LINGUIST List 5.1039

Sat 24 Sep 1994


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Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 13:49:59 SSSUM: CHINESE ROMANIZATIONS
From: David Gil <ELLGILDNUSVM.bitnet>

A few weeks ago I posted a query asking whether there were any
romanizations of Chinese languages other than Mandarin -- ie.
Hokkien, Cantonese, etc. -- that had gained acceptance by
significant communities of users.

Several people contacted me expressing interest in the outcome of
my query; however, the number of actual responses was rather
disappointing. With regard to current practice in the Peoples
Republic of China, and in Hong Kong, I received no information
whatsoever. With respect to the situation in Taiwan I received
two messages, both pointing to the "Church" system as the
accepted standard for the Taiwanese language. (These messages
are appended below.)

Thank you, Karen Chung and Randy LaPolla, for your responses.

With regard to other Chinese languages, I am still very much in
the dark ...

***** Karen Chung writes ...

The debate rages on as to which romanization to use for S. Min
(a.k.a. 'Taiwanese', 'Hokkien') in Taiwan. It is clear that the
Christian church romanization is the mostly widely used and
certainly the best choice. But the wheel continues to be
reinvented, over and over and over. There are some bizarre
romanization systems with odd letter to indicate tones, even
umlauts in unexplainable places; and Taiwanized versions of the
Mandarin Phonetic Symbols. I hear Hung Wei-jen is suggesting a
kind of Hangul, to fit a phonetic representation into the space into
the space normally occupied by a Chinese character, in cases
where an appropriate character can't be found.
If you want just an informal answer to your question, the Church
romanization is definitely THE recognized standard, heck with all
the rest. If you need references and want to do a study on the
romanization issue, I'd have to dig around.

***** Randy LaPolla writes:

Here in Taiwan the most widely used romanization system is
probably the Jiao4-hui4 (Church) system, but there is another
system, known as TLPA (Taiwan Language Phonetic Alphabet)
that is a slight revision of the CHurch system (revised by the
Taiwanese Language Association), and it has recently been
approved by the ministry of education for use in all teaching
materials (Taiwan has recently begun teaching Taiwanese in (at
least some) elementary schools). It is also used in the journal
Taiyu Wenzhai.
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From: David Gil <ELLGILDNUSVM.bitnet>

A few weeks ago I posted a query soliciting references of work
dealing with the interaction of genitives and (in)definiteness in
English and/or other languages. Lots of people responded to the
query with a variety of promising leads and some useful

Following are the references that were provided. (I've listed
these in more or less the form that they were provided, and have
not made any attempt to verify them or standardize the format --
apologies to the authors!)


Mona Anderson "Prenominal Genitive NPs", The Linguistic
Review, sometime in the 80's.

Barker, Chris (1991) {\it Possessives Descriptions}, PhD
Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz. To be published
by CSLI.

Barker, Chris (1992) 'Definite Possessives and Discourse Novelty',
in Costas Canakis, Grace Chan and Jeannette Denton, {\it CLS 28-
I:Papers from the Twenty-Eighth Regional Meeting}.

Barker, Chris (1994) 'Rethinking double genitives as partitives:
Explaining an anti-uniqueness implication'). Available via
anonymous ftp.

Hagit Borer's 'On the morphological parallelism between
compounds and constructs' in _Yearbook of Morphology 1988_

Edith Doron (1988) "The semantics of predicate nominals".
_Linguistics_, 1988. 26. 2.)

Duffield, N. (1993) Irish Construct State Nominals and the Radical
Pro-drop phenomenon. Proceedings of NELS 23, Amherst GLSA.

Duffield, N. (forthcoming) On Structural Invariance and Lexical
Diversity in VSO languages: Arguments from Irish noun-phrases.
In R. Borsley & I. Roberts (eds) The Syntax of the Celtic Languages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fabri, R. (1993) Kongruenz und die Grammatik des Maltesischen.
Tuebingen: May Niemeyer Verlag.

Keenan, Edward L. and Jonathan Stavi (1986) "A Semantic
Characterization of Natural Language Determiners", Linguistics and
Philosophy 9:253-326.

Keizer, M. Evelien (1992). Reference, predication and
(in)definiteness in Functional Grammar: a functional approach to
English copular sentences. Utrecht (Netherlands): Elinkwijk.

Katalin E. Kiss, who has recently been doing some work in this
general area.

Ronald Langacker _Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Volume II.
Descriptive Applications_, 1991, Stanford U. Press. See especially
chapter 4.3.

Ronald Langacker "The symbolic nature of cognitive grammar: The
meaning of _of_ and of _of_-periphrasis" in _Thirty Years of
Linguistic Evolution: Studies in Honour of Rene Dirven_, Martin
Puetz (ed.), 1992, Benjamins Publishing Co.

Ronald Langacker "Reference-point constructions" in _Cognitive
Linguistics_ 4 (1993), 1-38.

Lyons, Christopher (1986). The syntax of English genitive
constructions. Journal of Linguistics 22: 123-143.

Manzelli, Gianguido. l990. "Possessive adnominal modifiers." In J.
Bechert, G. Bernini, and C. Buridant (ed.) _Towards a typology of
European languages_, 63-111. Mouton de Gruyter.

Milwark, G.L. l977. "Toward an explanation of certain
generalizations about the existential construction in English"
/APPROXIMATE TITLE/ Linguistic Analysis, 3, l, 1-29.

 Keiko Muromatsu, 1994, "Integral and Spatials in Japanese, and
the Internal Structure of Possessives,"generals paper, University
of Maryland, College Park,

Ojeda, Almerindo (1993) "Evidence for a more general theory of
singularity". In Kathol, A. and M. Bernstein (Eds.) *Proceedings of
the tenth Eastern states conference on Linguistics*, pp. 247-258.

Plank, Frans 1991 EUROTYP Working Papers Theme 7, #11 "On

Plank, Frans. l992. "Possessives and the distinction between
determiners and modifiers." Journal of Linguistics, 28, 453-468.

Massimo Poesio, proceedings of this year's SALT

Rebecca Posner. l990. "Parametric changes and Romance
possessive." In J. Fisiak (ed.) _Historical linguistics and
phonology_. 337-351.De Gruyter.

Radford, Andrew (1993) "Head-hunting: on the trail of the
nominal Janus" In Corbett, G. G. et al. Heads in Grammatical
Theory. Cambridge UP. pp.92-93

Rijkhoff, Jan (1992) The Noun Phrase, A Typological Study of Its
Form and Structure, PhD Dissertation, University of Amsterdam,
Amsterdam. pp. 167ff.

Debbie Mandelbaum Seymour (CUNY, <>),
recent work, including a soon-to-be-filed dissertation.

Joanne Sher Grumet: 1983 NYU dissertation "The Lexical Genitive
Case Hypothesis"

John R. Tayler "Possessive genitives in English" in _Linguistics_ 27
(1989), 663-686.

John R. Taylor (1994) 'Possessives and topicality'. Functions of
Language 1,1: 67-94.

Eric Woisetschlager "On the Definiteness of the old man's book", LI,
early or mid 80's.

THANKS to the following colleagues for responding:

Barbara Abbott, Chris Barker, Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, Don
Churma, Alan Cienki, Sherri Condon, Chris Culy, Judy Dick, Nigel
Duffield, Bob Frank, John Goldsmith, Lachlan Mackenzie, Edith
Moravcsik, Keiko Muromatsu, Tom Mylne, Dirk Noel, Almerindo
Ojeda, Massimo Poesio, Steven Schaufele, Joanne Sher Grumet .
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