LINGUIST List 7.173

Sat Feb 3 1996

Disc: Emphasis, Hostility markers

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. "Prof. Tracey Leffin-Hedrick", Disc: Emphasis
  2. George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin, Summary: Hostility Markers

Message 1: Disc: Emphasis

Date: Fri, 02 Feb 1996 13:35:24
From: "Prof. Tracey Leffin-Hedrick" <>
Subject: Disc: Emphasis
The phenomenon under discussion may not be all that recent. Many of 
the students who read the daily announcements over the public address 
system at my high school in the mid-late 1970's (Wisconsin) also 
exhibited this unusual emphasis on _will_.----
Tracey Leffin-Hedrick
Concordia University Wisconsin
phone: (414)243-4219
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Message 2: Summary: Hostility Markers

Date: Sat, 03 Feb 1996 13:55:12 +0600
From: George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin <>
Subject: Summary: Hostility Markers
I recently posted a summary of responses to a query about hostility markers
in spoken English, but I didn't wait quite long enough. I'd like to post
one more response, from Ted Harding (Ted,
excerpted below as follows:

"Suppose it is possible to convey the same words acoustically (say over a
microphone-speaker link, as in a radio play) either with hostile or with
non-hostile meaning, ... and that this can be achieved by intent; and that
it is systematically perceived as intended by listeners. Then, in
principle, the acoustical differences can be ascertained by measurement
and, again in principle, categorized statistically on the basis of a
sufficiently large and varied corpus. The supposition is testable by
psychoacoustical experiment.

What would be involved in succeeding with the recognition and
categorization of the 'hostility marker' is beyond my guessing, and in any
case would be likely to be controversial and to require a lot of work and
data. Nonetheless, it seems to me that the business is measurable in

 I would welcome any additional comments to the original query and
summary, or to Dr. Harding's posting.

Suzette Haden Elgin
PO Box 1137, Huntsville AR 72740-1137 USA
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