LINGUIST List 7.952

Sat Jun 29 1996

Disc: Linguality

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. "Melanie Misanchuk", discussion on linguality
  2. Larry Rosenwald, Re: 7.915, Disc: Linguality

Message 1: discussion on linguality

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 10:52:33 MDT
From: "Melanie Misanchuk" <>
Subject: discussion on linguality
> This past Saturday on the national CBC radio program _Basic
> Black_, Arthur Black interviewed a polyglot named Powel Janeliss
> (this was radio, so I'm transcribing phonetically here). Powel
> lives in Vancouver where he's a court clerk and translator, and
> is in the _Guinness Book of World Records_ for speaking 50
> languages. Facts I gleaned from the interview:
> - he seems to be of Ukrainian origin; he said Ukrainian was
> half-way between Polish and Russian for him. Presumably
> Ukrainian was his first language.
> - his English is native fluency and unaccented.
> - as a student, he started out in sciences, took a French class,
> and was encouraged to continue with languages. He immediately
> learned all the languages offered by the University of British Columbia.
> - his position as court translator often necessitates knowing
> slang, colloquial and swears in other languages, so it can't all
> be from books.
> - he doesn't sound very old, perhaps mid-40's, hard to tell on the
> radio
> - asked which languages he prefers, he answers that he would use
> Italian to woo.
> CBC usually offers transcripts or tapes of its shows for a
> nominal fee. Arthur Black also enjoys getting mail on a variety
> of subjects and doing follow-up stories. For more information,
> mail me.
> Melanie Misanchuk
> French Dept.
> Univeristy of Calgary
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Message 2: Re: 7.915, Disc: Linguality

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 11:48:33 CDT
Subject: Re: 7.915, Disc: Linguality
	In her recent posting on this topic, Deborah Ruuskanen asks,
"What does the word 'speak' MEAN in this context, anyway?" I think that's 
a very good question. It's my impression that the best accounts of the 
gradations of speech competence are given not by linguists but by 
memoirists who seek to describe their growing competence in a second 
language. I have in mind Eva Hoffmann's _Lost in Translation_, Alice
Kaplan's _French Lessons_, and Elias Canetti's _Die gerettete Zunge/
The Tongue Set Free_. Are there other texts that people could suggest on 
this subject, either of this autobiographical sort or of a more technical
	Best, Larry Rosenwald
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