LINGUIST List 7.1062

Tue Jul 23 1996

Qs: AAVE, Child's ergativity, Contextual grammars

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Rachel Lagunoff, Query: AAVE pronunciation
  2. Vincent DeCaen, Q? child's ergativity?
  3., Contextual Grammars

Message 1: Query: AAVE pronunciation

Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 14:28:07 BST
From: Rachel Lagunoff <>
Subject: Query: AAVE pronunciation

How is the acronym AAVE (African American Vernacular English)

Rachel Lagunoff

"In those days, I was trying to write my dissertation. Before you
become a professor, you have to write a book which is boring enough so
that even you cannot bear to read it over. Once you have done this,
you are free to write as you please, but can't."

- Mark Helprin, A Vermont Tale
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Message 2: Q? child's ergativity?

Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 11:34:04 EDT
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q? child's ergativity?

As my 4-yr old daughter gets ready for junior kindergarten, she's
finally making the switch to the English case system. previously, she
insisted on an ergative system--which still puzzles me, because I
can't see a source for it.

only if the event were bounded and strongly transitive would she use
"she". otherwise, the pronoun was "her" (and of course, trying to
correct this was useless). "her's sick" "her's going to the store".
similarly "him's sick" etc.

I wish I had kept a record of this with some hard data, but alas. my
question is this: I make the simple assumption that her ergative
hypothesis has a basis in UG, not English. so what do we know about
case acquisition, ergativity and UG principles and parameters that
might account for this?

just very curious.

Vincent DeCaen			 	 	 <>
Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative

c/o Deparment of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Ave., 3d floor, University of Toronto
Toronto ON, M5S 1A1 CANADA

We must bridge over the gap between producers and consumers with
brotherly love. Otherwise, society will never be saved; but
depression, panic and unemployment will go on forever.
		--Toyohiko Kagawa, Brotherhood Economics (1936)
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Message 3: Contextual Grammars

Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 16:04:53 +0700
From: <>
Subject: Contextual Grammars
Contextual Grammars

We are interested in names of people who have investigated contextual
grammars, be it from a linguistical or from a mathematical viewpoint.

Any other information about contextual grammars will also be

- ---------------------------------

Kai Differt and Martin Kappes
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet
Fachbereich Informatik (20)
Postfach 11 19 32
D - 60054 Frankfurt am Main

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