LINGUIST List 5.178

Sat 19 Feb 1994

Qs: Pronouns, Rumanian, Diacritics, Greenberg

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Directory

  1. Mari Olsen, Q: divine pronouns?
  2. Martin Haase, Romanian / Rumanian
  3. Caoimhin P. ODonnaile, Sorting diacritics - right to left or left to right?
  4. "R.F.H.E. vd Vijver", refernce of Greenberg & Kashube (1967)

Message 1: Q: divine pronouns?

Date: Sun, 13 Feb 94 17:13:16 CSQ: divine pronouns?
From: Mari Olsen <molsenastrid.ling.nwu.edu>
Subject: Q: divine pronouns?

In the church I attend, attempt is made to avoid pronominal
third person reference to God altogether, since there is no gender-neutral
pronoun in English, and the plural third person _they_ doesn't set
well with the monotheists. At best it sounds awkward ("God will not leave God's
people comfortless"), at worst, multiple discourse entities are evoked
("Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God's
holy name"). I seem to recall hearing that some languages reserve a
separate pronoun system for the divine. This is still true for the
older (once-familiar) second person _thou_, _thee_, _thine_, in some
subgroups of Christendom (perhaps restricted to older generations).
Does anyone know of this phenomenon in other languages? Please reply
to me, and I'll summarize if there's interest.

Thanks.

Mari Broman Olsen
Northwestern University
Department of Linguistics
2016 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208

molsenastrid.ling.nwu.edu
molsenbabel.ling.nwu.edu
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Message 2: Romanian / Rumanian

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 94 17:48:04 MERomanian / Rumanian
From: Martin Haase <MHAASEdosuni1.rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE>
Subject: Romanian / Rumanian

I have just finished an article on the Romanian tense-aspect-mood system.
As I see, about half of the English authors I consulted called the
language Romanian, the other half Rumanian. Now which of the two is
preferable? Why is there such a confusion? What are the implications
(connotations) of one term or the other?
Please answer directly to me, I'll write a summary for the list if
the matter turns out to be interesting.
Martin Haase
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Message 3: Sorting diacritics - right to left or left to right?

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 94 18:26:27 GMSorting diacritics - right to left or left to right?
From: Caoimhin P. ODonnaile <caoimhinsmo.ac.uk>
Subject: Sorting diacritics - right to left or left to right?


In many (or most?) languages which use the Latin script, sorting algorithms
take acount of diacritics only at the second level of the sort - when the
base words without diacritics would otherwise be identical. However, the
question has arisen as to whether in comparing diacritics the sorting
algorithm should begin at the end of the word or at the beginning. Here
are some examples where it matters (the French and Greek examples are
taken from a recent paper by Rene Haentjens in the DEC Technical Journal):

 French:
 cote, cote/, co^te, co^te/
 mac,on, ma^con
 Greek (monotoniko):
 a/rguros, arguro/s
 diakoni/a, diakonia/
 me/tro, metro/
 pa/ra, para/
 Irish Gaelic:
 cai/m, ca/im
 dea/n, de/an
 pile/ir, pi/leir
 sui/m, su/im

The French (who have more accents than most people) seem to prefer
comparison to start at the end of the word rather than at the beginning
on the grounds that in French this more often results in grammatically
related words being kept together. However, starting at the end of
the word seems counter-intuitive and it is possible that in languages
with many compound words (German?) it might result in sorting first by
the second word of the compound.

Perhaps, to help decide which direction is best or whether a "default
international rule" is possible, those who posess online dictionaries,
spell-check wordlists, or lexical databases for various languages could
search them to determine:
 - How many instances there are where it matters;
 - Which rule existing language dictionaries work to at present;
 - Which rule would best result in grammatically related words being
 kept together.

Send answers to me, and if I receive enough new information I'll sumarise
to the list.

 Kevin Donnelly
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Message 4: refernce of Greenberg & Kashube (1967)

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 94 14:55:44 +0refernce of Greenberg & Kashube (1967)
From: "R.F.H.E. vd Vijver" <vijverrjet.let.vu.nl>
Subject: refernce of Greenberg & Kashube (1967)


I have a question about the reference of a paper.
Greenberg & Kashube appear to have published a typological(?) paper on stress
in 1967.
Does anyone know the exact reference of this paper, or does anybody know
where I could find a copy of it?

Thanks for any help,

Ruben van de Vijver
Vrije Universiteit
vakgroep taalkunde/frans
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
the Netherlands
telephone +31-20-548 7098
telefax +31-20-644 6436
e-mail vijverrjet.let.vu.nl
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