LINGUIST List 7.1718

Thu Dec 5 1996

Qs: Verb classes, Hebrew statives, dictionary, Russian change

Editor for this issue: Susan Robinson <>

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. Adrian Clynes, Verb classes
  2. Vincent DeCaen, Q? Hebrew statives?
  3. Marion Gunn, dictionary (definition)
  4. Volkmar Engerer, Communication in Russian enterprises

Message 1: Verb classes

Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 16:21:46 +0800
From: Adrian Clynes <>
Subject: Verb classes

I'm trying to trace a paper which argued something to the effect that
if you looked closely at the syntactic behaviour of English verbs, you
end up with 'about 12,000' different verb classes rather than, say,
'transitive verbs' vs 'intransitive'. I think it was published in
Language in the late 70's. I'd be grateful if you can help me track
down that article, or similar work. Even better would be similar
argumentation applying to the structure of the lexicon: _against_ the
view that (say in English, but the language doesn't matter) with
respect to constraint domains, the lexicon can be neatly partitioned
into 'native lexis', 'romance loanwords', 'germanic loans', 'greek
loans', and so on. With thanks,

Adrian Clynes
Dept of English & Applied Linguistics			
Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei					
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Message 2: Q? Hebrew statives?

Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 09:43:14 EST
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q? Hebrew statives?

I'm looking for any work at all on the lexical aspect of the so-called
Modern Hebrew statives, how they interact with grammatical tense and
aspect, how they relate to the corresponding adjectives. so I'm
especially interested in the contrast between zaqanti and gadalti on
the one hand and the related zaqen and gadol. I will be grateful for
any leads, even if written in Modern Hebrew. thanks.


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


Never be diverted from the truth by what you would like to believe.
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Message 3: dictionary (definition)

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 12:28:01 GMT
From: Marion Gunn <>
Subject: dictionary (definition)

An ad hoc group within ISO TC37 (Terminology) has been commissioned to
compile a brief report for ISO TC 37 on how _dictionary_ should be
defined in a list of terms for use in ISO Standards. Please help us to
do this work by taking a quick look at some dictionaries
_very_commonly_ _used_today_in_your_country_&_in_your_language_, and
e-mailing or faxing me the info requested below. Your response should
not exceed 500 words.

We specifically need:
1. Monolingual dictionary definitions of words meaning _dictionary_.
2. Paired bilingual dictionary headword equivalents for _dictionary_.
3. Meanings of elements in names for different _kinds_ of dictionaries.
4. How dictionary _introductions_ describe their own purpose and use.

Notes for contributors:
1. Please give the titles of the monolingual dictionaries in question,
 quoting from relevant entries, with your own summary in English.

2. Please give the titles of the bilingual dictionaries in question. If
 some equivalents seem slightly mismatched or odd to you, please say so.

3. Please make a list of words for different kinds of dictionaries in the
 languages most used in your country (words, for example, which equate
 to 'thesaurus', 'dictionary', 'electronic spell-checker', 'vocabulary',
 'etymological dictionary', 'dialect lexicon', 'parallel glossary',
 'wordlist', 'keyword index'). Note the titles on published dictionaries,
 which may themselves be words not commonly used to refer to 'dictionary'
 in daily speech. Please explain the elements which make up those words.

4. Please give the titles of the dictionaries to whose preface you are,
 referring, with your own English summary of what they have to say.

All contributions to this project will be acknowledged, and the names of
all who contribute will be listed in my report. If you wish conventions
for naming dictionaries in your country and for defining different kinds
dictionaries in your language to be taken into account in this survey,
please e-mail or fax me this information on or before 8 December 1996.

Marion Gunn, Dublin, Ireland
fax: +353-1-269 4409
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Message 4: Communication in Russian enterprises

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 16:50:05 +0100
From: Volkmar Engerer <>
Subject: Communication in Russian enterprises
Dear colleagues!

What I'm concerned with is the linguistic aspect of transformation in
Eastern Europe. A good area of research seems to me the
institutional-economic setting where I expect exciting transitional
phenomena and dramatic shiftings in language use, discourse strategies
and enterprise-internal communications. Whether this is really so,
will show my first recordings at Moscow workplaces in February 97. In
the meantime I can waste time on theoretical thinking and bother You
with the following:

1. Extremely helpful for me would be bibliographical references on
this topic, especially empirical studies, including the Soviet period.

2. Contact to Moscow enterprises which are prepared for field study
and are willing to profit from my results (businessmen are sometimes
hard to convince, as some of You might already have experienced!).

3. Name and address of Russian and Non-Russian specialists on this
field who would share their experience with me (such specialists are
quite rare, as many linguists prefer to analyze, for example, trial
talks, where written records are easily available and the poor
defendant has to come to terms with it!)

4. If You are one of these experts, You're welcome!

You reach me via e-mail (, fax
(49-30-8383788), priv. tel. (49-30-7929382) and, conventionally, by
post (Osteuropa-Institut der FU Berlin, Garystr. 55, D-14195 Berlin,

Thanks, Volkmar
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