LINGUIST List 4.904

Tue 02 Nov 1993

Qs: Genitive, "simple", van den Berg paper, Romance color theory

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Picus Sizhi Ding, Q: Genitive marker
  2. Joseph P Stemberger-1, query: "simple"
  3. mark wade, van den Berg paper?
  4. Adriane Moser, Romance Color Theory

Message 1: Q: Genitive marker

Date: Sat, 30 Oct 93 13:37:09 PDQ: Genitive marker
From: Picus Sizhi Ding <>
Subject: Q: Genitive marker

I am looking at the use of genitive marker beyond marking possession
esp. in non-Sino-Tibetan languages, like the example below:

(1) a year's study
 a three days' journey
 ... (more outside the time domain, English speakers?)

This kind of modifying function is widely used in Chinese languages,
Tibetan, and perhaps many other languages of this family or of the
neighboring areas (e.g. Miao-Yao). Take Mandarin for example:

(2) wo I ni you
 wo de my ni de your

(3)a yi nian de xuexi
 one year study "a year's study"

 b wo xie de xin bu-jian le.
 I write letter Neg-see ASP
 "I lost the letter that I wrote."

Can anybody point me to languages that use genitive marker in a way
similar to those in (1) and/or (3)? It will be very helpful if
references are provided along. (I can dig up more examples from the
given source.)
Please send your response directly to me. I'll of course be happy to
post a summary to the net if there's sufficient interest. Also,
you're welcome to send me notes in hex format, esp. when examples
contain special letters.
Thanks in advance.
Picus Ding <> Estu songhanto, sed faranto ankau.
Department of Linguistics
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
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Message 2: query: "simple"

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 09:20:54 -query: "simple"
From: Joseph P Stemberger-1 <>
Subject: query: "simple"

One often comes across statements in linguistics papers & talks to the
effect that linguistic theory (or some part thereof, such as GB syntax, or
non-linear phonology) is "simple". Unfortunately, the term isn't actually
defined in any of the places that I've seen it used. I wouldn't ever
characterize any linguistic theory as "simple"; they're ALL very complex
--- as you'd expect, given how complex language is.

A question for anyone out there who has ever said something along these
lines. What exactly does "simple" mean in this context? Some possibilities
a) truly simple, in an absolute sense
b) as simple as possible (but still pretty complicated)
c) simpler than you might have thought possible (but still complicated)

A second question. When we say things like this in the hearing of
nonlinguists who may misinterpret it (and I've heard it repeated by many
psychologists), are we being misleading?

---joe stemberger
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Message 3: van den Berg paper?

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 15:15:20 -van den Berg paper?
From: mark wade <>
Subject: van den Berg paper?

 Could anyone direct me to the following source:
 Rene van den Berg (1988) Muna dialects and the Munic languages: towards
 a reconstruction. Paper presented to the Fifth Conference on
 Austronesian Linguistics, Auckland.
 It is referenced as [ to appear Te Reo ] in the author's 1989 "A
grammar of the Muna language," but I am unable to locate the paper in this
 Alternatively, does anyone have an e-mail address for the author?
 Thanx in advance, Mark Wade
 Linguistics Program
 University of Utah
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Message 4: Romance Color Theory

Date: Mon, 01 Nov 93 20:43:09 ESRomance Color Theory
From: Adriane Moser <>
Subject: Romance Color Theory

Can anyone recommend sources of information on color theory in the Romance lang

Also, can someone explain the correct way of citing e-mail or listerv messages?
 (a la LSA format?)

Adriane Moser

Adriane Moser
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