LINGUIST List 6.1577

Wed Nov 8 1995

Qs: Corpus, Humor, Tone, Lang Lab

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. Jan K Lindstrom, query on TEI
  2. Alex Housen, Humorous data
  3. Krisjanis Karins, Query: broken tone
  4. Antonio Medina-Rivera, Foreign Language Lab

Message 1: query on TEI

Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 09:27:31 query on TEI
From: Jan K Lindstrom <jklindstwaltari.Helsinki.FI>
Subject: query on TEI

Hello there,

I have a question related to corpus compilation and coding.

I have been doing -- and, in principle, completed -- work on a corpus
of modern Finland Swedish at the department of Scandinavian languages,
University of Helsinki. The corpus consists now of written texts of
various kinds and comprises ca 2.5 million tokens. If you are interested
in this source of information, contact me directly.

However, this is not supposed to be any launching information about the
FISC-corpus but, really, a modest query.

I am carrying out the final documentation of the project
and there is one peculiarity of TEI-coding (P3) that has puzzled me.
What does the attribute "gi" stand for, that is supposed to be used,
for instance, in the tags declaration in the corpus header? For example
as follows: <tagUsage gi=hi> where "hi" is 'highlighted'. Could
anyone provide an explanation? We would like to follow the guidelines
but it feels stupid to use a code you do not really understand. P3 seems
rather cryptic on this detail.

Many thanks -	Jan Lindstrom
		P.O. Box 4
		00014 University of Helsinki
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Message 2: Humorous data

Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 16:57:18 Humorous data
From: Alex Housen <>
Subject: Humorous data

Last May I posted a message to this list asking for references to the
investigation of verbal humour (a summary of the replies was posted on June
21st). This query was posted on behalf of a student of mine who wants to
do her thesis on verbal humour in conversation. She will try to identify
what it is that makes a particular utterance or turn in a conversation
witty, funny, etc.
A study of the literature has revealed that much of the empirical work on
this topic is based on non-spontaneous data (e.g. from film or comedy
scripts, plays, etc.). We would like to extend the investigation to
spontaneous data.
However, collecting spontaneous *English* conversation with sufficient
humorous passages in Belgium has proven problematic (the data have to be
English data because the thesis is part of the requirements for a degree in
Hence my question: Does anyone know of an English corpus that would lend
itself to such a study?

Thank you very much in advance.

- Alex Housen
University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium

Dr. Alex HOUSEN Germanic Languages Dept.
University of Brussels (VUB) Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel:+32-2-6292664; Fax:+32-2-6292480;
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Message 3: Query: broken tone

Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 12:28:53 Query: broken tone
From: Krisjanis Karins <>
Subject: Query: broken tone

I was wondering if anyone was aware of a language with a "broken tone"
besides Danish and Latvian.

The "broken tone" in Latvian is one of three contrastive syllable

level	 characterized by a level tone or a slight rise in tone
falling	 characterized by a fall in tone
broken	 characterized by a glottal catch in the middle of the syllable,
	 or laryngealization of the latter part of the syllable, combined
	 with a fall in tone.

The Latvian broken tone has been likened to Danish stoed.

I would be interested in finding out about the phonetics and/or
phonology of any other language besides Danish and Latvian which has
such a "broken tone". Bibliographic references would be wonderful.

Please send your replies to me directly:

Thanks in advance,
Krisjanis Karins
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Message 4: Foreign Language Lab

Date: Tue, 07 Nov 1995 15:48:24 Foreign Language Lab
From: Antonio Medina-Rivera <>
Subject: Foreign Language Lab

To: All people working or related to language labs:
 Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales

We're in the process of designing a language lab for our college. Our
current language is old fashion and we would like to get more modern
according to the new technology. I'm consulting all people who have been
in the situation of modernizing their language lab. I have the following

What is the best arrangement/configuration for a language lab? Is the way
the lab is arranged really important?

What kind of hardware/software more convenient for learning a second
language? Who provides better software for teaching a second language

Does the CD-ROM software really work to learn a second language?

According to your experience, how is the ideal language lab?

Specify what kind of technology for teaching a second language do you
have? It is really working? Yes or No and Why?

When your institution decided to create a language lab did they do it
from the point of view of the technicians or did they also take into
consideration the point of view of people teaching a second language?

I hope to receive your input on this matter. You can write to:
						Thank you.
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