LINGUIST List 5.826

Wed 20 Jul 1994

FYI: Michigan Archives (Part 1)

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  1. , Michigan Archives (Part 1)

Message 1: Michigan Archives (Part 1)

Date: Sat, 16 Jul 94 16:26:32 EDMichigan Archives (Part 1)
From: <>
Subject: Michigan Archives (Part 1)

Dear Colleagues,

 I am very pleased to announce that, by popular request, and by special
 arrangement with her publisher, the University of Chicago Press,
 Professor Beth Levin of Northwestern University has allowed the verb
 index from her recent book _English Verb Classes and Alternations_ to
 be made available in electronic form on the University of Michigan
 Linguistics Archive for anonymous FTP.

 The file

 evca93.index [for English Verb Classes and Alternations '93]

 is located in the directory


 in the Michigan linguistics archives. The Internet address is

 The file itself is only 89411 bytes in size (not all that big) and is
 an ASCII (text) file that may be downloaded in text mode by ftp.

 I'm sending another LINGUIST posting (which, in the best of all
 possible worlds, would immediately follow this one) that contains
 somewhat detailed and updated instructions for getting stuff from the
 archives via FTP (there have been a few changes), with the verb index
 file as a particular example.

 You may recall Daniel Seely's review of Levin's book on LINGUIST last
 year (Vol.4-1102 and 4-1111]). I quote a few relevant passages:


 "Beth Levin's _English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary
 Investigation_ is an excellent reference book. It presents syntactic
 and semantic information which is valuable and easy to use. The book
 is rich in well-organized data (there are thousands of entries in the
 verb index and the bulk of the book is made up of dozens of diathesis
 alternations and verb classes), it is thoroughly documented (there are
 some 800 references), and it has important theoretical implications
 (nicely traced in the Introduction). It is, in short, an impressive
 accomplishment and it has become an indispensable part of my
 linguistics library.


 "As Levin explains (and I quote here somewhat extensively to give
 the reader a feel for Levin's very accessible style):

 'If the syntactic properties of a verb indeed follow in large part
 from its meaning, then it should be possible to identify general
 principles that derive the behavior of a verb from its meaning.
 Given such principles, the meaning of a verb will clearly have a
 place in its lexical entry, but it is possible that the entry
 will need to contain little more. And since a word's meaning is
 necessarily idiosyncratic, the inclusion of a word's meaning in
 its lexical entry conforms to Bloomfield's characterization of
 the lexicon as a locus of idiosyncrasy.' (p. 11)


 "As a final note, let me point out that although my comments have
 focussed on (some of) Levin's theoretical underpinnings, I have found
 many practical uses for the book. It has helped in making up exercise
 sets for syntax, semantics, and morphology classes, for example, it
 made checking the verbs of example sentences in a psycholinguistic
 study much easier, and it has been invaluable (my students tell me)
 for creating exercises of various sorts in TESOL. It is, after all, a
 reference work and like all good references it is limited only by the
 imagination of its user. At one point Levin states '... I hope that
 [this book] will be a valuable resource for linguists and researchers
 inrelated fields.' A hope most certainly realized!"


 I might add that I agree enthusiastically with Prof. Seely's assessment,
 and that I find the idea of making more of this wonderful resource
 available in electronic form very exciting.

 The file itself includes 51 lines of introductory material, which I
 reproduce below to indicate the conditions under which it is released:



 PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION, by Beth Levin, published by The
 University of Chicago Press, (c) 1993 by The University of
 Chicago. All rights reserved.

 This text may be used and shared in accordance with the
 fair-use provisions of US copyright law, and it may be
 archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that
 this entire notice is carried and provided that the
 University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is
 charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or
 republication of this text on other terms, in any medium,
 requires both the consent of the author and the University
 of Chicago Press.


 This file contains the index from ENGLISH VERB CLASSES AND
 published by The University of Chicago Press, copyright (c)
 The University of Chicago, 1993. More detailed information on
 the verb classes and alternations referenced by section number
 in this index is found in the book itself.

 Any work, published or unpublished, based in whole or in part
 on the use of this index should acknowledge ENGLISH VERB
 CLASSES AND ALTERNATIONS. The author would appreciate being
 informed of such work or other significant uses of the index.

 Beth Levin
 Department of Linguistics
 Northwestern University
 Evanston, IL, USA 60208-4090


 Verb Index

 The index includes an alphabetical listing of the verbs referred to in
 Part I and Part II of the book. Each verb is followed by a list of the
 sections that it is mentioned in. There has been no attempt to
 distinguish and give separate entries to the different senses of a verb.
 Similarly, there is only one entry in the index for verbs that are
 homographs. For instance, the entry in the index for _jar_ includes a
 list of all sections discussing _jar_, whether in the sense of ``put in
 a jar'' or in the sense of ``have a disagreeable effect on.''


 This introductory material is then followed by the verb index itself,
 consisting of one line for each of the 3104 verbs indexed in the book.
 Each line contains the verb itself, together with all of the section
 numbers in the book that refer to it.

 For instance, the second verb in the list is "abash". Here's its
 listing: abash 1.2.5, 2.13.4, 31.1
 This indicates that it is referenced in three places:

 o first, 1.2.5, which, on consulting the table of contents of the
 printed book, can be readily broken down into:

 Part I Alternations (Categories 1 through 9)
 Category 1 Transitivity Alternations
 Class 1.2 Unexpressed Object Alternations
 SubClass 1.2.5 PRO-arb Object Alternation [page 37]

 o and 2.13.4, which likewise breaks down into:

 Part I Alternations (Categories 1 through 9)
 Category 2 Alternations Involving Arguments Within the VP
 Class 2.13 Possessor-Attribute Factoring Alternations
 SubClass 2.13.4 Possessor Subject (transitive) [page 76]

 o and, finally, 31.1, which breaks down into:

 Part II Verb Classes (Categories 9 through 57)
 Category 31 Psych-Verbs (Verbs of Psychological State)
 Class 31.1 "Amuse" Verbs [page 189]

 The information in the explanation above is culled completely from the
 table of contents of the printed book; the text of the book itself is
 naturally *far* more perspicuous, and therefore this electronic index
 is ultimately intended to make possessing the actual book all that much
 more attractive and useful, which is only fair. But having the list of
 verbs online also means one can reference categories and lists directly
 (from inside a wordprocessor if necessary), and search for correlations
 and other phenomena ad lib, using ordinary text tools like grep or awk.
 For a linguist interested in English, this represents a far more useful
 computing resource than even the most complete thesaurus.

 Following are the first and last 5 lines (52-56 and 3151-3155) of the
 index proper, to show how the file is structured.


 abandon 51.2
 abash 1.2.5, 2.13.4, 31.1
 abate, 45.4
 abduct 2.2, 2.3.2, 10.5
 abhor 2.10, 2.13.1, 2.13.2, 2.13.3, 31.2

 ... [ ca 3094 lines omitted ] ...

 zigzag 7.8, 51.3.2
 zing 2.3.4, 7.8, 43.2
 zip 2.5.1, 2.5.2, 7.2, 22.4
 zipcode 7.2, 9.9
 zoom 7.8, 51.3.2


 I believe we all owe a debt of thanks to Prof. Levin, and to the
 University of Chicago Press, for this innovative contribution to the
 general edification of the profession. It is to be hoped that other
 authors and publishers will follow their example.

 Let me conclude with a commercial for the archives:

 I would like to suggest that anyone else with interesting indices,
 word lists, texts (especially tagged or otherwise value-added),
 course syllabi, exams, classroom problems, field data, paper drafts
 or offprints, or any other material you would like to make available
 to the linguistic profession as a whole is welcome to put them on
 the archives. Indeed, we need more such material desperately, since
 we have very few contributions. Why reinvent the wheel? Put your
 material on the archives.

 If you're interested in contributing anything, go ahead and upload it
 to the linguistics/uploads directory on
 If you're unsure about how (or whether) to do that, send me mail at
 and we can discuss it.

 The computer age has overtaken us, folks, and we are falling behind
 daily. It's time to start making accommodations with the realities
 of the situation.

-John Lawler
 Program in Linguistics University of Michigan
 Linguistic Archivist

P.S. The following software package has just been placed on the
 archives, for those are interested in playing with English
 sound symbolism. Download it in BINARY mode and de-archive
 it with PKUNZIP.EXE.

linguistics/software/dos/ 7/13/94 121,338 Compressed
John Lawler, University of Michigan <>

A primitive but relatively complete and usable system for investigating
sound-symbolism in English monosyllables. Includes an indexed database
of over 5000 English monosyllabic words, parsed into "assonance" and
"rime" (as specified by Bolinger (1950), and as used in Rhodes & Lawler
(1979) and Lawler (1989)), and software tools for indexing and searching
it (with TurboPascal source code).

 Bolinger (1950) Rime, Assonance and Morpheme Analysis. Word 6
 Rhodes & Lawler (1981) Athematic Metaphors. CLS 17
 Lawler (1989) Women, Men, and Bristly Things: The Phonosemantics of the
 BR- Assonance in English. Michigan Working Papers in Linguistics I.1
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