LINGUIST List 6.599

Sat 22 Apr 1995

Qs: KWIC, Ergativity, NLP and Lang Extinction, Hide-N-Seek

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Annette McElligott *, KWIC Concordance Program
  2. Bert Peeters, Ergativity, Chamorro: Findings and a new question
  3. T M Ellison, Can NLP help maintaining language diversity?
  4. "Michael C. Beard", Hide-N-Seek

Message 1: KWIC Concordance Program

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 95 20:58:00 GMKWIC Concordance Program
From: Annette McElligott * <mcelligottaul.ie>
Subject: KWIC Concordance Program


I should appreciate any information regarding where I might locate a program
that concerns KWIC Concordance Program, running preferably on a PC.

Thanks in advance,
Annette McElligott,
mcelligottaul.ie
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Ergativity, Chamorro: Findings and a new question

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 14:08:04 Ergativity, Chamorro: Findings and a new question
From: Bert Peeters <Bert.Peetersmodlang.utas.edu.au>
Subject: Ergativity, Chamorro: Findings and a new question

My query regarding updates on Jeanne Gibson's claim that there
is no evidence for a distinction between unaccusativity and
unergativity in Chamorro did not yield any usable results. Sigh.
However, I'd like to report that, reading through the book notes in
*Language* 1990 (the things we do...), I stumbled across a BN on
Anne Cooreman's *Transitivity and discourse continuity in Chamorro
narratives*, by Thomas E. Payne (vol. 66:3, pp. 631-632). Payne reports
Cooreman as saying that - I quote - "ergativity in Chamorro (...) is
rather marginal, restricted to morphological marking in realis constructions
and certain complement clauses. Cooreman claims there is no evidence
of syntactic ergativity."
Now, here is a possibly dumb question from someone who knows more
about ergativity in superficially accusative languages than about the
same in ergative languages or anywhere else for that matter. The question
is: What's the difference between morphological and syntactic ergativity?
Hopefully, this one will get me a few answers. Please?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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: Bert.Peetersmodlang.utas.edu.au
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Can NLP help maintaining language diversity?

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 12:03:40 Can NLP help maintaining language diversity?
From: T M Ellison <markesofty.inesc.pt>
Subject: Can NLP help maintaining language diversity?


This request is particularly addressed to those linguists working with
languages in danger of extinction, but I would welcome responses from
any interested party. I suggest that respondees reply directly to me,
and I'll summarise for the list --- the usual request. And, in
advance, let me thank you for your help with these queries.

I would like to make a case for the proposition (call it P).

P=``Natural language processing (NLP) tools can assist in slowing, if not
 halting, the slide of individual languages towards extinction.''

By NLP tools, I include most computer programs designed to manipulate
language for the production/analysis/checking of speech or text: spelling
checkers, morphological analysers, syntactic parsers, on-line
dictionaries, speech recognition and generation software,
machine-assisted translation tools. For the purposes of this
discussion, I would prefer to exclude computer-aided learning (CALL),
and other didactic tools (for the purposes of this discussion).

Now for the questions. These are aimed at identifying (a) your
evaluation of proposition P, and (b) possible evidence for it.

Q1. Is P true? Can (any, some or all) NLP tools help keep languages
alive? If not, is there any role for technology in maintaining
language diversity?

Questions 2 and 3 are predicated on P being true.

Q2. Are there any NLP tools which have had a positive impact on the
survival of a language?

Q3. Which new tools (feel free to make them up, within reason) would
be of greatest assistance? This includes tools of a well-known kind
being instantiated for a particular language. Specific examples, such
as `Normalised spelling in Zamzyra would be easier to enforce if we
had spelling checkers using morphological analysers, because of the
complex morphophonemics in the language. Normalised spelling
conventions would help maintain sufficient literature in Zamzyra to
counteract the association of education and literature with language
Zobzob.'

Thankyou for your answers to these questions.

Mark Ellison
markespeech.inesc.pt
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Hide-N-Seek

Date: 20 Apr 95 12:12:44 EDT
From: "Michael C. Beard" <73131.3101compuserve.com>
Subject: Hide-N-Seek

I recently heard a variation of the 'all clear' call for Hide-n-seek. When I
was a kid, my friends and I called out 'All-ee all-ee in come free!' In my
linguistic mindset, I now assume that derived from 'all ye, all ye, in come
free'. My wife, however, used to say 'all-ee all-ee oxen free!', and I
understand other people use that variation as well.

Does anybody have a clue about the derivation of the 'all clear' call? Did the
game originate in the streets of London by imitating a town crier's 'all ye, all
ye...'? Is this a sample of regional dialectalism? I'd be interested in your
input.

Mike Beard
Wayne State University, Detroit MI
73131.3101compuserve.com
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue