LINGUIST List 6.726

Wed 24 May 1995

Disc: Possessives, Lx in Science Fiction, Official Lang of USA

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Oesten Dahl, 6.701, Possessives
  2. , Linguistics in Science Fiction / genderless languages
  3. Elsa Lattey, official language

Message 1: 6.701, Possessives

Date: Sun, 21 May 1995 17:55:48 6.701, Possessives
From: Oesten Dahl <Osten.Dahltele.su.se>
Subject: 6.701, Possessives

Benji Wald writes, in connection with constructions with 's in English:
) I mean what other language has things
)like "the girl I'm thinking of'S boyfriend"?
Swedish does. The genitive "s" ending behaves very similarly in Swedish and
English, and "flickan jag taenker paa's pojkvaen" is clearly possible in
spoken language. But we don't get the "a friend of John's" cases, though.
Oesten Dahl
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Message 2: Linguistics in Science Fiction / genderless languages

Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 12:47:35 Linguistics in Science Fiction / genderless languages
From: <GYORIGbtk.jpte.hu>
Subject: Linguistics in Science Fiction / genderless languages

On May 9 Ande Ciecierski (ciecierskiroutledge.com) wrote:

 I'm surprised no one has mentioned _Woman on the Edge of Time_ by
 Marge Piercy. In it, a woman travels to a future time in which there
 are no more gender-specific pronouns. They use "per" for he and she
 (and his and hers if I'm remembering correctly). It was confusing at
 first, but by the end of the book, I found myself wanting to use it in
 conversation. It was a good read.

This phenomenon is not just science fiction. Hungarian has no gender
specific pronouns, simply because it has no gender distinction at
all. Does anyone know about similar languages? (As far as I know this
goes for all Uralic and maybe also for the Turkic languages.)

Gabor Gyori
(gyorigbtk.jpte.hu)

Dept. of English
Janus Pannonius University
Pecs, Hungary
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Message 3: official language

Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 18:32:11 official language
From: Elsa Lattey <elsa.latteyuni-tuebingen.de>
Subject: official language


Just to set the record straight: What A. Stenzel
attributed to "Elsa Lattey adds that..." in his
summary regarding the Muhlenberg legend was part
of a quote I sent him, duly attributed to the
source: Shirley Brice Heath "English in our language
heritage" in Ferguson, Charles A. & Shirley Brice Heath.
Language in the USA. Cambridge Univ. Press. 1981, p.9.

Elsa Lattey
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