LINGUIST List 6.1456

Thu Oct 19 1995

Qs: Scope, Arabic, Swahili, Y'all

Editor for this issue: <dseelyemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. Manfred Krifka, Q: Scope Inversion under Rise-Fall Accent
  2. Stuart Campbell, Arabic loanwords in Malay via Persian
  3. , REQUEST OF INFORMATION ON KENIAN SWAHILI
  4. John M. Jeep, Y'all

Message 1: Q: Scope Inversion under Rise-Fall Accent

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 17:27:53 Q: Scope Inversion under Rise-Fall Accent
From: Manfred Krifka <krifkacasbs.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Q: Scope Inversion under Rise-Fall Accent


It has been observed for German that a rise accent + a fall accent on two
operators leads to scope ambiguities, as in the following examples (1')
and (2'):

(1) Mindestens \EIN Student hat jeden Roman gelesen.
 at.least one student AUX every novel read
 a) "For at least one student x: x has read every novel."

(1') Mindestens /EIN Student hat \JEDen Roman gelesen.
 a) "For at least one student x: x has read every novel"
 b) "For every novel y: at least one student has read y"
 (in addition to a certain discourse effect resulting from contrastive
 topicalization on "mindestens ein Student")

(2) \ALle Studenten sind nicht gekommen.
 all students AUX not come
 a) "For every student x: x did not come"

(2') /ALle Studenten sind \NICHT gekommen.
 b) "It is not the case that every student came"

The scope inversion (b) has been observed, typically for negation, by
various authors, including Joachim Jacobs (1982, 1984), Andreas Loetscher
(1984), Tilman Hoehle (1991), Juergen Pafel (1994), Manfred Krifka (1994),
Daniel Buering (1994, 1995). Buering has argued that reading (a) is
filtered out for (2') for reasons having to do with specific properties
of the negation and the universal quantifier; this may be a reason why
scope reversal is particularly striking in this case.

This scope inversion may or may not be related to a similar effect
reported for English by Ray Jackendoff (1972), illustrated with
"ALL the men didn't go" under the so-called B-accent; cf. also the
natural reading of "All that glitters isn't gold".

Questions:

1. To native speakers: Are there other languages that show a similar
effect? (So far, I have anecdotal evidence for Dutch and Hungarian, also
for a southwestern dialect of English.)

2. To speakers of German: I found that some speakers resist to the
inverted scope readings (b). Any comments?

3. To linguists in general: Are there any empirical descriptions or
attempts to a theoretical explanation of this effect other than the ones
I have mentioned, for German or for other languages?

I am happy to post the results of this query.

Manfred Krifka

September 95 - July 96: Starting July 96:
Center for Advanced Study Department of Linguistics
in the Behavioral Sciences University of Texas at Austin
202 Junipero Serra Blvd. Austin, TX 78712-1196
Stanford, CA 94305 krifkamail.utexas.edu
krifkacasbs.stanford.edu
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Message 2: Arabic loanwords in Malay via Persian

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 16:23:03 Arabic loanwords in Malay via Persian
From: Stuart Campbell <AESCMUSICA.MACARTHUR.UWS.EDU.AU>
Subject: Arabic loanwords in Malay via Persian

I have an article appearing in BKI (Leiden) in 1996 that argues that the
distribution of -ah and -at suffixes in Arabic loanwords in Malay can be
partly explained by many of those words having reached Malay via
Persian. These loans are feminine nouns in Arabic ending in taa'
marbu:tah, which end in either -e or -at in Persian. The facts of the
distribution in Persian are reasonably clear, but I do not know of any
explanation for it. Can anybody point me to a reference? Am I the only
person on the planet working on this?

Stuart Campbell
Language Acquisition Research Centre
University of Western Sydney Macarthur
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Message 3: REQUEST OF INFORMATION ON KENIAN SWAHILI

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 11:54:17 REQUEST OF INFORMATION ON KENIAN SWAHILI
From: <CUCINIunisi.it>
Subject: REQUEST OF INFORMATION ON KENIAN SWAHILI

I am a student of sociolinguistics at the University of Siena; I've been
studying the socilinguistic situation of Africa for two years,and I am
now writing my final work on the subject.
Unfortunately I didn't find any recent book or text on the last policy
measures of Kenia - years 1992-95. I only know that Swahili has been
recently made the official language of the Country, so that its position
is now similar to that of Tanzania. Does anybody know when this exactly
took place and if it caused some modifications to the educational system
of Kenia, too?
My adress is: cuciniunisi.it
Thank you by now for your help.
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Message 4: Y'all

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 10:15:19 Y'all
From: John M. Jeep <jeepjmmuohio.edu>
Subject: Y'all

Believe it or not, the second person pronoun 'y'all' is a hot topic on
MEDTEXTL, evolving from a discussion of second person pronouns and their
usage in Medieval English, French, modern German, etc. The question is
whether 'y'all' is used for the singular. We have heard strong voices on
both sides of the question, ranging from witness accounts of having heard
it recently to experienced speakers never having heard it. Is there a
reliable account of the phenomenom or is anyone working on it these days?

Thanks for any responses. I'll be glad to summarize later.

John M. Jeep
jeepjmmuohio.edu
Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(Tel.) 513 529-1821 - (Fax.) 513 529-1807
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