LINGUIST List 7.692

Thu May 16 1996

Qs: Niger-Congo, 'sit'/'stand,' Russian, Gender in Korean

Editor for this issue: Helen Dry <>

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. MARIA CARLOTA A. P. ROSA, etymology of Niger-Congo languages
  2. hiro-t, Query: the progressive of _sit_, _stand_ and _lie_
  3. Institute of Linguistics, Homestudy Russian
  4. Benjamin Ao, Gender Inequality in Korea and Korean?

Message 1: etymology of Niger-Congo languages

Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 19:03:18 -0300
Subject: etymology of Niger-Congo languages
Does anybody know the etymology and pronunciation of the
following names of languages and/or groups of languages:


Please, send answers to
Thank you
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Query: the progressive of _sit_, _stand_ and _lie_

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 17:02:16 +0200
From: hiro-t <>
Subject: Query: the progressive of _sit_, _stand_ and _lie_
Dear Linguists,
 I was asked to post a query on this list by my coleague the other day. Here
is his query below,

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 I have two questions to ask about the progressive of _sit_, _stand_ and
 First, I ask you why (5) is acceptable. When these verbs are used in
progressive forms, it is generally
agreed that the subject must be a moveable thing. That is why (3) below is

 (1) She was sitting in an armchai by the fire.
 (2) The bottle is lying on its side.
 (3) *Libya is lying between Egypt and Tunisia.
 (4) the book is standing on end.

 But even when the subject is not moveable, the progressive of _stand_ is
possible when an adverb like _still_ is added, as in:

 (5) After the bombing, only three building were still standing.

I want to know the reason.

 Secondly, I would like to know if the following sentences with progressive
of _stand_ are acceptable or not:

 (6) The new office building is standing at the corner of 5th Avenue and 47th
 (7) The tree is standing in the garden.
 (8) The statue was standing outside the hall.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks a lot in advance. Please post me directly on these matters.

Hiroaki Tanaka, Tokushima University, Japan
1-1, Minamijousnajima, Tokushima, 770, Japan
Tel. & Fax +81 886 56 7125
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Homestudy Russian

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 15:38:31 +0400
From: Institute of Linguistics <>
Subject: Homestudy Russian

 My name is John Lind of Moscow, Idaho and I'm looking for some
assistance. I have a friend who is interested in finding a correspondence
course in the Russian language. She has a working knowlege of Russian and I
think wants to work towards a degree of somekind in this language. Any
information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

 John Lind
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Gender Inequality in Korea and Korean?

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 09:45:25 PDT
From: Benjamin Ao <>
Subject: Gender Inequality in Korea and Korean?
The following is an excerpt from a message someone posted on a
Chinese language teachers' list regarding the relationship
between language and thought. I'd like to hear comments made by
Korean linguists from their perspectives. Specifically, I'd
like to know

1. Is there a serious gender inequality in the Korean society
compared to other societies such as China?

2. If so, is the Korean language responsible for it?

3. If the answer is yes, then what properties of the Korean
language are responsible?

4. If the answer is no, then what do you think is responsible?

If you know the source of the report quote in the excerpt,
please let me know. If you know of a site of other Korean
social scientists, please also let me know. I'd like to hear
their opinions as well.

Thanks in advance.

Benjamin Ao

- ----------------------------------------------------------

A survey by the social scientists from South Korea shows that
the Chinese people hold more liberal attitude than the Korean
people towards the ideology of equality between man and women.
Some explanations are proposed, but soon eliminated.

Politically and economically, South Korea is more modernized
than China, which fosters the ideas of equality between men and
women more favorably.

The influence of Confucian tenets is not a valid explanation,
either, because China is the birthplace of Confucianism.

This phenomenon cannot be accounted for by the communist rule
in China, because women's social status in North Korea, a
region that is more communist than China, is so low as in the
South, if not lower.

Finally, language was found to be the only valid answer. In
the Korean language, women have to address men in a polite
style. If a woman does not speak that way, she may make a
language mistake. But men do not address women in the polite,
but plain style only. On the other hand, there is no style
such difference for genders in the Chinese language.

The scholars decided that the different attitudes on the
equality of men and women in the Chinese and Korean societies
being caused by the difference between the languages is a more
reasonable explanation, i.e., thought is determined by

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