Tue Jan 2 1996

Qs: Psycholing, Pausal alternations, Number words

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  1. Vicki McCarthy, Psycholinguistics
  2. Vincent DeCaen, "pausal" alternations
  3. Allan Wechsler, number words

Message 1: Psycholinguistics

Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 18:52:01 +0100
From: Vicki McCarthy <>
Subject: Psycholinguistics
Hello, my name is Vicki McCarthy,
and I am researching an area of psycholinguistics, concerning syntax and the 
natural language context-particular, production, in structure and 
sentential choice. 

I am looking for an extensive grammar check as a writing skills tool, for 
a specific language impairment particularly affected, under pressure of 
rate of text generation.

I wonder if you could see your work being, with development applicable to 
this; or if you might help me access anyone that you know of doing work 
that would be applicable to computational NL linguistic aids operatable 
on HP's, Pentium or DOS/Windows. 
I am interested in forming a language production aid that would address a 
situation of the following tendencies of a subject, in natural language 
reference and sentence formulation:
1) a difficulty in choosing the word from the various alternatives, which 
flash up on the subject's mental screen. Selection errors and compensatory 
additions and also grammatical paraphrases can then result. 
2) While with a high accuracy level on all tasks, often omitting specifying 
whom or what is being referred to, this tendency problem may also be 
described, as an over-appreciation, of the recursive structure unboundedly 
complex, typically relevant ideal forms said to underlie the `conceptual 
creativity' of syntax.
There is fluent delivery and excellent categorisation while at the same 
time their mind inadvertently over-prepares itself quite often, as 
suggested by spoken errors such as:
 The beach was flowing with pebbles (water)
There is no impairment of the lexicon, or comprehensional analytical skills 
and abilities.
3) There is the use of expression, which refers to or stands for an earlier 
word or group of words/the repetition of the same word or phrase in several 
successive clauses or sentences.
The task at hand is that of sequential co-ordinations necessary for the 
production of connected speech. 
Help is needed with choosing/proportionalising the use of the form of 
syntax and word order, to a level of the task orientated relaying of 
intentional (not only extensional) meaning of conceptualised ideas. A 
repetitive syntactical patterned result would be satisfactory, as a 
trade off for that of typical relevance in vocabulary choice.

 If there is any work and contact that you could relay to me at 
concerning this area of a computational research tools or developments, 
applied linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, natural language 
support, and communicational nature, I would be very grateful.
 Thank you in advance,
 V McCarthy
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Message 2: "pausal" alternations

Date: Tue, 26 Dec 1995 21:48:03 EST
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: "pausal" alternations
I had occasion over the holidays to consider the Indiana accent of
some of my in-laws. I noticed a drawl on vowels, most noticeably
short vowels, at the end of major phonological phrases, or as we say
in Biblical studies, in major "pause." (my ears aren't good enough to
pick out what is going on; phoneticians might be able to tell me.)

In Biblical Hebrew, forms can differ minimally depending on where in
the phonological phrase they appear: at the end ("pausal") or not
("contextual"). My question is this: in light of the Indiana
phenomenon, I'm thinking that this can't be that rare. Surely the
pausal phenomenon must be more widespread than generally thought. I
would be grateful indeed for leads in other languages.

Here, e.g., are some contrasting pairs. Spirantization ignored; transcribing
vowels i,E,e,a,o,O,u; stress marked ['].

lo'k			lko'		"to you (ms)"
o'ben			e'ben		"stone"
koto'bto		kota'bto	"you (ms) wrote"
wayyomO't		wayyo'mot	"and he dies/died"
koto'bu			kotbu'		"they wrote"

I will post a summary if there is sufficient/interesting response.

Vincent DeCaen
Near Eastern Studies,				 Religion & Culture,
University of Toronto		 	 Wilfrid Laurier University
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Message 3: number words

Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 13:26:19 EST
From: Allan Wechsler <>
Subject: number words
I would like to gather as much information as I can for as many
languages as possible about two topics: number names, and
lexicographic ordering. Can anyone supply some good initial
references? I would like as much detail as possible about the
algorithms by which names are assigned to numbers, and by which words
are ordered lexicographically.

(This odd query was prompted by a mathematics puzzle in which numbers
are arranged in alphabetical order. In American English, the first
number in the dictionary is 11 "eleven", and the last, theoretically,
000,000,002,202 "two vigintillion two undecillion two trillion two
thousand two hundred two". We would like to repeat this work for
other languages.)

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