LINGUIST List 7.1739

Mon Dec 9 1996

Qs: English in China, Arabic, _tries and_+finite verb, Quasi-modals

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>

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. HSINTL, Teaching English in China
  2. Jose R. Alvarez (LUZ), Arabica
  3. Scriff Biff, _tries and_+finite verb
  4. Dick Norwood, Quasi-modals in English

Message 1: Teaching English in China

Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 22:17:05 -0500
From: HSINTL <>
Subject: Teaching English in China

I have some students (of Chinese) in New York who are interested in teaching
English in China either full time with at least one-year committement, or as
a volunteer during the summer next year in exchange for room and possibly
board. I appreciate very much any information about the organizations in the
US that can place them or institutions in China that are interested in their

Thank you very much.

Yong Ho, Ph.D.
Dept. of Languages
New School for Social Research
New York, NY 10011
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Message 2: Arabica

Date: Sat, 7 Dec 1996 17:05:49 +0400 (GMT)
From: Jose R. Alvarez (LUZ) <>
Subject: Arabica

Dear linguists,
I am beginning the study of Arabic for both linguistic and literary reasons,
concentrating on Classical Arabic and the Egyptian Colloquial. I need answers
to a few simple questions and I hope that you can answer one or all of them:
1. Is there a standard for transliteration using 7-bit characters that can
be used to send/receive texts in Arabic through Internet? I am familiar with
the letters with diacritics used, for example, in the Encyclopedia Britannica
and the Spanish system adopted by Al-Andalus, buth these systems make use of
underlining and dots, as well as the s wedge and digraphs.
2. Has _Al-Andalus_ continued to exist as the journal of the Spanish Society
of Arabists and, if so, what is their address now?
3. Are there interlineal (or at least facing-page) translations of the Koran
into English (or Spanish) which include the transliterated Arabic text?
4. Is it possible to obtain tapes with the recitation of the complete Koran?
5. I need the e-mail addresses of T.F.Mitchell, the author of _Colloquial
Arabic_, and Hilary Wise, the author of _Arabic at a Glance_.
6. I have the following references which are crucial for a project on Arabic
computational morphology, but in my country (Venezuela) I have been unable
to locate them. Can a charitable soul send me a copy of these? Any suggested
- Kay, M. 1987. Nonconcatenative finite-state morphology. In _ACL Proceedings_.
- Kataja, L. and K. Koskenniemi. 1988. Finite-state description of Semitic
Morphology: A case study of ancient Akkadian. In _COLING-88_.
- Beesley, K. 1989. Computer analysis of Arabic morphology: A two-level
approach with detours. In _Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium on
Arabic Linguistics_ (University of Utah).
- Beesley, K. 1996. Arabic Finite-State Morphological Analysis and Generation.
This paper was presented this year in COLING-96.
Thank you in advance for all the help you can provide.
Jose Alvarez
| Jose Alvarez (aka "Pipo") |
| Oficina/Office: Habitacion/Home: |
| Division de Estudios para Graduados Calle 83 # 9-38 |
| Facultad de Humanidades y Educacion Edificio Tachira |
| Universidad del Zulia Apartamento 1-B |
| Avenida Bella Vista con Calle 74 Maracaibo 4001 |
| Edificio Viyaluz, Piso 7 Estado Zulia |
| Maracaibo, Venezuela Venezuela |
| |
| Tel: +58-(0)61-972548 (home), +58-(0)61-596818 (work) |
| Fax: +58-(0)61-926956, +58-(0)61-412145 |
| E-mail: |
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Message 3: _tries and_+finite verb

Date: Sat, 7 Dec 1996 20:22:29 +0000 (GMT)
From: Scriff Biff <>
Subject: _tries and_+finite verb

I was talking to a friend of mine in the college cafeteria today, and
noticed that he systematically says _tries and_ follwed by a finite verb,
where I would always say _tries to_+bare infinitive, for example:

	He tries and takes the knife out of his pocket (1)

in the sense of "He tries to take the knife out of his pocket".

I have observed this with non-inflected forms of the verb (i.e. everything
except 3rd person singular), and indeed use such forms myself:

	I/we/you/they try and take the knife out of his pocket (2)

but never with inflected forms of any kind (including past tenses, regular
and irregular), which I would judge to be ungrammatical. I should be
interested to hear other list-members' judgements on the sentences above,
as well as any comments they might have concerning the possible
repercussions of this change on the grammar.

If interest is sufficient, I will be happy to post a summary.

 Chris Johns, K10, Jesus College, Cambridge CB5 8BL Tel: (01223) 321188
 24 Oaklands Ave, Littleover, Derby DE23 7QG Tel: (01332) 764792
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Message 4: Quasi-modals in English

Date: Sun, 08 Dec 96 08:57:25 EST
From: Dick Norwood <RIDHARDVM.SC.EDU>
Subject: Quasi-modals in English

Is anyone familiar with any recent work on English Quasi-modals?

I am studying the expression 'be fixing to' and there is little directly
relating to it in the literature. Perhaps someone has investigated this
form and would like to compare notes? I have read Marvin Ching's 1987
article and Guy Bailey et al.'s The apparent time construct, which
uses be fixing to to prove the validity of the apparent time construct
for lexical items, but that is about all there is.

Thanks in advance for any assistance. This is primarily a southern
dialect feature (in the U.S.), but E. Ward Gilman, editor of Merriam-
Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, claims that it is "showing signs
of breaking out of its regional shell." If you have time and the in-
clination, where in the U.S. have you heard this? Any sense of the
nativity of the speakers? There is one attestation of it in New York
in 1916, but I don't know the circumstances.

Again, thank you for your time and interest.

Dick Norwood
University of South Carolina
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