST
From: <>
Subject: Oesophageal speech

We are intending to undertake a major research project into the phonetics
of (o)esophageal speech, using a variety of instrumental techniques to
examine a wide range of phonetic features. The results will be compared
with those obtained from a matched group of 'normal' speakers from the same
speech community (N. Ireland).
We would like to hear from anyone currently researching in this area (or
who has recently undertaken such research) to enable us to exchange
notes and avoid simple repetition of someone else's design.
Pleasre contact me directly. A summary will be posted if sufficient
material comes to hand.
Martin J. Ball (University of Ulster)
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Message 2: Request for Comments on Text

Date: Mon, 4 OCT 93 10:26:22 EDTRequest for Comments on Text
From: Language Files <>
Subject: Request for Comments on Text

Dear Linguistics instructors (and others, too),

The introductory text for linguistics _Language Files_ produced by
the linguistics department of the Ohio State University and published
by OSU Press will soon be appearing in its sixth edition. We are
currently working on revisions for the sixth edition and hope that we
can further improve the text by updating certain topics, adding topics
that are neglected or not covered (e.g. "Language and Gender") and
removing any residual problems.

To that end, we would ask any of you who have used _Language Files_ in
introductory linguistics classes that you may have taught, to take a
few minutes and answer some of the questions below. While we may not
be able to incorporate every suggestion and idea into the next
edition, please do not hesitate to give us your input.

1. Which sections/files do you find yourself skipping over? Why?

2. Which topics do you think are well covered in the text?

3. Which topics do you think are inadequately covered in the text?

4. What additional topics should be covered that are not in _Language
Files_ (5th edition)?

5. How could _Language Files_ better suit your needs as an instructor
and the needs of the students you teach?

6. What would you say are _Language Files_ best qualities? Its
greatest shortcomings?

7. Are there any _specific_ problems in the text that you feel should
be corrected?

Any additional comments are also welcome. Please send them to us at:

Or, if you cannot email us, send your comments to:

 Language Files Revisions
 Department of Linguistics
 1712 Neil Avenue
 The Ohio State University
 Columbus, OH 43210

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

Stefanie Jannedy
Tracey Weldon
Robert Poletto
(_Language Files_ 6th Edition Editorial Committee)
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Message 3: a piece of data

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1993 09:47:50 +a piece of data
From: Laurie Bauer <>
Subject: a piece of data

At a meeting I attended the other day, an absentee was assigned what was
perceived to be an unpopular job, and a colleague remarked 'That'll teach
him not to come'. I wondered why this should be negative. Surely, it will
teach him to come. At first I thought it was a mismatch between
grammatical form and logical form. But the mismatch is still there in the
positive: "That'll teach him to tell lies" normally means that he has told
lies, been found out, and punished. But this example makes it look as
though there is not simply a polarity switch here, but an idiom. If we
imagine SIS/MI6/CIA/KGB spy school, then we could easily imagine "Kim will
teach you to tell lies" with no polarity switch, and if Kim was replaced by
a computer, we could also say "That will teach you to tell lies" (same
intonation, I think), without polarity switch. So perhaps the polarity
switch is no more than an idiom, and no more interesting than the fact that
"The bucket was kicked by Lee" cannot mean that Lee died. It still seems a
little odd to me. Why should the polarity switch have arisen? The OED
gives examples from the 16th century, so the construction is far from new.
Are there other examples of polarity switch of this kind? Does anyone else
find this example interesting?
Department of Linguistics, Victoria University, PO Box 600, Wellington, New
Ph: +64 4 472 1000 x 8800 Fax: +64 4 471 2070
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Message 4: Language Labs

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 93 10:14 BST
From: <>
Subject: Language Labs

I am posting this for a colleague. Please reply directly to:
Does anyone have advice, details of tapes, courses etc for use with a
language laboratory to help students whose first language is not English
and who are coming onto English-medim degree courses.
Thanks for any help.
Martin Ball for Prof A. Traill
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