LINGUIST List 6.451

Mon 27 Mar 1995

Qs: Greek alphabet, Sino-Tibetan, Chamorro, Heaviness Hierarchy

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  1. Stavros Macrakis, Greek alphabet for other languages
  2. Celso Alvarez Caccamo, Query about Ph.D. programs
  3. Bert Peeters, Chamorro
  4. "Bellusci, D, David, Mr", Heaviness Hierarchy

Message 1: Greek alphabet for other languages

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 16:15:58 Greek alphabet for other languages
From: Stavros Macrakis <>
Subject: Greek alphabet for other languages

What languages use or have used the Greek alphabet?

Also, what diacritics besides the usual ones have been used with the
Greek alphabet? (*)

I have a partial list of both of these, which I'm trying to make as
comprehensive as possible. Although the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets
are derived from the Greek alphabet, I'm not interested in them or
their descendents.

Of course, Greek itself (ancient, modern, and everything in between)
has used the Greek alphabet since the 7c BC or so. Some ancient
languages of Asia Minor (Lycian, Phrygian, Pamphylian) used a
Greek-derived alphabet. In Italy, Etruscan and Messapian used a
Greek-derived alphabet (and the Latin alphabet derives from the
Etruscan). The original Gothic scipt (not the same as the medieval
German hand called Gothic or Fraktur), and Glagolitic are derived from
Greek. Coptic uses the Greek alphabet augmented with six special
letters. Turkish has been written using Greek letters
(Karamanlidika). I have some leads on old writing systems for
Romanian and Albanian. I have a grammar of Koutsovlach (a dialect of
Romanian spoken in Greece) which uses a Greek alphabet.

As for diacritics used with the Greek alphabet, I have found rather
few. Stamatakou's dictionary (1952) uses a tilde below a iota to
represent a semi-vowel pronunciation. The Koutsovlach grammar I
mentioned uses some idiosyncratic diacritics. Any others? Are there
any diacritics used to represent dialect features?

Any others? Specific bibliographic references would be helpful,
including for the languages I mentioned above.

Please send me e-mail (, and I will summarize for the
list. Thanks.


(*) The usual diacritics: 2 breathings (dasia, psili), 3 accents (oxia,
 baria, perispomeni), iota subscript (ipogegrammeni), diaeresis, and
 in philological works, 2 length-marks (macron, breve).
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Message 2: Query about Ph.D. programs

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 95 00:00:12 +0Query about Ph.D. programs
From: Celso Alvarez Caccamo <>
Subject: Query about Ph.D. programs

Dear LINGUIST readers,

A student of mine is very interested in pursuing a Ph.D.
to work on some aspects of the relationships between
Sino-Tibetan and Indo-European. He holds a Spanish
'Licenciatura' in English Philology (Language and Literature),
which is equivalent to an M.A. in the USA. Besides his
native languages (Spanish and Galician), he speaks English,
and has quite a good command of written and oral Chinese.
He would like to obtain information on programs which
would accommodate his interests, as well as options to
support himself through scolarships or teaching
assistantships (for instance, as a Spanish teacher)
while doing his Ph.D.

Please send your information to this e-mail account, and
I'll pass it on to him.

Thank you very much in advance,

Celso Alvarez-Caccamo
Departamento de Linguistica Geral e Teoria da Literatura
Universidade da Corunha, Galiza, Spain
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Message 3: Chamorro

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 10:57:51 Chamorro
From: Bert Peeters <>
Subject: Chamorro

I have it from secondary sources that back in 1980 Jeanne Gibson, writing in
a relational grammar framework, could not find any evidence for a
distinction (presumably on semantic grounds, following the universal
alignment hypothesis formulated in 1978 by Perlmutter) between unergative
and unaccusative verbs in Chamorro. Has that opinion ever been challenged?
Thanks for putting me into the picture.
Bert Peeters
Dr Bert Peeters
Department of Modern Languages (French)
University of Tasmania
GPO Box 252C Tel. (002) 202344 +61 02 202344
Hobart TAS 7001 Fax. (002) 207813 +61 02 207813
Australia Email:
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Message 4: Heaviness Hierarchy

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 08:59:08 Heaviness Hierarchy
From: "Bellusci, D, David, Mr" <>
Subject: Heaviness Hierarchy

Dear Linguists:

I would appreciate any detailed information on the Heaviness
Hierarchy, especially references.


David C. Bellusci
Department of Linguistics
University of Cape Town
P/Bag Rondebosch 7700
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