LINGUIST List 7.404

Mon Mar 18 1996

Qs: Statiscal methods, Kantian adjectives, Susan Schaller

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  2. Jaroslaw Pluciennik, Kantian adjectives
  3. James Vanden Bosch, Susan Schaller

Message 1:

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 15:26:55 +0800
From: XU LUOMAI <>

I am seeking advice on appropriate statistical methods and possible
computer program(s) to solve the following problem:

We have a project underway at the English Department of Guangdong
University of Foreign Studies, P.R. China. The project aims at finding
some possible linear relationship between the written English of some
3rd-year undergraduates of several Chinese universities and that of
the native English speakers. We have a 100,000-word corpus of essays
by Chinese EFL learners. It is tagged by our computer program using
the LOB tag set of 134 syntactic (or punctuation) tags, and a 134 by
134 tag-pair probability matrix is derived out of the tagged
corpus. The probability score of a typical tag-pair such as NN-VB is
obtained by the formula:

 Number of NN-VB
 --------------------------- x 100
 Number of NN

We also obtained three 100,000-word random samples of the tagged LOB
corpus, and three matrices of them are similarly derived. Our
hypothesis is that the difference in English proficiency between the
Chinese EFL learners and that of the native speakers can be reflected
by some differences between their respective matrices. We want to find
some statistical treatments which are sensitive to the differences
among matrices of this nature. Can anyone help?

Xu Luomai
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Message 2: Kantian adjectives

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 14:51:38 +0100
From: Jaroslaw Pluciennik <>
Subject: Kantian adjectives

Dear colleages,

On 20 February, 1996 we posted a query asking for translations of
English "Kantian adjectives" and for information about possible
negative morphological elements present in their non-English
correspondents. We are grateful for all responses. It helped us much
in our goal to get some cross-linguistic background for our main
contextual analysis of English Kantian adjectives.

The negative elements inside lexical items as well as separated words
are as follows:

Basque: -gabe
Brazilian Portuguese: in-, il-, des-, sem
Czech: ne-, bez
Danish: -loes, u-, in- (from latin), ikke
Dutch: -loos, on-, niet
Finnish: -ton, -t=F6n
French: in-, sans
German: -los, un-, ohne
Hungarian: -tlen, -tlan
Mandarin: wu-
Polish: bez-, bez, nie-, nie
Slovene: brez-, ne-, utan
Spanish: sin, in-, im-, il-, a-
Swedish: o-, -loes, inte, utan
Thai: may, rai

We are listing only formaly negative elements and excluding all
doubtful cases. It should be noticed that some, although rare,
translations of primar= y negative words in English are not negative
at all in other languges. It applies also to some synonimes of English
Kantian adjectives. The non-negative translations are as follows:

bottomless: Thai: sut ca? yaN dai (beyond to measure can)
boundless: German: kolossal
ceaseless: Czech: ustavicn=E9y, German: staendig, Thai: mai yO:thO: (not
give in)
countless: Thai: lu'a khana (beyond reckoning), nap mai thuan and kE:n ca?
nap (count not thorough beyond to count)
dateless: Polish: zawsze aktualny, Swedish: urminnes
endless: Czech: ustavicn=E9y, Polish: ustawiczny, Swedish: evig
fathomless: Thai: kE:n ca? yaN dai (beyond to measure can)
immeasurable: Polish: ogromny, Thai: kE:n ca? nap dai (beyond to count can)
incalculable: Thai: kE:n khamnuan (beyond calculate)
incessant: Sloven: stalen, Czech: ustavicn=E9y, Finnish: alituinen, German:
staendig, Polish: ustawiczny, Thai: r'uayru'ay (continually (reduplicated
for emphasis))
indefinite: German: verschwommen, vage
Swedish: svaevande, vag
infinite: Slovene: ogromen, Polish: ogromny, Swedish: maengd
innumerable: Thai: lamdap mai wai (sequence not can) or sut ca? nap dai
(beyond to count can)
interminable: Sloven: ve=FCen, Swedish: laangtraakig
measureless: German: maSlos, Thai: lu=E9a khana (beyond reckoning) kE:n wat
(beyond measure)
numberless: Thai: kE:n nap (beyond count)
quenchless: Thai: kE:n dap (beyond quench extinguish)
timeless: Slovene: ve=FCen, French: eternel, German: ewig, Polish: wieczny,
ponadczasowy, Spanish: eterno, Swedish: evig
unending: German: ewig, Polish: wieczny, Swedish: evig
unfathomable: Thai: kEn ca? yaN dai (beyond to measure can)
unlimited: Czech: ohromn=E9y, Polish: ogromny, w wielkiej ilosci
unmeasured: Danish: rigelig, German: maSlos, Hungarian: meg nem mert

A note on transcription in Thai translations:

 /O/ =3D low back open o, /E/ =3D mid central vowel, equal to a schwa,
/X/ = =3D unrounded high back vowel, /N/ =3D velar nasal, /c/ =3D
unaspirated voiceles= s alveolar stop. The tones are omitted.

We should underline that some experts have excluded non-negative
translations from their sets because of our interest in just negative
morphological elements in the considered items.

We will be grateful for all your comments. All additional translations
are welcome.

Best regards

Jaroslaw Pluciennik

Dept. of Cognitive Science
Lund University
Kungshuset, Lundagaard
S-222 22 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 97 58
fax: +46 (0) 46 222 48 17
e-mail:, or
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Message 3: Susan Schaller

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 10:49:09 EST
From: James Vanden Bosch <>
Subject: Susan Schaller
As part of a research project, a student of mine is trying to locate
Susan Schaller, who wrote a book a few years ago about the experience
of teaching ASL to a deaf man well beyond the supposed critical age
for language acquisition "A Man Without Words" was the title, I think,
published by Simon and Schuster).

According to my student, the publishers of the book have no forwarding
address for her, nor does Ms. Schaller turn up in any internet
searches. If anyone in the LINGUIST list has information he or she is
willing to pass along, please send such information to my student at
the following e-mail address:


James Vanden Bosch (616) 957-6592
Department of English
Calvin College fax: (616) 957-8551
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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