LINGUIST List 5.346

Thu 24 Mar 1994

Qs: Dialectology, Morph universals, Ural-Altaic, Programs

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  1. , Dialectology & Literacy
  2. "Christopher J. Hall", Morphological Universals
  3. Frederick Pagniello, Ural-Altaic and Basque
  4. Richard Tuttle, Graduate programmes ...

Message 1: Dialectology & Literacy

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 1994 04:24:00 Dialectology & Literacy
From: <>
Subject: Dialectology & Literacy

[This is a much revised repost of a query that appeared on sci.lang under
 the title "U.S. dialects & literacy". Many thanks to Alberto Pulido,
 Carlton Schuyler, Mark Rosenfelder, and especially Omar Stradella for
 their mail and postings which helped me refine my perception of the
 relationship of Spanish in the U.S. with broadcast and government print

My company is engaged in a project one of the purposes of which is to
promote diversity in academe and business. I identify linguistic barriers
as some of the most commonly reported excuses/reasons for discrimination.
(Most notable for me are the complaints of undergraduates at the University
of Utah that this-or-that graduate student, despite a demonstrated superior
understanding of English language texts in the discipline, should not grade
their mid-terms because of imperfect English speech.)

In order to optimize the cost-benefit ratio of this project it is desireable
that we be able to identify linguistic centers (in the post-modern sense)
that are comprised of a large population of potential beneficiaries of our
service. Identifying source and target lect populations in this context
can be broken down into purely linguistic, sociolinguistic, and purely
sociological aspects. For the purpose of this posting I would like to limit
the query to that portion of the problem that is purely linguistic; and
that is:

 What are the lects, in the U.S. and its trading partners, for which
 there are large literate populations (ranked)?

So far, discussion of this issue with 3 sociologists, 2 ESL teachers, 1 PLUS
teacher, and 3 reference librarians has netted me the following list of
subject areas:
 Government documents
 More ESL
 U.S. Census

Extensive searching of the catalogs and shelves of various libraries
including 2 major universities has turned up very little information on this
subject. For example: nearly all of the literacy texts are about U.S.-
standard English (despite the 1977 Ann Arbor decision regarding BEV); the
U.S. Census asks questions about speech only - not literacy - and it does
not distinguish between dialects within a common language; dialectological
studies, such as _The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States_ treat dialect
phonetically instead of syntactically, there is no mention of literacy, and
it would be difficult to project the lect-using populations from the
findings despite its representative nature.

So I ask (with hat in hand) for pointers to any documents that the
subscribers to the list may know or introductions to persons who may have
any information - even guesstimates - of populations. For example: a
member of AIM who may know about tribal literacy programs, any member of
the ADS who may know of dialectological studies that I have missed, etc.

I am more than willing - I am eager - to summarize responses to the list.
Of course, I am also ready to discuss the sociolinguistic aspects of this
project with anyone who is interested.

Thanks much,

 Clayton Gillespie
 Electra Software & Consulting (Minneapolis, MN)
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Message 2: Morphological Universals

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 12:19:21 Morphological Universals
From: "Christopher J. Hall" <>
Subject: Morphological Universals

I am about to start work on an encyclopaedia article on cross-linguistic
regularities in morphology and their explanations, especially
potential universals that hold for all languages.

I'd appreciate help from List subscribers in identifying areas of the
topic that I might otherwise miss. I'm interested in candidate
universals, bib. references, info. on relevant databases, etc. in all
aspects of morphology, including: (i) formal synchronic processes
(affixation, compounding, reduplication, cliticization, etc.); (ii)
functional (semantic) typology (e.g. inflectional categories expressed);
(iii) diachronic processes (e.g. grammaticization, lexicalization, etc.);
(iv) psycholinguistic processes (acquisition, processing, representation);

I'll summarise if the responses seem of general interest.

Christopher J. Hall
Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico
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Message 3: Ural-Altaic and Basque

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 94 19:21:57 ESUral-Altaic and Basque
From: Frederick Pagniello <FPAGNIELUGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Ural-Altaic and Basque

 Could someone please point out a good comparative grammar dealing with the
Ural-Altaic language family? I am engaged in a discussion at the moment but I
lack a good reference. Also, a person claimed that it was finally shown that
Basque is a member of the Caucasian language family, but he/she was unable to
provide the source of the information. Is there validity to this? Could
someone provide the journal where the article would have been published?
Thankyou for your assistance.
 Frederick James Pagniello.
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Message 4: Graduate programmes ...

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 14:10:06 Graduate programmes ...
From: Richard Tuttle <>
Subject: Graduate programmes ...

I am currently an undergraduate student in Linguistics and after taking
quite a variety of linguistic courses, my major field
of interest seems to lie in Historical/Comparative Linguistics (and
palaeography), and I was wondering if anyone on the NET knows of some
good graduate schools that I might consider applying to for the above
named field(s). Thanks for your help in advance.

Richard Tuttle
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