LINGUIST List 7.453

Mon Mar 25 1996

Qs: Software, Bilinguals, Syntax, Subliminal

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>

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. Michel JACOBSON, software on phonology
  2. Bill Holowacz, [u]/[y] substitution in English/French bilinguals
  3. "Machteld Verhelst", syntax tests, intelligence
  4. "David M. W. Powers", Subliminal Audition

Message 1: software on phonology

Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 22:51:38 +0100
From: Michel JACOBSON <>
Subject: software on phonology
Dear Linguists,

Actualy, I'm creating for my doctorat, a software to help linguists to make
phonologic analysis.

This software will be able to stock a corpora containing:
 . text informations : signifiant in a API font and signified in a
classic spelling.
 . oral informations : recording speech in a numerous file.

This software will be able to analyse the corpora in a fonctionnal
linguistic way. It can establish the list of phonemes and the description
of the phonologic system.

Some tools can help the researcher to parameter his analyse. For exemple :
 definition of some pertinents contexts
 using his own signs replacing the API ones
 searching a sign in the corpora

I'm wondering if other similars projects have already been developped or
are intend to be. I'm also wondering if someone know about phonologic
analysis softwares with others approachs (generative, distributionnal...)
and if a WEB site exist on this theme... etc.

Thank you for your help.

 Michel. Jacobson
 6, rue Paul BERT
 92000 Nanterre, France
 tel: 33 1 47 24 55 05
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: [u]/[y] substitution in English/French bilinguals

Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 23:01:32 +0100
From: Bill Holowacz <>
Subject: [u]/[y] substitution in English/French bilinguals
Dear Linguists,

 On March 23rd, I submitted a question regarding [u]/[y] substitution
in English/French bilinguals (Linguist List 7.441) and it was brought to my
attention that I had made a serious error in the formulation of the question.
I would like to re-submit it in its corrected form. Thanks again,
 Bill Holowacz

 I am looking for information on why english speakers systematically
substiute [u] for [y] in french. Apparently, there is no reason to prefer
[u] to [i]. Some African creoles substitute [i] for [y], and Chomsky and
Halle state that the place of ariculation should be the most salient feature.

This brings me to my two questions:

1) Do english english speakers perceive the french [y] as [y] or [u]? And
when they speak, do they think they're producing [y] or [u]?

2) One of the possible reasons for this substitution is the fact that the
grapheme <<u>> which represents [y] in french represents [u] in English.
Thus, spelling would bias the speakers who have associated <<u>> with /u/ as
in English, resulting in an interference in the morphology. Do bilingual
english-speaking children who are "naturally" bilingual (i.e. who have not
learned French in an academic setting) make the same pronunciation errors as
adult learners of french?

I will post a summary if there is a sufficient response. Thank you in advance,

Bill Holowacz
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: syntax tests, intelligence

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 11:17:54 +0700
From: "Machteld Verhelst" <>
Subject: syntax tests, intelligence

I am planning a research on Dutch second language acquisition.
Therefore, I will test children in the kindergarten (ages 2,5-3,5).
I have no problems finding (literature on) lexical tests (although
suggestions are very wellcome), but finding literature on SYNTAX TESTING,
especially with these very young children, seems very hard.

So, can anyone help me with literature references, or any other suggestions?

I also have another question. I would like to relate the results (also) to
factors like intelligence and aptitude. Does anyone have (literature)
suggestions about the possibilities doing that, e.g. tests,...?

Machteld Verhelst
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Subliminal Audition

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 22:10:28 +1030
From: "David M. W. Powers" <>
Subject: Subliminal Audition

Any information on the subject of subliminal auditory stimuli would be

I would also be interested in information on, or contact details for:

 Dr Jonathan Parker (PhD in the area of this technique?)
 The Gateway Institute (markets material using the technique)

Any information on the supposed banning of the technique for advertizing
in the U.S. after subliminal advertizing over department store PA systems
achieved a 400% increase in ice-cream sales.

I am interested in information about techniques used and proposed, as well
as studies on the effectiveness of the technique. Both references and potted
summaries welcome - also comments on perceived effectiveness from users of
training tapes, self-help tapes, etc. which use the technique.

I am not interested in the ubiquitous literature on subliminal visual
stimuli (which is all I can find in our library).

I will summarize to the list. Thanks in advance.

David Powers
Associate Professor David Powers
 ACM SIGART Editor; ACL SIGNLL President	Facsimile: +61-8-201-3626
Department of Computer Science			UniOffice: +61-8-201-3663
The Flinders University of South Australia	Secretary: +61-8-201-2662
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide	South Australia 5001	HomePhone: +61-8-357-4220
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue