LINGUIST List 7.544

Fri Apr 12 1996

Qs: Possessives, GB theory, Bantu lgs, Donna Hina Honda

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., "Their" replacing "his" and "her"
  2. Fernando J. S. Martinho, Adjective / noun order
  3. Maria Fatima Rodrigues, Kimbundo and Ovimbundo
  4. Aya Matsuda, Donna Hina Honda

Message 1: "Their" replacing "his" and "her"

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 07:45:41 PDT
From: <>
Subject: "Their" replacing "his" and "her"
It has become common parlance in the West of Canada for some speakers
of English to use "incorrect" plural/singular markers.

One notes the progressively more frequent use of the possessive
adjective "their" to replace "his" or "her", regardless of the clash
between singular and plural.

Is this North America-wide?

Is this the result of an (unwitting?) attempt to avoid reference to
either male or female persons?

Apparently, some native English speakers would seem to be unaware of
the discrepancy between plural and singular number, particularly if
they possess no fluency in a different language, such as German, where
the substitution and clash are impossible.


L. Kitching <>
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Adjective / noun order

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 23:26:48 -0000
From: Fernando J. S. Martinho <>
Subject: Adjective / noun order

(I posted part of this message in sci.lang some time ago, but nobody
answered me)

Do GB theory have a way to provide justification for adjective-noun or
noun-adjective order in DP? (with 'DP', I place myself in the Fukui
and Speas (1986) framework, or in the Abney one)

As far as I know, the reasons for adjectives to be ordered is a matter
of defining the internal structure of DP: if NP is a complement of D,
then all APs are (in D-Structure) between D and N, and dominate N
(they c-comand it). In D-Structure, all adjectives are generated in
the specifier of AP functional projections, and are, of course, to the
left of N. At S-Structure, in English, we may notice that APs keep
their left place (it seems that there is no Move alpha of N), but in
Romance languages, in S-Structure, most of APs are right-placed (with
N Move alpha to NumP) (see Abney).

That's not so simple, though. For example, we may also have cases in
which APs can be placed on both sides (like in French: 'un homme
grand' / 'un grand homme'). In fact, it seems it has all to do with
(i) the internal structure of DP: are APs functional projections of
NP, adjectives being on non-A (specifier) position? (There seems to be
some conflict here between those who see adjectives as heads,
specifiers, or even adjuncts.) (ii) the thematic role of some
adjectives that, in Romance languages, determine their position.

I would like to have some background on that question, specially on
Romance languages I work with (French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish).
How to consider the differences between English and Romance languages
in that question? (it seems German too behaves like a Romance
language) How does the Minimalist Program manage this topic?
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Kimbundo and Ovimbundo

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 14:43:09 EDT
From: Maria Fatima Rodrigues <>
Subject: Kimbundo and Ovimbundo

I'm a doctoral student researching education during wartime,
specifically in Angola, and I have been unable to find any information
on the two major Bantu languages in Angola, Kimbundo & Ovimbundo. I
am a native of Angola & portuguese is my native language. I would
like to learn to speak one of these 2 Bantu languages.

Does anyone have any information on these 2 languages? Or does anyone
know a native speaker or someone who has learned one of these that I
could contact?

Thanks so much for your cooperation in advance. Much health &
peace, Fatima
Maria Fatima Rodrigues			Comparative International Education			Curry School of Education
					University of Virginia

"Nothing so tranquilizes the mind as a steady purpose."
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Donna Hina Honda

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 20:22:46 CDT
From: Aya Matsuda <>
Subject: Donna Hina Honda
I am trying to get in touch with Donna Hina Honda who graduated UCLA with
a undergraduate degree in linguistics about 14 years ago. She is
originally from Hawaii and was living in Japan at least from 1981 to 85
with her Japanese husband. If you happen to know where she is now,
please let me know. (Please respond directly.)

Thank you.
Aya Matsuda
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue