LINGUIST List 7.257

Sat Feb 17 1996

Qs: Glottal stop, Ethnocentrism in lang

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

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., query: glottal stop
  2. "M. Lynne Murphy", Q:ethnocentrism in language

Message 1: query: glottal stop

Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 18:42:27 EST
From: <>
Subject: query: glottal stop

	I am a continuing education student at University of Vermont,
taking a Phonetics course as a prerequisite for the SLP masters
program. I am planning on doing some research into the glottal stop
in Vermont dialect, with the main focus being field interviews.

	I would appreciate any information, or at least information
about resources I could look into, having to do with the history of
the glottal stop in Vermont and New England, and how it came to be
part of local dialect. (I have found some information about the
glottal stop in England, and I assume it was brought here from there.)

	I realize there was some discussion a few months ago about
this type of request. I have done extensive searches in libraries and
computer databases. My professors have told me that there isn't much
out there on this, and my research so far confirms this.

	Any help is appreciated; please send any information directly
to me. I will be happy to share with the List anything I find out.

 Charles Barasch
 Plainfield, VT
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Message 2: Q:ethnocentrism in language

Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 18:07:09 GMT
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <>
Subject: Q:ethnocentrism in language

 I'm looking for examples of ethnic/racial labelling that indicate
differences in status (especially human status) for the groups that
are labeled. For example: in some Bantu languages, some ethnic
outgroups' names are not in the "human" noun class (1/2), while the
ingroup's name (to my knowledge) is always in NC1/2. This can be
taken to indicate that the outgroup is viewed as not as truly human as
the ingroup (and likely inferior to the ingroup).

Does anyone know of other examples of morphological/lexical evidence
of ethnocentrism (ethnosuperiority?), especially from other language
groups and regions? Besides noun class and gender differences, I
could imagine labels that are compounds involving animal terms or that
are _synchronically_ synonymous with animals or inanimates (if there
is evidence that those animals/inanimates are not valued in the
culture. (I've yet to decide whether the labeling of only outgroups
counts here. There are plenty of examples of groups who, depending
upon your interpretation, either don't have an autoethnonym or else
have one that is synonymous with "people". Opinions welcome.)

Counterexamples to any of my claims especially welcome. Will
summarize if there is interest.

Lynne Murphy

- -------------------------------------------------------------------
M. Lynne Murphy
Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340
University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030
Johannesburg 2050
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