LINGUIST List 6.1218

Thu Sep 7 1995

Qs: "Barracking," Proper nouns, Logic & linear order

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. Julian O'Dea, "Barracking" at sporting events
  2. Bredenkamp A, Identifying proper nouns
  3. Steven Schaufele, formal logic for linear order?

Message 1: "Barracking" at sporting events

Date: Thu, 07 Sep 1995 16:28:41 "Barracking" at sporting events
From: Julian O'Dea <>
Subject: "Barracking" at sporting events

In Australia, we refer to the calling out of encouragement, discouragement
and other comments at sporting events as "barracking". At the very well
attended (Australian) football matches in Melbourne, there were some
common, stylized calls, very loud but with characteristic intonation,
almost a melody. From all over the ground might come calls of "Carn the
mighty demons" [come on the mighty Demons - the nickname of one of the
teams]. This kind of phrase had a standard rising and falling intonation.

Has this specialised use of language received much attention by linguists?
I know that auctioneer's language has been studied and I assume other
specialised uses of language have been studied as well. Are there any
studies on "catcalls" and "rooting" [?] as language in America or

Julian O'Dea
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Message 2: Identifying proper nouns

Date: Thu, 07 Sep 1995 11:14:22 Identifying proper nouns
From: Bredenkamp A <>
Subject: Identifying proper nouns

We are currently involved in writing a fairly large grammar of English
to analyse free text.

We are trying to write an awk script which identifies proper nouns in
texts, and tags them appropriately. At this stage, we are interested in
English texts, but ultimately need to tag all EC languages.

The awk script (a prototype has been produced by Bradley Music in
Copenhagen) needs to identify regular expressions, such as:

pname = "("("Mr\\.?") " " cap OR(cap"*",lower"*")")"

My questions are:

1. Is there any literature on this problem?

2. Has anyone done anything like this before which might be

We want to avoid doing any lookup, if possible.

Here are my current thoughts on the problem:

It is, of course, a simple matter to identify (1) in texts

(1) " Mr. Yasuda "

but other examples from our corpus seem more complicated. It might be
unproblematic to tag up (2),

(2) " Mr. Ginji Yasuda"

by adding another disjunction to the current 'pname' regular
expresssion, in the tagger.

But what about other combinations?

Example (3) is really common,

(3) " Ginji Yasuda "

as it occurs not just with names of people but also all sorts of
organisations. This again seems quite straightforward, provided that
it doesn't occur at, or near, the beginning of a sentence. How, for
instance, do we do (4)?

(4) ". Then Ginji Yasuda ..."

The examples in (5) and (6) show that proper names can be formed out
of a combination of nouns or noun-noun compounds and proper names:

(5) ". Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Gillogly "
(6) " U.S. District Court Judge George Marovitch "

 so perhaps we want strings of words with upper case initial letters
to be gathered up as one item.

The use of initials in (7) and (8) and (9) are not currently covered,
but perhaps there is no problem in doing them.

(7) " John M. Baker "
(8) " Mr. John M. Baker"
(9) " L.J. Hooker "

These are just characterized by [A-Z]\\. or something. The problem
(maybe) comes in integrating them with an large number of possible
combinations of other names, etc.

The examples in (10) and (11) show that proper names not generally
characterized by having all their words in upper case initial.

(10) " Chicago Board of Trade "
(11) " Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations "

I can't immediately see any way of doing this, although they might
turn out to be finite and small in number (e.g. "of", "in", "and",

Now, it may well be that we decide that many of these things are not
doable at this level, which might be the sensible thing to say. I
doubt, looking at the data I just mentioned, that everything will be
covered. I think cases like (4), are really tricky without some kind
of lookup.

Please mail me directly, I will gladly mail a digest of interesting
responses back to the list.



Andrew Bredenkamp Senior Research Officer
WWW : CL / MT Group
email : Dept. of Language and Linguistics
phone : +44-1206-872087 University of Essex
fax : +44-1206-872085 Wivenhoe Park
 Colchester CO4 3SQ
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Message 3: formal logic for linear order?

Date: Thu, 07 Sep 1995 07:50:18 formal logic for linear order?
From: Steven Schaufele <>
Subject: formal logic for linear order?

For some time now, I've been excited about the development, within such
frameworks as HPSG, of the ability to describe dominance/constituency
relations by means of formal feature logics. I've been wondering about
the possibility of also describing linear order/precedence by similar
means. Has anybody out there done any work in this direction, or know of
anyone who has? Would anybody out there be interested in helping to
organize a workshop on the subject?

- -------------------
Dr. Steven Schaufele
712 West Washington
Urbana, IL 61801

**** O syntagmata linguarum liberemini humanarum! ***
*** Nihil vestris privari nisi obicibus potestis! ***
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