LINGUIST List 7.108

Wed Jan 24 1996

Qs: Hostility Marker, Human Lang. Text, Relative Clause

Editor for this issue: Annemarie Valdez <>

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  1. George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin, measuring intensity of hostility in English
  2. "G. Tucker Childs", Query
  3. "Valery D. Solovyev",

Message 1: measuring intensity of hostility in English

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 13:33:14 +0600
From: George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin <>
Subject: measuring intensity of hostility in English
January 23, 1996

Last night, in a talk on the link between violent speech and violent acts,
I answered a question from the audience. Then it haunted me all night,
because although I would lay large odds that I am right, I'm so far out of
the Linguistness Loop that it may have been the wrong answer for decades.
To keep me from spreading false information in the future, would you help,

We were discussing the fact that the primary marker for hostility in spoken
English is phonetic stress, as in "If you really CARED about your grades,
YOU'D turn your work in on TIME once in a while!" The questioner wanted to
know what *unit* is used by phonologists et al. to measure hostile stresses
(a unit like a calorie or an erg.) I told him that no such unit exists and
that, furthermore, no *mechanism* exists for measuring hostile stress in
any reliable fashion.

I may be quite wrong; it wouldn't be the first time. If in fact this was
settled long ago, and if there is a "intensity of hostility measurement
unit" and a gizmo that applied it to actual spoken English, etc., I'd be
grateful to be set right.

I will of course post a summary if there are responses.

Suzette Haden Elgin
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Message 2: Query

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 20:30:25 EST
From: "G. Tucker Childs" <>
Subject: Query

A student has asked me if anyone knows of a study guide for the following
book. Please reply directly to:

					By: James Paul Gee

Thanks. - Tucker Childs	
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Message 3:

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 15:51:40 +0300
From: "Valery D. Solovyev" <>
Query: relative clause.

Dear Linguists,
I study relativization of noun groups. In the work of Keenan
and Comrie possibility of relativization of the six syntactic positions,
namely - subject, direct object, indirect object, oblique, genitive and
comparision - using two strategies was characterized in 49 languages.
I would be grateful if you could send me any information on other languages.

 I'm also interested in the following questions:

1. If in a language some relitivization strategy is not always
applicable to some position, in what terms the cases allowing such
application can be described?

For example, in the Tatar application of the case-free strategy is not
always possible. In the sentence

 John kibet-tan kitap aldi
 John a shop (ablative) a book bought
 "John bought a book in a shop"

the noun kibet "a shop" can be relativized:

 John kitap algan kibet
 John a book bought(participle) a shop
 "The shop, (in which) John bought a book"

On the other hand, in the sentence

 John Mary-dan kitap aldi
 John Mary(ablative) a book took
 "John took a book from Mary"

the noun "Mary" can't be relativized:
 * John kitap algan Mary,
which depends from agentive capabilities of an oblique.

2. Let's consider the case, when in a language some relativization
strategy is case-free, i.e. in the relative clause there exists no
element (usually a pronoun or pre- or postposition), pointing directly
on the syntactic position to be relativized. Then, what grammatical
means are used to determine, which position was relativized?

For instance, in the Turkish this goal is partly achieved by using a
participle form, together with posessive, in the relative clause -
the affix -yan is used, if a subject is relativized, and the affix -dig
is used otherwise.

Let's compare:

 kopek kovala-yan kiz
 a dog follow(participle1) a girl
 "the girl following a dog"

 kopek-un kovala-dig-i kiz
 a dog(genitive) follow(participle2, posessive) a girl
 "the girl followed by a dog".

 Valery Solovyev
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