LINGUIST List 6.541

Tue 11 Apr 1995

Qs: Talk-shows, Tok Masta, Ibn Fadlan manuscript, Possessives

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  1. Bettina Seifried, talk-shows
  2. JAKOB LADEFOGED, Sources on Tok Masta - Foreigner Talk of New Guinea
  3. "Melia M. E. Brush", Ibn Fadlan manuscript
  4. "WIEDRICK. JACK T", this little light of mine...

Message 1: talk-shows

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 15:49:27 +talk-shows
From: Bettina Seifried <>
Subject: talk-shows

Dear subscribers,
I am currently involved in a doctoral research project on television
talk-shows from a pragmatic-conversational analytical perspective. I
would like to define this genre of television talk from its ways of
communicating and the respective activity types on a micro-level of
My focus is on talk-shows involving everyday people rather than celebrities
(e.g. Oprah Winfrey, Rolonda etc.).
I would be grateful for information on related research projects anywhere
in the world.

Bettina Seifried
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Message 2: Sources on Tok Masta - Foreigner Talk of New Guinea

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 1995 15:53 +01Sources on Tok Masta - Foreigner Talk of New Guinea
Subject: Sources on Tok Masta - Foreigner Talk of New Guinea

I am posting this for a fellow student who is not on the list.
She seeks references of sources of the so-called "Tok Masta", the Foreigner
Talk of Europeans on New Guinea (Probably, I guess, involved in the genesis
of, but still to be kept apart from, Tok Pisin).

She would be especially interested in where to get actual examples of Tok
Masta. So far her main source - not containing examples - is an article by
Peter Muelhaeusler (1981) "Foreigner Talk: Tok Masta in New Guinea" in
'International Journal of Sociology of Language - 28", pp. 93-113.

If anyone out there have information/references, I (she) would be grateful
if you send it to my private e-mail adress - We will then post a summary,
if there seems to be any interest for that.

Thank you in advance.

Jakob Ladefoged
Student of Linguistics, (pt.) Universiteit van Amsterdam,
The Netherlands
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Message 3: Ibn Fadlan manuscript

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 09:50:50 -Ibn Fadlan manuscript
From: "Melia M. E. Brush" <>
Subject: Ibn Fadlan manuscript


 A student in Colorado is looking for the following sources, some
of which may be unpublished, to aid her in research on an Arab manuscript
by Ibn Fadlan. If you know how these or other helpful sources can be
accessed, please email Any English
translation would be suitable.

1) "An Annotated Bibliography of References to the Manuscript of
 Ibn Fadlan from 1794 to 1970", _Acta Archaeologica_, 1971.
 E. Berndt and R. H. Berndt

2) _Byzantia--Metabyzantia: A Journal of Byzantine and Modern
 Greek Studies_, 1947, New York.
 Trans. by Robert Blake and Richard Frye

3) "A Histor of Warfare" Amin Razi manuscript, J. H. Emerson papers,
 Archives University Library, Oslo, Norway.
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Message 4: this little light of mine...

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 22:19:47 Gthis little light of mine...
Subject: this little light of mine...

The other day I was having a conversation in which the topic of
the phenomenon of multiple genitives in postmodifying expressions of
head nominals came up. (Pretty effective jargon, eh? Thought I'd
scare away as many as I could to cut down the burden on my mailbox!)
That is, expressions of the type "this house _of mine_", where
possession seems to be redundantly marked. I realize this is no
unusual thing in terms of language in general, but I'm curious about
its development and history in English and I'm wondering if anyone
has done any work on these.
Consider the following contrastive examples:
 John's house (1 gen) vs *a house of John (1 gen)
 vs a house of John's (2 gens)
 the king's verdict vs a verdict of the king
 vs a verdict of the king's
 my friend vs *a friend of me
 vs a friend of mine
 your friend vs *a friend of you
 vs *a friend of your
 vs a friend of yours (3 gens!)
 love's labors vs labors of love
 vs ?labors of love's
 this house's electricity vs the electricity of this house
 *the electricity of this house's

After reviewing these examples, I get the feeling that whether or not
something can be marked for possession more than once depends
somewhat upon whether or not the possessor is volitional, or can be
perceived as volitional. Note that pronouns require (at least)
double marking, and so do proper names, except in cases like "the
House of Tudor" (not "*the House of Tudor's"). In cases like "the
verdict of the king('s)" above, it seems that the change in
nuance hinges on whether the possessor is the king himself or whether
it is simply the office of the king (cf. "the house of the governor"
meaning "the house that all governors, and not any specific one, once
elected, will live in for the duration of their term").
I would like to hear of any other thoughts or prior research on this
Thanks in advance for your help.
Jack Wiedrick
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