LINGUIST List 5.104

Mon 31 Jan 1994

Qs: Creole, Shoebox database, Unification grammar, Gujarati

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "Leslie Z. Morgan", Help with French creole
  2. Steven C. Fincke, Shoebox Data Base Archives
  3. Ted Pedersen, REQUEST: Unification Based Grammar
  4. , Query: Gujarati phonology

Message 1: Help with French creole

Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 12:55:18 Help with French creole
From: "Leslie Z. Morgan" <MORGANLOYOLA.EDU>
Subject: Help with French creole

I am currently teaching French and have a native-speaker of Creole.
Is there something approachable out there that I could use to
help her with differences in pronunciation and spelling between
Haitian Creole and Standard French?

Thanks for any help-
Leslie Morgan

Dept. of Modern Langs. and Lits.
Loyola College in Md.

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Message 2: Shoebox Data Base Archives

Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 20:58:18 Shoebox Data Base Archives
From: Steven C. Fincke <>
Subject: Shoebox Data Base Archives

I have been using the Summer Institute of Linguistics' Shoebox program for
managing language data. I am wondering if there are any data base
archives for Shoebox data bases on various languages. Having access to
such data could be highly useful.

Steven Fincke
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Message 3: REQUEST: Unification Based Grammar

Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 15:32:26 REQUEST: Unification Based Grammar
From: Ted Pedersen <>
Subject: REQUEST: Unification Based Grammar

I would like to locate a bibliography of works dealing with
Unification Grammars.

The most frequently cited reference that I have seen in this area is :

 S.M. Shieber, An Introduction to Unification Based Approaches to
 Grammar, CSLI Lecture Notes 4, Stanford University, 1986

I'd like to find out what else is available.

I am also interested in finding works that have implemented
Unification Based Grammar using logic programming (especially Prolog).


* Ted Pedersen *
* Department of Computer Science and Engineering, *
* Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275 (214) 768-2126 *
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Message 4: Query: Gujarati phonology

Date: Sun, 30 Jan 1994 22:45:49 Query: Gujarati phonology
From: <>
Subject: Query: Gujarati phonology

Okay, here's the situation: Recently I met in person a young man
I have been corresponding with on the 'net. We had discussed accent at
one point, and he told me that he thinks he has a standard American
accent (whatever that is), but that sometimes he "mixes up" his [v]s
and [w]s. Hmmm, thought I, and so when we met, I listened for it.

This young man's parents are Indian, native speakers of Gujarati. They
lived in Kenya, then moved to England. The young man was born in
London, but the family moved to New York when he was a baby. The
parents speak Gujarati at home, and the children reply in English.
The children only speak (not very good) Gujarati to their
grandparents. (This patterns perfectly, BTW, with what K. Sridhar has
found for immigrants to English-speaking countries when the parents
are native speakers of Gujarati; I heard her give a paper on this at
the 1992 Georgetown University Round Table.)

The young man's [v]s and [w]s seem to be allophones following the

[v] -> [w] / _ e

which makes a certain amount of sense, and also

[v] -> [w] / _ aI

which makes less (intuitive) sense, but I heard several tokens, so
there it is. What he produces is, for example, "wery" for "very" and
"Wiking" for "Viking," but never "g#vell" for "well," which makes it
pretty clear that [v] is the underlying phoneme.

My guess, of course, is that there's a phonological rule in Gujarati
and that the young man internalized it before he learned English, and
somehow it stuck.

Now for the actual query: Can someone tell me a *rule* in Gujarati
for alternating [v] and [w]? Does anyone know at what (approximate)
age children learn this rule? Based on the little bit of information
I've given, is there anything interesting you can tell about the young
man's early linguistic environment?

Reply to me personally, and I'll post a summary to the list if
anyone's interested. (I'll be posting a summary to the young man, as

Thanks very much!

Joan C. Cook
Department of Linguistics
Georgetown University
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