LINGUIST List 7.35

Tue Jan 9 1996

Qs: Ling and the millenium, Names as adj, Cultural adaptation

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. Brigitte Nerlich, Linguistics and the millenium (2)
  2. LISTSERVTAMVM1.TAMU.EDU, Names as adjectives (?) in English
  3., Cultural adaptation of texts

Message 1: Linguistics and the millenium (2)

Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 10:11:01 GMT
From: Brigitte Nerlich <>
Subject: Linguistics and the millenium (2)
Hello again everyone,

We were delighted with the response so far to our 'millenium question'
for linguistics, and already it has prompted us to think about it some
more and to reformulate it somewhat. The real issue is "what, if
anything, has linguistics (broadly speaking) accomplished that
measures up to the discoveries of the most successful factual
disciplines?" Our earlier reference to Geology was a red herring in a
way, but having watched an excellent lecture series on TV, that was
what set us thinking. The diversity and CONVERGENCE of the evidence
used was especially impressive: the spectra of stars help to date
volcanoes; magnetic imprints on the ocean floor when 're-wound' give
the starting positions of the great Tectonic plates; anomalies of
planetary motion exactly match the cycles of the ice ages. The
resulting facts seem secure, astonishing and profound. So how does a
discipline like linguistics compare? Where are the big discoveries?
How do they fit together? Concretely, what (in your view) have its
three greatest discoveries been - please send us your nominations.
Where do we go from here? * Please keep sending your thoughts and
ideas on these issues. * Please send your nominations for the top
three discoveries in linguistics and the language sciences. * We may
try to organise a conference/symposium if interest warrants it. * Or
an edited book of reading. Best wishes, Brigitte Nerlich and David

- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr Brigitte Nerlich
Department of Psychology,
University of Nottingham,
Nottingham NG7 2RD,

Phone 0115 951 5361 Ext 8341; home:0115 9287317
FAX 0115 951 5324
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Names as adjectives (?) in English

Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 14:54:49 PST
Subject: Names as adjectives (?) in English

I would like to know (if anybody has an idea) how come it is possible
to use names as adjectives in English, as in:

 1) The Chicago policeman
 2) The London company

without using a preposition or genitive, as in Spanish or German:

 3) El policia de Chicago

 Der Chicagoer Polizist

 4) La compania de London 

 Die Londoner Firma

I don't know if this is possible only in American English or in
English in general. It is possible to do this in German, but only
under certain circumstances, as in:

 5) Die Solingen-Geschichte,
 (the Solingen-story)

but only if the reference is to a specific event or thing (Die Bach
Biographie). If referring to a general concept, a preposition or
genitive has to be used:

 6) *Die Frankfurt-Geschichte
 (the Frankfurt-history)
 -> Frankfurts Geschichte
 (Frankfurts history)

 -> Die Geschichte von Frankfurt
 (The history of Frankfurt) 

I would be thankful for any clues in the matter...

Eva Brehm, student at the University of Potsdam, Germany

P.S: It is impossible to do this in German when referring to people,
even to one unique individual, as in:

 7) *Der Deutschland-President
 (the Germany-president)
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Cultural adaptation of texts

Date: 08 Jan 1996 22:05:00 +0700
From: <>
Subject: Cultural adaptation of texts
Dear Linguists,

does anyone of you happen to know about on-going research in a field
that I would describe as "Cross-cultural adaptation of texts used in
advertising"? Obviously, the styling of texts should differ with
regards to the cultural background of the intended readership. Thus,
texts used for advertising in different countries should be adapted to
the preferences of the target cultures.

Information on researchers and/or publications in this area would be
highly appreciated.

	Joerg Tiedemann
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue