LINGUIST List 5.383

Mon 04 Apr 1994

Qs: Phonetic changes, Prepositional scope, ISO text generation

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Tuite Kevin J., handbook of phonetic changes?
  2. Loren Allen Billings, Re: 5.251 Confs: LP'94 - Item Order in (Natural) Languages
  3. , ISO text generation software

Message 1: handbook of phonetic changes?

Date: Sat, 26 Mar 1994 21:43:05 handbook of phonetic changes?
From: Tuite Kevin J. <>
Subject: handbook of phonetic changes?

Dear Internet linguists,

The other day, while leading a seminar discussion of
Greenberg's Language in the Americas, I trotted out
a philological parlour trick I had learned years ago
from Eric Hamp: the derivation of Armenian _erku_ "2"
from PIE *duo (or *t'uo if you prefer) by a sequence
of well-established Lautgesetze. An archeologist sitting
in on the class asked if there is a handbook anywhere
inventorying attested sound changes, so that one could
assess the plausibility of a proposed sound law (e.g.
how could one tell that the d > r shift in the Armenian
example was plausible, while, say, a d > x shift would
not be (or is it?) Does anyone out there know of such
a compilation? (Maybe some Natural Phonologist somewhere
assembled this kind of information?)

With best wishes,

Kevin Tuite 514-343-6514 (bureau/office)
Departement d'anthropologie 514-343-2494 (telecopieur/FAX)
Universite de Montreal
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Message 2: Re: 5.251 Confs: LP'94 - Item Order in (Natural) Languages

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 94 17:44:41 ESRe: 5.251 Confs: LP'94 - Item Order in (Natural) Languages
From: Loren Allen Billings <BILLINGSpucc.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: 5.251 Confs: LP'94 - Item Order in (Natural) Languages

I would like to find out about any work done on prepositional scope
operators. I'm working on the operators _bez_ 'without', _vopreki_ 'in
spite of', _krome_ 'aside from/except', _vne_ 'outside of', and others in
Russian. Would anyone have any info on this type of adposition in other
languages, especially clitics, and how they must order with regard to other
clitics. For those of you who are interested, _bez_ is an exception among
the proclitic prepositions in Russian in that it does not intrude between
the negative variable _ni-_ and the interrogative pronoun _kogo_ as shown:

<1> bez ni kogo (*ni bez kogo)
 without any whom(genetive case)
 'without any one'

The non-negator prepositions do go between _ni-_ and the interrogative
when they are proclitics (shown here with a different case ending):

<2> ni s kem (*s ni kem)
 any with whom(intrumental case)
 'with no one/not with anyone'

It has already been pointed out to me--by Olga Babko-Malaya (babkozodiac. that examples like <1> are not attested under clausal negation,
while examples like <2> must usually be arguments of a negated predicate.

I would appreciate any of your ideas. Best,

--Loren A. Billings (
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Message 3: ISO text generation software

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 13:54:12 -0ISO text generation software
From: <>
Subject: ISO text generation software

A friend is looking for information on text generation systems;
specifically for references to work that would be applicable to the
task of automatically generating a letter to a customer that
summarizes the current state of their account and documents
recommendations for improved service. The system would use
information from a database which contains all of the information
about the account, including appropriate recommendations and canned
rationale for them, but we're looking for techniques to help blend the
sentences together with reasonable transitions and make sure tense and
aspect are correct.

Please send any responses directly to Leslie Wheeler, at
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