LINGUIST List 6.503

Tue 04 Apr 1995

Qs: Online journals, Qur'an, Vietnamese and Thai, SSP

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Kristina Harris, Query: Online Journals?
  2. Henry Rogers, translation of Qur'an
  3. jaejung song, GIVE as an adverbializer
  4. , Sonority Sequencing Principle violations and devoicing

Message 1: Query: Online Journals?

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 08:52:48 -Query: Online Journals?
From: Kristina Harris <>
Subject: Query: Online Journals?

Greetings! I'd like to add a section with links to electronic/online
journals in linguistics & communication to my WWW page. If anyone knows
of such, could you e-mail the info to me? So far I only know of two or
three, and I'm sure there must be more.

Thanks in advance,

Kristina Harris --Maintainer of the Linguistic Funland page, Univ.of Nv,Reno
 --Graduate Student in Linguistics & TESL (Pity me...)
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Message 2: translation of Qur'an

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 14:10:21 -translation of Qur'an
From: Henry Rogers <>
Subject: translation of Qur'an

In discussing Arabic, I recently came across a sociolinguistic point
that I don't understand. Apparently Islam does not permit translations
of the Qur'an. The readily available books which I would call
translations are not translations of the 'words' of the Qur'an, but of
the 'meaning' of the Qur'an. I have to confess that I was stumped in
trying to explain this distinction satisfactorily to my class. I
wonder if linguists who are either Muslim or familiar with Islam could
clarify this for me.


Hank Rogers

Henry Rogers
Dept. of Linguistics
University of Toronto vox: 416-978-1769
Toronto, Ont., Canada, M5S 1A1 fax: 416-971-2688
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Message 3: GIVE as an adverbializer

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 13:25:26 +GIVE as an adverbializer
From: jaejung song <>
Subject: GIVE as an adverbializer

To LINGUIST subscribers,
Some time ago, I posted the following to the LINGUIST List, but I have so
far received virtually no responses. So, I thought I might try once again.

In Vietnamese and Thai, there is an interesting phenomenon wherein the
lexical verb GIVE (i.e. _cho_ in Vietnamese, and _hay_ in Thai) can be used
in conjunction with adjectives to express what may be expressed by manner
adverbs in other languages. E.g. (The following Vietnamese data are
provided by Ngo Thanh Nhan)
(1) anh cho to to)i mo>.t quye>?n sa'ch (YOU GIVE I ONE classifier BOOK)
(2) no'i cho nhanh (SPEAK GIVE FAST)
It seems that in these languages the use of _cho_ as an 'adverbialiser' is
only possible in 'hypothetical' (or irrealis?) situations such as commands,
wants, etc. Thai is similar to Vietnamese in this respect (Noss 1964:177).
Are you aware of other languages which behave this way or in a similar
way? If so, I would like to hear from you (e.g. languages, references,
etc.). I posted the same query to the SEALANG List some time ago. Those
who responded to that list need not reply again (unless, of course, you
have new info or data).
If there is enough interest, I will post a summary. Thank you for your
Jae Jung Song
University of Otago
Dunedin, NZ

Noss, Richard B. 1964. Thai: Reference grammar. Washington: Foreign Service
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Message 4: Sonority Sequencing Principle violations and devoicing

Date: Mon, 03 Apr 1995 21:27:55 Sonority Sequencing Principle violations and devoicing
From: <>
Subject: Sonority Sequencing Principle violations and devoicing

Dear Linguist Listers:

I am investigating violations of the Sonority Sequencing Principle in codas,
and I would appreciate comments from people who are knowledgeable about
current thinking about the SSP, as well as data from languages people know
that agree or disagree with what I'm looking at.
 For those who aren't familiar with the SSP, it requires syllable onsets
to rise in sonority toward the nucleus and syllable codas to fall in sonority
from the nucleus. A generally accepted sonority scale is:

 vowels most sonorous
 obstruents least sonorous

Finer distinctions can be introduced on a language-particular basis. Steriade
(1982), for example, looking at Ancient Greek, partitions obstruents into the
more sonorous fricatives and the less sonorous stops.
 Now, for my specific problem. Arabic has a large number of words that
violate the SSP (as it has been set up) in the syllable coda. An important set
of this number is words which have liquids or nasals following an
obstruent. For example:

 /habl/ /Hibr/ /?ibn/
 /shakl/ /zikr/ /rikn/ /Hikm/
 /?ifl/ /wafr/ /dafn/ /
 /nasl/ /maSr/ /huSn/ /?ism/

 (Capital letters indicate emphatic consonants)

 I've noticed that in Egyptian Arabic, the final liquid or nasal
usually devoices in words like these when followed by a pause, or by a word
starting with a consonant. Sometimes, in the same environment, the final
liquid or nasal becomes a syllabic liquid or nasal, or it becomes the onset of
a new syllable created by appending an epenthetic vowel, or the coda of a
new created by inserting an epenthetic vowel between the two final consonants.
If a word follows that starts with an elideable glottal stop and a vowel, then
the final liquid or nasal forms an onset with the vowel (after the glottal stop
has beenelided). when it begins with a vowel (after the glottal stop that
necessarily precedes these words in isolation has been deleted). For example:

 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
 Onset Coda Onset
Devoiced Syllabic to Epen V to Epen V to ?V in word
 (?il = the"
/Hibr^/ /Hib-ri+/ /Hi-bir/ /Hib-ril/
/?akl^/ /ak-l+/ /ak-li+/ /a-kil/ /ak-lil/
/maSr^/ /maS-r+/ /maS-ri+/ /ma-Ser/ /mas-ril/
/ibn^/ /ib-n+/ /ib-ni+/ /i-bin/ /ib-nil/

(^=voiceless, + = syllabic, - (hyphen) = syllable division)

 In Egypt, #4 is not very common, although it occurs in several other
Arab countries, such as Lebanon and Kuwait. In #3, note that the vowel is
usually devoiced, and often barely audible. The less audible it is, the
more likely the preceding liquid or nasal is also devoiced.
 I feel that the devoicing of the glide or nasal when it is in coda
final position makes it less sonorant, and therefore more likely to
fit the SSP, although there is, as far as I know, no provisions currently for
voiceless liquids or nasals. A new hierarchy would need to be set up. Any

 I would also like to know how general the devoicing phenomenon is in
other dialects of Arabic, or any other languages that have these kinds of
consonant clusters (like French "metre", "quatre", or Russian "Piotr"). I know
these particular words devoice the /r/ in isolation, but does it voice when
followed by a vowel? Are there obstruent-l or obstruent-n or obstruent-m
clusters that do the same thing? Does it matter whether the obstruent is
voiced or not? In Egyptian Arabic, voiced obstruents will usually be followed
by devoiced liquids, and sometimes, but less frequently by devoiced nasals. In
these cases, the obstruent will frequently partially devoice itself. Is the
same true in other languages (or dialects)?

One other piece of information of interest: In Arabic, for as many words
having consonant clusters that violate the SSP, there are approximately as
many words having the reverse cluster (e.g. there are nearly as many words
having /-tr/ codas as there are with /-rt/ codas. Devoicing and epenthesis do
not occur with normal SSP order codas.

I will post a summary if I get enough replies.

Barbara Gould
Ball State University
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