LINGUIST List 7.406

Mon Mar 18 1996

Qs: Ruth King, Acronyms, linguistics Dictionary

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  1. Rebecca Larche Moreton, Ruth King
  2. Ted Harding, Re: Acronyms on the Net
  3. Su-Hsun Tsai, Q: Linguistic Dictionary

Message 1: Ruth King

Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 15:06:30 CST
From: Rebecca Larche Moreton <>
Subject: Ruth King

Does anyone know Ruth King's e-mail or terrestrial address during her
leave this semester? I have been unable to find it from any of the
usual searches. Thanks in advance.

Rebecca Larche Moreton
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Message 2: Re: Acronyms on the Net

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 22:58:56 GMT
From: Ted Harding <>
Subject: Re: Acronyms on the Net

kennyUDel.Edu (Kenneth Allen Hyde) wrote:

> I am interested in knowing if any research has been done on the effect
> of acronyms on processing time of sentences. This was brought up on a
> different mail-list, when one list-member contended that acronyms slow
> down the processing time, because they have to be "unpacked" and the
> component parts have to be accessed individually. My hypothesis is
> that most acronyms would be stored in the lexicon as a single entry,
> and that they would not differ significantly in access time from other
> lexical entries. Does anyone know whether this has been tested, and
> if so, what the findings were?

I would be very interested to learn of research whose results differ
from the following common-sense expectation:

1. Acronyms become single lexical entries with familiarity and
frequent use
 (how many of us explicitly decode NATO or UNESCO?); otherwise they need
 recognising and decoding and this takes time;

2. "Email" acronyms are familiar to many and unfamiliar to many;

3. Many use them frequently, many avoid them;

4. Many are enthusiastic for their use, many are irritated by them;

5. There is a wide distribution over the dimensions of pro- and con-
 listed in 2-4 above (and they are not independent ... )

6. People who score high on positive dimensions will suffer little or no
 delay in interpretation, and will save time in writing by adopting them;

7. People who score low will lose time over acronyms in interpretation,
 and will also lose time in writing by avoiding them.

(Corollary: those who accept the logic of Le Pari de Pascal will conclude
 that, whatever the facts may be, it is better to adopt the acronyms).

Best wishes to all (FWIW)
Ted. (
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Message 3: Q: Linguistic Dictionary

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 23:07:09 GMT
From: Su-Hsun Tsai <>
Subject: Q: Linguistic Dictionary

Dear Linguist members,

 Could someone kindly suggest me a good comprehensive dictionary
of linguistics (in English). It would help me -- a research student
who previously held a BA in western literature -- to overcome the
difficulty of reading linguistic papers/books in the educational

 Many thanks in advance.

Su-hsun, research student
IOE, U. of London
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