LINGUIST List 6.313

Tue 28 Feb 1995

Qs: Pouldaff, Colorless green ideas, Dictionary, Neg in Hebrew

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. ADAM JAWORSKI, pouldaff
  2. Wei Li, Interpreting "colorless green ideas..."
  3. Sandor A.G.L. Spruit, Context in electronic dictionary
  4. , Expletive neg in Modern Hebrew

Message 1: pouldaff

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 09:34:13 pouldaff
Subject: pouldaff

This is a query on behalf of a colleague who is not on LINGUIST List:

Does anyone out there know the current (if any) whereabouts of the Prague
linguist Ivan Pouldaff?

Please send any information you might have directly to Peter Garrett at


Thank you,

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Message 2: Interpreting "colorless green ideas..."

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 95 3:30:13 PSTInterpreting "colorless green ideas..."
From: Wei Li <>
Subject: Interpreting "colorless green ideas..."

Does it make sense?

In a certain domain, the Chomsky's famous sentence is well imaginable.

 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

Imagine the following context:

As we know, Esperantists wear a badge of "a green star", a symbol for Esperanto
 and its ideals. From there, "green ideas" would be easily conprehensible to
 their minds.

Suppose now comes an opponent to Esperanto, he may say,

 "Your green ideas are really colorless, not only colorless, those ideas are no
 longer popular! Colorless green ideas sleep now!"

Well, what is a possible reaction from some Esperantists?

 "Yes, our ideas (or ideals) sleep or seem to sleep now. But remember,
 colorless green ideas sleep furiously! "

--wei (
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Message 3: Context in electronic dictionary

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 15:20:59 Context in electronic dictionary
From: Sandor A.G.L. Spruit <>
Subject: Context in electronic dictionary

Hi fellow netter,

I am looking for people that could provide useful references, to literature
and/or to other people/resources on the Internet, relevant to the subject
of my graduation project. I hope to finish my Computer Science master's later
this year !

 translation, context, electronic dictionaries, search strategies
Project title:
 The specification of contextual information in electronic dictionaries
 Make the information in an electronic dictionary easily accessible

Within a language-learning environment (e.g. the University of Utrecht, Faculty
of Arts, The Netherlands), students use dictionaries while they are
translating to or from the foreign language they are learning. Teachers believe
that many errors in their translations are caused by inproper use of
dictionaries (among other things). To avoid some of the most frequent errors,
students could be trained, using computer software.
But to do this, you need: information on the search strategies used by
 students,some sort of "perfect strategie" (heuristics?) to use as a reference
information in the dictionaries suitable to guide the search. Information on
the context in which a particular word has a certain meaning, for example.

The question is:
how to store this information ?
how to present all the relevant information on a screen in a readable way ?
how to control the search proces using the available information ?

Any relevant references welcome !

Thanks in advance for your time and trouble
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Message 4: Expletive neg in Modern Hebrew

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 95 11:34:48 ESExpletive neg in Modern Hebrew
Subject: Expletive neg in Modern Hebrew

Dear Linguists,
I have just put my hands on a 1992 paper by Michael Moore on double negation.
He writes that "(In) Modern Hebrew, (...) one often negates the predicate follo
wing before, until, as well as I am afraid. Unlike in French, where the absence
of pas identifies (the expletive interpretation of the negation)(...), modern
Hebrew does not have such a cue to fall back on, resulting in a considerable de
gree of confusion. (E.g., in most cases Hebrew speakers would interpret the
equivalent of I am afraid that he won't catch cold as I am afraid he will."
Is this a correct appraisal of the situation in modern Hebrew?? If so, can
anyone indicate me reference work on that topic, or good empirical descriptions
?? Any help will be greatly appreciated and i'll summarize your responses for
the LIST.
Thanks in advance, Pierre Larrivee.

Pierre Larrivee
Departement de langues et linguistique, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada,
G1K 7P4
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