LINGUIST List 6.823

Sat Jun 17 1995

Qs: German, Nostratic, Romanization, Chinese Errors, Shoebox

Editor for this issue: John H. Remmers <>


  1. , Re: 6.793, Qs: Mohawk, Russian, Banning of German I. Mel'cuk
  2. Terri Lander, romanizations
  3. Alison Moore, Nostratic
  4. Gerard Gautier, Typical errors of chinese students in french
  5. Vladimir Rykov, Shoebox

Message 1: Re: 6.793, Qs: Mohawk, Russian, Banning of German I. Mel'cuk

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 13:10:38 Re: 6.793, Qs: Mohawk, Russian, Banning of German I. Mel'cuk
From: <>
Subject: Re: 6.793, Qs: Mohawk, Russian, Banning of German I. Mel'cuk

 Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 01:44:22 -0400
 Subject: Q: German banned in Iowa

 I've recently received a message from a man who claims that during World War
 I, the use of German and other languages was made "illegal" in the state of
 Iowa by decree of the governor. This is very interesting to me, since my own
 family's stories of anti-German discrimination in Michigan at that time are
 limited to a snide remark or two about our surname. Below is the relevant
 part of the man's message. Can anyone vouch for the veracity of what he

 James Kirchner

 )Here in Iowa where I grew up most household language was a >foreign
 language the early part of this century. The public
 )schools were English of course. My uncle went to a local
 )"German" school which was a parochial school. It was
 )necessary because all the German Lutheran Church liturgy and >Bibles were in
 Luther's German so the Plattdeutsch speaking
 )people had to go to school to learn it. World War I ended that. >The Iowa
 governor issued a proclamation banning the speaking)of any foreign language
 in public places. Phone operators were)instructed to pull the plug on any
 non English telephone
 )conversations. Party line patrons were to hold the telephone
 )receiver up to the mouth piece so the resulting whistling
 )would interfere with non English speech. All modern language >instruction
 was dropped from school curriculums. A blow
 )from which the school system never really recovered.
 )Newspapers published reports of people arrested on the
 )street for speaking German. This was a real hardship on older >immigrants.
 All German language newspapers were
 )suppressed. Our rural county had German papers at one time.
 )In fact the editor of one was once elected the county
 )treasurer. This day and age it is all somewhat embarrassing. I >stumbled on
 to the fact that the State of Iowa organized what)amounted to a secret
 police agency. The state formed an
 )agency whose purpose was to investigate acts of disloyalty.
 )They were given the power to levy fines and imprison people
 )for the duration of the war without benefit of trial. America's >active
 participation was relatively short lived so the agency)was not around long.
 It would make an interesting research
 )paper sometime if any records still exist.

This happened in several midwest states. The issue reached the
supreme court in the early 20's in the case "Meyer vs. Nebraska", the
court ruled against Nebraska, effectively eliminating the laws.

Frank Anshen
Dept of Linguistics
State U of NY
Stony Brook, NY 11794
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Message 2: romanizations

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 11:57:00 romanizations
From: Terri Lander <>
Subject: romanizations

I am looking for references for "linguisitcally minded" and/or
standard romanizations to be used to produce orthographies of the
following languages:


All characters used in the romanization must be found on a standard
keyboard. There needs to be a mapping between the original
orthography and the romanization--the romanization can contain more
linguistic "smarts" than the original orthography.

I'll post a summary of responses if it seems appropriate.

So far I've been looking at:

 For Arabic if have been looking at the romanization used in
 the "English-Arabic Conversational Dictionary" by Richard
 Jaschke, which claims to be "one of the best pocket guides to
 Arabic ever published"

 LSHK (Linguistic Society of Hong Kong, 1993) (I'm leaning
 toward this one...)
 Sidney Lau

 Hangul (I like this one...anyone ever had any negative
 experience with it?)

 I don't have much for this but a little book called
 "Colloquial Persian" by Leila Moshiri.

 no reference, but i have made what i think may be a decent there a standard? none of the native
 speakers in my neck of the woods seems to know of one...

 pretty empty here.....

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Message 3: Nostratic

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 10:39:02 Nostratic
From: Alison Moore <>
Subject: Nostratic


I have some queries about the (proto?)language Nostratic. Does anyone
know who coined this name, and when? What is the term's etymology?
Is it used both as a noun and an adjective? Are there other terms for
the language? Variant spellings? And finally . . . what exactly is
Nostratic? What would be a good dictionary definition?


Alison Moore
Macquarie Dictionary, Sydney, Australia
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Message 4: Typical errors of chinese students in french

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 19:37:38 Typical errors of chinese students in french
From: Gerard Gautier <>
Subject: Typical errors of chinese students in french

 Hello all !

 For the international conference of teachers of french language which
is to be held in Tokyo (Japan), next august 1996, I have proposed an
intervention about the typical errors made by intermediate chinese
learners in french compositions.
 The idea is to start to collect erroneous sentenses and use them to
elaborate _"grammatical activities"_ which could be added to our
(unadaptated) manuals to try to avoid those problems _by advance_...

 The linguistic attache to whom I submitted my proposal suggested I
first verify that no study of this kind has been made already...
Otherwise, i should better _use_ it than _repeat_ it...

 So, if anyone knows about such a study, I would be interested to get
its references. (I would also be interested more generally about studies
about typical errors in sentence structures from asiatic learners in
spanish, italian, or english, although more from a methodological point
of view...)

 Thanks !

 Teacher of french in Taiwan

 PS : Obviously, if the interest in this question is large enough, I will
 post an abstract back !

WEN-TZAO School | \| // Gerard Gautier
 of Foreign Languages | /\ \| .. \| \
 | | __> | _/\_> o___>
KAOHSIUNG - TAIWAN _/ _/.. _/ (_S .. _/
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Message 5: Shoebox

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 10:51:43 Shoebox
From: Vladimir Rykov <>
Subject: Shoebox

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 I use Shoebox 2.0 version here in Moscow.
 But using only manual - it's not easy to set up some
 little tasks. I need:

 - to lemmatize the words in a text (Russ example - replacing -ego with -
 - to extract from the text the words containing in DB
 - replace these words with codes from the same DB record.

 Can anyone help me - how to do it?

 Linguistic Institute
 M M Moscow
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