LINGUIST List 6.689

Mon 15 May 1995

Qs: Interjection, Nerlich/Clarke articles, Parser, S-A Eng

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , exclamation "mmmmm!"
  2. Jerome Serme, Journal of Literary Semantics
  3. Phil Bralich, Need a lexicon
  4. Petur Knutsson, Q: S-African inversion?

Message 1: exclamation "mmmmm!"

Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 17:48:46 -exclamation "mmmmm!"
From: <>
Subject: exclamation "mmmmm!"


I am seeking information on how different languages render the exclamation
or interjection "mmmmm!", used to signify that something (food or beverage)
tastes good.

"Glosses" (if that's an appropriate use!) from all languages are welcomed,
but I'm particularly interested in Romance, Greek, Japanese, and Arabic.
If the language in question uses a non-Latin alphabet writing system, please
transliterate (preferably with explanations as to the proper spelling --
what diacritics are needed, if vowel length is marked, etc.). Also, any
languages of India would be of interest -- particularly Dravidian ones.

Please reply to me, and (if it seems interesting), I will summarize for the

(Also, please note I am looking for the *interjection*, not an adjective
meaning 'tasty' or 'delicious'. Thanks.)

Thank you in advance,
Keith Goeringer
UC Berkeley
Slavic Languages & Literatures
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Message 2: Journal of Literary Semantics

Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 14:41:31 +Journal of Literary Semantics
From: Jerome Serme <>
Subject: Journal of Literary Semantics

I am trying to locate two articles dealing with semantic change which
 have been published in the Journal of Literary Semantics. Both articles
 have been written by Brigitte Nerlich and David Clarke, and appeared in
 issues # 18/3 (1989) and # 17/2 (1988). Unfortunately, the local libraries
 down here do not receive this Journal, and I was wondering if it could be
 consulted on the net or if anybody could send me copies of them. Any clue
 to my problem will be welcome.

Jerome Serme
Dynamique du Langage
Maison Rhone-Alpes des Sciences de l'Homme
14, avenue Berthelot
69363 Lyon Cedex - FRANCE
Phone: +33 72 72 64 08 - +33 72 72 64 12
=46ax: +33 72 80 00 08
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Message 3: Need a lexicon

Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 17:43:39 Need a lexicon
From: Phil Bralich <bralichuhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Need a lexicon

I am involved in the development of a parser for Englishbased on a
theory of syntax developed by myself and Derek Bickerton of the University of
Hawaii. We are very satisfied with out very early results, but we want
to experiment with it on larger texts. To do this we need to have a
larger lexicon. We do have a limited budget available to us, but we
would like to have a very thorough knowledge of what is available.
We would like to find a lexicon of the highest level of development
possible. We would prefer to work with it in C or C++, but other
languages may be acceptable. We, of course, need to specify lexical
features, but we are not interested in meanings or semantics other than
that which is necessary for basic grammatical functions. The more
work that is done already, the more we can afford to take from our
budget to pay for it.

Please contact me at:

Phil Bralich
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Message 4: Q: S-African inversion?

Date: Sun, 14 May 1995 13:21:40 Q: S-African inversion?
From: Petur Knutsson <>
Subject: Q: S-African inversion?

One of my students (English Department, Univ. of Iceland) has
Icelandic parents, but was raised in South Africa. S-African
English is her L1 and her Icelandic is very primitive. When
writing English, she appears to use S-V inversion following
initial APs, at least in some contexts. She writes (in an exam
in an introductory course in linguistics, what else?):

'On the other hand is the animal language non-arbitrary in that ...'

This would be a typical interference mistake for Icelandic students,
but I don't think her Icelandic is strong enough for that. My
uniformed guess is that this is an Afrikaans sub-stratum effect in
South African English. Can anybody tell me whether it is an
established feature of S-A English? And/or give me references?

Thanks in advance.

Petur Knutsson telephone: (+354) 569 4456
Heimspekideild/Faculty of Arts fax: (+354) 569 4410
University of Iceland, Rekjavik email:
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