LINGUIST List 7.405

Mon Mar 18 1996

Qs: Pragmatics,Early notions of proto-lg,Information lg barriers

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  1. Francine Lynne Mcgivern, Pragmatics
  2. Roger Blench, Question: early notions of proto-language
  3. Maree Josephine Tambasco,

Message 1: Pragmatics

Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 11:54:04 PST
From: Francine Lynne Mcgivern <>
Subject: Pragmatics
Dear Colleagues:

	I am involved in a research project which focusses on the
field of Pragmatics. A name which has been mentioned is that of
Suzanne Hadin-Elgin and, unfortunately, we do not know where she is.
Does anyone know how or where to contact her? An e-mail address would
be wonderful!!! (AND much appreciated!!!)
	Thanks for your time in advance.

		Lynne McGivern
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Message 2: Question: early notions of proto-language

Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 10:18:36 GMT
From: Roger Blench <>
Subject: Question: early notions of proto-language

Sir William Jones' famous lecture in 1786 demonstrating the links
between Sanskrit and the Classical languages of Europe, has almost
mythical status. It has become clear in recent years that Jones'
perception was far from original. The concept of reconstruction of a
proto-language appears as early as 1713 in the works of the English
divine, William Wotton;

My argument does not depend on the difference of Words, but upon the
Difference of Grammar between any two languages; from whence it
proceeds, that when any Words are derived from one Language into
another, the derived Words are then turned and changed according to
the particular Genius of the Language into which they are
transplanted. [.] I can easily suppose that they might both be derived
from one common Mother, which is, and perhaps has for many Ages been
entirely lost.

 (Wotton 1730 [1713]:57)

Wotton had related Icelandic and Greek, which are certainly as
convincing a demonstration of Indo-European affinities as
Sanskrit. Jones, moreover, believed that Egyptian, Japanese and
Chinese were part of Indo-European while Hindi was not, which suggests
that his method was not very powerful.

Wotton, William. 1730. a discourse concerning the confusion of
Languages at Babel. Austen & Bowyer, London.

My question is; does anyone know of a convincing earlier statement of
the a lost proto-language for any language phylum?

Roger Blench
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Message 3:

Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 17:14:12 +1000
From: Maree Josephine Tambasco <>


I am an Australian University student undertaking a research
project/thesis for a professor in the Czech Republic. I would like to
know, if possible where information i.e books, journals,
organisations, bodies, etc can be obtained on the topics of:
Information language barriers (in libraries), adaptation of an ethnic
language, creation of or adoption of an existing artificial language
and machine translation as I need to compile an annotated bibliography
and a guide/review of the sources.

Maree Josephine Tambasco
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