LINGUIST List 7.1119

Wed Aug 7 1996

Qs: Estuary English, Initial vowels, Tagged Brown Corpus

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>

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. Pia Kohlmyr, Estuary English
  2. John Atkinson, Query: Initial vowels
  3. "Bethany K. Dumas", Tagged Brown Corpus

Message 1: Estuary English

Date: Tue, 06 Aug 1996 08:49:22 +0200
From: Pia Kohlmyr <>
Subject: Estuary English

Fellow netters,

Is there anyone out there who knows of the latest discussions,
articles or books on Estuary English? I'd be very grateful to find out
what's going on since I'm to give a small lecture on the subject but
haven't followed the discussion for quite some time.I have read Paul
Coggle's book "Do you speak Estuary? (1993), D. Rosewarne's articles
in English Today 1994,and John Wells' "Can we codify Estuary English?"
but anything of the recent debate in the papers and further
investigations or recent findings would be interesting. By the way,
what do YOU know about it and (if you're British) how do YOU feel
about this 'dialect'?


Pia Kohlmyr

Mrs Pia Kohlmyr (PhD student) Phone: Int +46 (0)31 773 17 83
Gothenburg University E-mail:
Department of English Fax: Int +46 (0)31 773 47 26
S-412 98 Gothenburg
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Message 2: Query: Initial vowels

Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 10:12:22 +1000
From: John Atkinson <>
Subject: Query: Initial vowels
Here's another question, the reverse of Carsten Preust's yesterday
regarding the existence of final-consonant-only languages:

A fair number of languages in the world (including many Australian
languages) admit only consonants (including w and y) at the 
beginning of words. Does any one of you know of languages in which
all words and/or syllables must begin with a vowel?

[I know of one which comes close -- the Central Paman language 
Kunjen, with dialects Olgol and Oyganyand (from Cape York Peninsula, 
northern Queensland, Australia). In this language, all words start 
with vowels, with the following exceptions:
 Some interjections
 Recent borrowings (mostly from Cape York creole)
 Kin terms have a reduplicated, consonant-first form -- thus,
 'mamang' ('mum', 'my mother') from 'amangar' ('mother')]

Are there initial-vowel-only languages elsewhere in the world?

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Message 3: Tagged Brown Corpus

Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 08:55:41 EDT
From: "Bethany K. Dumas" <>
Subject: Tagged Brown Corpus
I have just received the good news that our library has (finally!) 
approved funds for the purchase of an electronic version of the tagged
Brown Corpus. However, I have been asked to try to identify a
version other than the 9-channel one. In particular, our library would
like to be able to receive the corpus via ftp for installation on the
library server. If you have information about such availability or other
technical information that would help us, please email me. I'll be glad to
summarize private replies for the list.

I would also be interested in hearing how other listmembers have made use
of the corpus with students.

Here is the message I received:

- ---begin inserted message-----
Dr. Dumas, we are making plans for ordering the Tagged Brown Corpus,
later this year when we begin the next round of Lindsay Young purchasing.

The corpus is available on 9-channel tape, which is a nonstandard format
for us. We must decide how to handle it, especially since using the
"computing center" now has the potential to incur additional costs.

Please let me know how you envisioned using it. Will students be
assigned, or is it a research title that will be used primarily by a few
faculty and/or graduate students. If students will seek it, can you
estimate the number that might be involved?

This information will assist us in deciding how and where in the libraries
to offer the database. Any other information you can provide about your
experience with the database or plans for its use will help us.
- ---end inserted message-----


Bethany K. Dumas, J.D., Ph.D.	Applied Linguistics, Language & Law
Department of English		EMAIL:
415 McClung Tower		(423) 974-6965, (423) 974-6926 (FAX)
University of Tennessee		Editor, Language in the Judicial Process
Knoxville, TN 37996-0430 USA	<>;
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