LINGUIST List 5.238

Tue 01 Mar 1994

Qs: Lexicography, Color terms, Identification, Pragmatics

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. James Ssemakula, software for lexicography
  2. Melissa Bortz, Use of Colour Terms in African Languages
  3. , Identify this language
  4. Ron Fein, indefiniteness & quantification

Message 1: software for lexicography

Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 09:54:08 -0software for lexicography
From: James Ssemakula <>
Subject: software for lexicography

Hi y'all? Does anyone know what software packages are used for
lexicography on PCs? Where can they be obtained (& prices)? what is
the cheapest? what is the best? Are there any shareware or freeware
floating around? Can one use the package PRO-CITE for lexicography?
I am looking for something that is EASY to use.

_PLEASE_ reply directly to me as I am not on this list. My e-mail
address is

Thank you kindly,

james ssemakula
uc riverside

ps: what about on the Mac?
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Message 2: Use of Colour Terms in African Languages

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 94 23:43:00 RSUse of Colour Terms in African Languages
From: Melissa Bortz <>
Subject: Use of Colour Terms in African Languages

I would be very grateful if anyone could send me in the direction of informatio
n concerning the use of colour terms in African Languages, particularly the
 Bantu or Benue-Kongo languages. I am interested in both the traditional use
 of colour, for example the term luhlaza referring to green and blue, the many
different shades of brown used to refer to cattle. I also would appreciate any
 information anyone would have about any code-switchingthat has occured in the
use of colour, eg using terms that retain prefixes but have `English stems'.
Any ideas on the reaso for this switch would also be appreciated.
Thank you very much.
 Melissa Bortz
 Dept. of Speech Pathology and Audiology
 University of the Witwatersrand
P O Wits, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa
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Message 3: Identify this language

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 16:17:02 Identify this language
From: <>
Subject: Identify this language

A local school is producing Kismet and the director wants to know about the
language of one of the songs which the "Middle Eastern" natives are
supposed to sing. I don't recognise it at all. Of course, it could just
be nonsense words that the composer made up. Does anyone recognize the
language of the following text, and/or can you tell me what it means?

 E Zubbediya bala knizu
 Degnishbu yama naya
 y baba y baba dai

 E Zubediya boru knani
 Infala dishbu dnaya
 Ekben kura Pasha
 Ekben kiru hani
 Zubediya ish kabai!

Dilworth Parkinson <>
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Message 4: indefiniteness & quantification

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 17:33:04 indefiniteness & quantification
From: Ron Fein <>
Subject: indefiniteness & quantification


I know very little about pragmatics so apologies if this is a FAQ. I have
been doing some research on the Russian genitive of negation and I have
been led to the hypothesis that indefiniteness is the pragmatic
interpretation of existential quantification (hence, quantification at LF).
That is, an indefinite NP is interpreted as existentially quantified, whereas
a definite NP is interpreted as some sort of free variable, which could be
bound by a sentence-external antecedent.

To put it another way, an NP is pragmatically interpreted as indefinite if
and only if it is existentially quantified at LF.

Does this sound reasonable to people? Are there any readily available
references either agreeing or disagreeing with this proposal?



Ron Fein | 60 Linnaean St. #216, Harvard University | Cambridge, MA 02138-1560
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