LINGUIST List 5.794

Mon 11 Jul 1994

Qs: Newsgroups, Unknown lg, "time flies like an arrow", Software

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Directory

  1. "Y. Shum", Linguis newsgroup
  2. ehenfli, Unknown language in medieval manuscript
  3. Chet Creider, first use of "time flies like an arrow"
  4. Muhammad Deeb, Still Seeking an Arabicc Typing Tutor Software! (fwd)

Message 1: Linguis newsgroup

Date: Sat, 9 Jul 1994 00:04:26 +Linguis newsgroup
From: "Y. Shum" <shuychonmehta.anu.edu.au>
Subject: Linguis newsgroup

Hi there,
 I am interested in newsgroups which talked about
computer linguistic, NLP, hypermedia and hypertext,document retrieval and
 multimedia information
retrieval. I know of the following newsgroups which are relevant:

comp.nat-lang
comp.multimedia
comp.text

I will be keen to know what other newsgroups talked about the
subjects above.

yshum
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Message 2: Unknown language in medieval manuscript

Date: Sat, 9 Jul 1994 15:13:14 +Unknown language in medieval manuscript
From: ehenfli <ehenfligwdg.de>
Subject: Unknown language in medieval manuscript

The Parisian Bibliotheque Nationale possesses a manuscript published by G.
 Maspero in the periodical Romania 17, 1888, 481ff., dated by him in the 13th
 century, which comprises a list of about 300 words and expressions appearently
 in Old French given in coptic transcription (Coptic is an alphabetic script
 derived from Greek formerly used to write the now extinct Coptic language,
 successor of hieroglyphic Egyptian) provided with Arabic translations.

I am going to give some examples.
I will transcribe the Coptic letters employing the following special symbols:
p, t, k : non-aspirated plosives, tending to be voiced
p', t', k' : aspirated plosives, tending to be voiceless
 d, g : definitely voiced plosives (hardly used in proper coptic words)
s, z : voiceless resp. voiced dental/alveolar spirants
S, Z : voiceless resp. voiced palatal spirants (french ch, j)
c : voiceless palatal affricate (engl. ch)
! : voiced pharyngal spirant (arab/hebrew aiyin)
e, o : possibly more open vowels
E, O : possibly more closed vowels (in Coptic O and u are allophones)
y : vowel of not quite identified character, in coptic texts frequent-
 ly interchanging with E, maybe back or centralised unrounded
: : (after vowel:) long vowel

Transcription of the coptic letters Translation following the Arabic
 (word-separation by me) glosses into modern French
 ========================================================================
a nu tu p'ure e tu vil au nom du pere et du fils
 e tu saina isprit'Es ament' et du Saint-Esprit amen
nut'ruh siniur notre seigneur
lasumine la semaine
limes le mois
lian l'an
latimen la dimaine, dimanche
liundi lundi
pale mere k'uzi meh ma cmize belle mere, cousez-moi ma chemise
liprast're le pretre (the priest)
vOs t'i vinir O pain veux-tu venir au bain?
tar pun tres bon

It is easy to see that the word forms correspond to phonetically older stages of
 French (retaining of s etc.) and also that the transcription is not quite free
 of mistakes in some cases (cf. ament').

So far there is nothing mysterious. But now consider the given list of numbers.
Differently from the other glosses, there is also a translation by Coptic
 numerals.

Transcription of the Coptic letters Coptic numeral Translation of Arabic
 =============================================================================
aunuh 1 1
etaus 2 2 (=et deux)
teaiS 3 3
katreh 4 4
sink' 5 5
SiS 6 6
*masaS 7 7
*aikyriaks 8 8
ne:v 9 9
tiS 10 10
unzuh 20 20 (=onze)
tuzuh 30 30 (=douze)
t'raiz 40 40 (=treize)
*ienzeh 50 50
*mazzin 60 60
*anoup'r 70 70
*t'arkeSe 80 80
*vait'ans 90 90
*Osmas 100 100
*iOkt'ars 200 200
*mukait' 300 300
*sarpan 400 400
*aut'eksa 500 500
*mazkas 600 600
*sapalt'r 700 700
*taup'u 800 800
*aiar!
*laSSar 900
*Sonvi 1000
*Sograovi 10000 10000

As you can see, the numerals which I marked by * are obviously not Old French,
 but from an unknown (to Maspero and to me) language.
This concerns 7, 8 and all numbers after 13/40. The problem is that after 10 the
 french numerals and the coptic and arabic translations do not match. So it
 cannot be predicted doubtlessly which numbers should be represented by the
 unknown words.

I would be very thankful if anybody has ideas about the language hidden behind
 these transcriptions and would drop a line about it to me.
Maybe it should even be considered possible that these expressions do not stand
 for any numbers at all but have been introduced into this part of the list
 erroneously. But even in this case it would be definitely worth trying to
 figure out the language.
Any help would be appreciated!

Carsten Peust, Goettingen
ehenfligwdg.de
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Message 3: first use of "time flies like an arrow"

Date: Sat, 9 Jul 94 06:53:09 EDTfirst use of "time flies like an arrow"
From: Chet Creider <creidercogsci.uwo.ca>
Subject: first use of "time flies like an arrow"

A colleague would appreciate a reference to the first use, or perhaps
the first well known use, of "time flies like an arrow" to
illustrate multiple ambiguity.

Thanks,

Chet Creider
<creidercogsci.uwo.ca>
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Message 4: Still Seeking an Arabicc Typing Tutor Software! (fwd)

Date: Sat, 9 Jul 1994 14:15:36 -Still Seeking an Arabicc Typing Tutor Software! (fwd)
From: Muhammad Deeb <mdeebgpu.srv.ualberta.ca>
Subject: Still Seeking an Arabicc Typing Tutor Software! (fwd)


Dear Linguist Colleagues,
 Some time ago, or more pricely in June 25th, I wandered of any
of you could or would help me procure an Arabic Typing Software. As I
haven't since received any response directly to me, or via this net, I'm
repeating the same query in the hope that someone would be kind enough to
address this urgent need. Very many thanks in advance.

Dr. M. Deeb
Research Institute for Comparative Literature
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada
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