LINGUIST List 6.287

Thu 23 Feb 1995

Qs: Annual meetings, Syntactic diagrams, Word lists, Jargon

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  1. Anna M. Thornton, Query about Linguistic Societies Annual Meetings
  2. "R.Hudson", syntactic diagrams
  3. Cecile Fabre, need compound word lists
  4. Timothy Miller, Linguist jargon

Message 1: Query about Linguistic Societies Annual Meetings

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 09:34:43 Query about Linguistic Societies Annual Meetings
From: Anna M. Thornton <>
Subject: Query about Linguistic Societies Annual Meetings

The Italian Linguistic Society (Societa' di Linguistica Italiana, SLI) was
founded in 1967, and has held annual conferences ever since. In the course of
the annual conference, the general assembly of members takes place. So far,
each annual conference has addressed a different topic. To give an idea, I
list the topics of the conferences held in the last few years:
1991 Tendencies in Contemporary Italian
1992 Italian as a Second or Foreign Language
1993 Dialects and National Languages
1994 Language and Cognition

It is my opinion that, in order to promote a wider attendance of members
active in all fields of linguistics, and better opportunities to communicate
ideas and results of research, we should abandon the formula of having
conferences on specialized topics, and should instead hold our annual meeting
in the form of a forum in which recent work in all areas of language
studies can be presented and discussed. Special topics could be the object of
parasesssions. I have made this proposal in last year's general assembly, and
it will be discussed by the executive committee on April 7, 1995.

In order to provide the committee with useful data to make a decision, I would
like to collect information from other national and regional Linguistic
Societies on the following points:

How often do you hold meetings?
Is there a fixed topic for each conference?
Are there parasessions on fixed topics?
Are you satisfied with the formula you are currently following?
Can you point to any major drawback that a given system has,in your experience?

Answers and comments from members of societal boards as well as from
individual members of societies will be welcome.

Please reply directly to me:
Anna M. Thornton
Via F. Fiorentini 106
Pal 5
A 16
Roma Italy
I will post a summary on Linguist if there is enough interest.
Thank you in advance.
Anna M. Thornton
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Message 2: syntactic diagrams

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 95 10:57:15 +0syntactic diagrams
From: "R.Hudson" <>
Subject: syntactic diagrams

Can anyone add (or change) anything in the following brief history of
diagrams for sentence-structure?

1850, USA: Clark invented a box-system for showing SVO structures and
 dependencies in school grammars.
1877, USA: Reed and Kellogg added horizontal, vertical and sloping lines
 to make these diagrams clearer, again for school use.
1929, USSR: Usakov, Smirnova and Sceptova invent a similar system for
 showing structural relations in Russian.
1932, France: Tesniere invented the `stemma' as a teaching device. Not
 properly published till 1959.
1957, USA: Chomsky invented the `tree', with his one tree in Syntactic

These details come from Gleason, Linguistics and English Grammar, and
Tesniere, Elements de Syntaxe Generale. No doubt I could have put in
something about the box diagrams that were in use by American Structuralists
before Chomsky. Have I missed anything else important? And am I right in
thinking that all these `inventions' (except the first two) were independent
of each other?

Dick Hudson
Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
University College London,
Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT
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Message 3: need compound word lists

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 15:03:05 need compound word lists
From: Cecile Fabre <>
Subject: need compound word lists

I am currently working on the semantic interpretation of English
nominal COMPOUNDS (e.g. "rising prices", "aircraft flight arrival"),
and I would greatly appreciate any pointers to corpora of English
complex nominals.


Cecile Fabre
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Message 4: Linguist jargon

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 10:05:28 Linguist jargon
From: Timothy Miller <>
Subject: Linguist jargon

I'm interested in compiling a list of Linguistic terms which have
meanings in math/logic/science, whether the meaning is similar or different.

One example that comes to mind is 'Transitivity'. In Linguistics, you can
have a transitive verb, and in math/logic, you can have a transitive

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