LINGUIST List 6.618

Fri 28 Apr 1995

Qs: Schwidetzky, IPA font, Phonological rules, Mod Hebrew

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  1. , Query: Georg Schwidetzky
  2. Charles Mattfeldt, IPA Font for PC
  3. , Dissimilation and Autosegmental Phonology
  4. Vincent DeCaen, Q? Mod.Hebrew informants

Message 1: Query: Georg Schwidetzky

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 95 09:18:50 -0Query: Georg Schwidetzky
From: <>
Subject: Query: Georg Schwidetzky

During the 1930's (and until at least 1941), one Georg Schwidetzky was
apparently the head of "Die Deutsche Gesellschaft fu"r Tier- und
Ursprachen-Forschung zu Leipzig." The ambitions of this group's
research program make current work on proto-world seem rather narrow:
they wanted to reconstruct the presumed ancestral language of all
higher primates, among other things. Only one of Schwidetzky's works
("Sprechen Sie Schimpansisch?" in an English translation) ever
appeared outside of Germany, as far as I know.

Anyway, over the years I've managed to find several of the
publications of Schwidetzky and his group, and I've decided it's about
time I tried to figure out a bit more about the historical context.
So, does any Linguist reader know anything about this? Also, I have
their "Schriften" numbers 1-10 and 13-14: does anyone have (or have
access to) 11 ("Die Fu"hrerschulen der Wissenschaft und das Heilige
Buch der Deutschen") or 12 ("Das Haus der Sprache") or anything later?

I'd be grateful for any information from anyone who knows something
about this little by-way in the history of linguistics.

--Steve Anderson
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Message 2: IPA Font for PC

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 14:15:10 IPA Font for PC
From: Charles Mattfeldt <>
Subject: IPA Font for PC

Hello! I am in need of some help. Can anyone tell me where I can purchase
or otherwise obtain an IPA font for a PC? I have tried all of the local
computer stores and whenever I mention IPA to the clerks their response
is always a blank stare. If you know where I can get one please tell me.

Charles Mattfeldt, Linguist, U of U
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Message 3: Dissimilation and Autosegmental Phonology

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 17:40 -05Dissimilation and Autosegmental Phonology
From: <>
Subject: Dissimilation and Autosegmental Phonology

Reading Morris Halle's article in Linguistic Inquiry ("Feature Geometry and
Feature Spreading", 26(1)) reminded me of a question that's bothered me for
awhile. It concerns the idea that many phonological rules are actually
feature spreading rules. This works fine for assimilation rules, but what
about dissimilation rules? As Halle says (footnote 14, page 27), "...the
dissimilatory property of the Melodic Dissimilation rule informally stated
above cannot be expressed formally as a node-spreading process; rather, it
requires the use of variables as feature coefficients." The rule in
question changes a suffix vowel from [a back] to [-a back] if the stem
vowel is [a back], but so far as I can tell, *all* dissimilation rules will
have this property.

What phonology seems to be coming to is a (more or less motivated) typology
of rules: feature spreading rules for assimilation, metrical structure
building rules for stress assignment, delinking rules for deletion of
segments (and perhaps unlicensed features), feature filling rules for
assignment of unmarked feature values, etc. This could be viewed as an
improvement in the theory, insofar as it represents a way of restricting
the options the language learner must consider. The fly in the ointment is
that if SPE-era rules (specifically, alpha variable rules) are still
available, then the theory doesn't seem to be any stronger than before: the
left hand is giving back everything the right hand took away. Am I missing
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Message 4: Q? Mod.Hebrew informants

Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 21:50:44 Q? Mod.Hebrew informants
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q? Mod.Hebrew informants

I'm looking for native informants of Modern Israeli Hebrew on the
LINGUIST list who can be consulted from time to time.

p.s. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what text they use for intro
linguistics in the Israeli academies: just curious.
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