LINGUIST List 6.671

Sat 13 May 1995

Qs: Conflict talk, Mongolian, Lg and thought, Register

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  1. Megan Mann, Conflict Talk Reference Query
  2. , Q: Mongolian /g/
  3. , Verbal vs. visual thought
  4. mai kuha, Wanted: readings on situational variation

Message 1: Conflict Talk Reference Query

Date: Sun, 07 May 1995 20:00:14 Conflict Talk Reference Query
From: Megan Mann <megan_mann.121201muwaye.unimelb.edu.au>
Subject: Conflict Talk Reference Query

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I am doing a research project focusing on sociolinguistic strategies for
disagreeing and conflict talk in Australian Eng. Can anyone recommend
 a) any interesting references or any completed or current
research in this area ? (not necessarily just Aust. Eng.)

 b) any relevent academic sites on the Internet ?

Much appreciated,

Megan Mann
University of Melbourne
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Message 2: Q: Mongolian /g/

Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 13:17:32 -Q: Mongolian /g/
From: <JPKIRCHNERaol.com>
Subject: Q: Mongolian /g/

Mongolian (Buck 1955, and others) has an epenthetic /g/ in the noun paradigm,
which comes between a stem-final long vowel and a suffix-initial long vowel.
 (As I've seen in other languages, a stem-final short vowel elides with the
long suffix vowel.) A crosslinguistic examination of intervocalic consonant
epenthesis I've been doing seems to show /g/ to be an eccentric choice for
such a stem-final hiatus breaker (more usual are glides and coronal
obstruents). Does anyone know the historical source of this Mongolian /g/?
 My guess is that it may be a strengthened /j/, but on the other hand, it
could just be unusual.

James Kirchner
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Message 3: Verbal vs. visual thought

Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 13:17:35 -Verbal vs. visual thought
From: <JPKIRCHNERaol.com>
Subject: Verbal vs. visual thought

Over the last decade or so, I've been running into people who profess to
believe that thought is impossible without language, and seem baffled at the
idea that anyone could think without words. One person (a theologian) went
so far as to claim that her thoughts took a form "exactly like a verbal
dialogue with myself" (seems to me like a slow way to think!) while another
(a psychologist) said that, "Yes, they are discovering now that some people
may have non-verbal modes of thought."

This is all news to me, because I had always assumed speaking and writing to
be a process of translating mental visuals into words (and when you learn a
new language, you get a new set of pictures; I have at least five different
"dog" pictures in my head). In art school I sat around and had discussions
with classmates about this, and we even had such visuals for abstractions,
and often our mental pictures for more concrete things did not look at all
like the things themselves. Talking to writers has also yielded attestations
of visual-into-verbal processing.

What do linguists say? Has this ever been studied? The assertion that there
is no thought without language, to me, seems tantamount to saying that babies
can't think!

(BTW, no one who is interested in responding should let English stop them.
 If you don't like English, try some Romance, Slavic or other Germanic
language.)

James Kirchner
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Message 4: Wanted: readings on situational variation

Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 17:34:10 -Wanted: readings on situational variation
From: mai kuha <mkuhasilver.ucs.indiana.edu>
Subject: Wanted: readings on situational variation

Dear linguists,

Next semester, I'll be teaching a 200-level introductory course on
language variation to nonmajors. I believe I will have adequate
reading materials on social variation (regional dialects, genderlects,
etc.) but I haven't found any readings I really like on situational
variation.

Could you suggest a chapter or article (appropriate for students without
background) that discusses register and/or jargon and slang? I'd
appreciate any ideas.

Thank you for your help!

Mai Kuha
Indiana University, Bloomington
mkuhasilver.ucs.indiana.edu
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