Tue 10 Jan 1995

Qs: Ethiopian lgs, Speech Accomodation, Greenberg, Levin on-line

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Eugeniusz Rzewuski, Bibliographic references on two dictionaries of Ethiopian lgs
  2. "Sebastian Adorjan Dyhr", Speech Accomodation Theory
  3. , Evidence against Greenberg?
  4. Pete Whitelock, B. Levin's book on-line

Message 1: Bibliographic references on two dictionaries of Ethiopian lgs

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 16:37:12 CEBibliographic references on two dictionaries of Ethiopian lgs
From: Eugeniusz Rzewuski <>
Subject: Bibliographic references on two dictionaries of Ethiopian lgs

QUERY: Bibliographic references on two dictionaries of Ethiopian lgs
Dear netters,
Who knows precise references for:
Thomas KANE, The Amharic-English Dictionary .....
Wolf LESLAU, The Geez (?Giiz) - English Dictionary ...
including ISBN and approximate price ????
I will be much grateful for help, we need urgently to order these two dictionar
ies for a research project. Sorry for me posting such a minute query - we do n
ot have efficient services on bibliographic references and remote logging-in
to on-line catalogues - yet.
Thanks in advance for answering directly to my e-address.

Eugeniusz Rzewuski E-mail: RZEWUSKIPLEARN.Bitnet

Warsaw University
Institute of Oriental Studies
Dep. of African Languages and Cultures
PL-00927 Warszawa 64; Poland
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Message 2: Speech Accomodation Theory

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 11:02:36 Speech Accomodation Theory
From: "Sebastian Adorjan Dyhr" <>
Subject: Speech Accomodation Theory

Dear Linguists,
I'm posting this for one of my fellow students, who isn't on the list.
Please reply directly to me.

Dear Fellow Linguists (especially those of you interested in
 I am planning to trg to use Giles'(and his associates') Speech
Accomodation Theory for carrying out an analysis of a conversation in
terms of convergence/divergence. The theory seems to me to be a very
promising framework for dealing with conversations between members of
different groups, and/or between people who don't know each other (and
haven't yet established their common 'code'). However, the material
available to me is conversations between people who 1) belong to the
same in-group, 2) know each other quite well (they are classmates)
and 3) share the same reference groups, or potential 'background'
groups. That means that these people are already converging - so it
is, as far as I can see, not possible to go into the conversation and
locate the spots where they converge, and very difficult to find any
divergence at all.
 My questions to you are the following:
1) Do you know any examples of SAT-based analyses of
intragroup conversations?
2) Is the theory really incapable of dealing with conversations
wherein there is no salient differences in the participants' group
membership? If yes, can it be modified in a reasonable way to deal
with these conversations - what do you think??

More generally, I would also like to hear from you if you have ever
tried to use SAT linguistically - it is, after all, a social
psychological theory, and most of the literature on it seems to be
psychology rather than sociolinguistics. As a linguist I am looking
for accomodation on levels of analysis ranging from phonetics over
syntax and lexicon to pragmatics and discourse analysis - I am _not_
interested in speech rates!

 Thank you, Anette Nielsen.
 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ :-) (-| ;-} +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ Sebastian Adorjan Dyhr +
+ Department of Linguistics Ydunsvej 12 +
+ Aarhus University 8230 Aabyhoej +
+ Bygning 327 Denmark +
+ Nordre Ringgade + 45 86 15 02 48 +
+ 8000 Aarhus C +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++ :-) (-| ;-} +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Message 3: Evidence against Greenberg?

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 21:02 -05Evidence against Greenberg?
From: <>
Subject: Evidence against Greenberg?

Awhile back, Geoffrey Pullum asked what would count as evidence against
Greenberg's Amerindian hypothesis. A similar question came up a few years
ago in human genetics, concerning the so-called "Eve hypothesis". Analysis
of mitochondrial DNA sequences from a group of ethnically diverse humans
was taken to imply that all the modern-day DNA sequences could be traced
back to a single woman who had lived in Africa on the order of 100,000
years ago. The hypothesis lost credibility with most researchers, as I
understand it, when it was shown that the same data was at least as simply
accounted for by other hypotheses, including the evolution of Homo sapiens
sapiens in multiple parts of the world. (Michael Brown, in the book "The
Search for Eve", has written a readable account of this controversy.)

Perhaps the best evidence against Greenberg's hypothesis would be to show
that his methods, when applied *in the same way* to randomly chosen samples
of languages of the Earth (including some Amerindian languages), group them
in the same way and with the same degree of (un)certainty as those methods
group Amerindian languages (less the Athabaskan languages) together. (I
put the stars around "in the same way" because one can easily distort
someone else's methods.) As I understand it, some people have tried
applying Greenberg's method to one Amerindian language and one other
language (Finnish was one such, I believe), but I have never heard of a
large-scale comparison being done in this way. (And I believe Greenberg
says his method is best used for mass comparison, not one-on-one.)

It would be a big project. Perhaps a PhD thesis?
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Message 4: B. Levin's book on-line

Date: Fri, 23 Dec 94 11:05:19 GMB. Levin's book on-line
From: Pete Whitelock <>
Subject: B. Levin's book on-line

This request concerns the book
"English Verb Classes and Alternations", by Beth Levin, Chicago, 1993.

Is there a machine-readable version of the book available? Better still,
is there a database version? If not, it would be possible and useful to
create one. If Chicago were prepared to make the tapes available, the
resulting database could also be distributed in the community.
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