LINGUIST List 8.1107

Tue Jul 29 1997

Qs: Lang. Games, "Democratic," Word Change

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

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  1. Dr James M Scobbie, Language Games, re
  2. ira ungar, From "Democratic" to "Democrat" (fwd)
  3. Jonathan Gilbert, Question on a word

Message 1: Language Games, re

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 12:14:19 +0100
From: Dr James M Scobbie <>
Subject: Language Games, re

I'm interested that language games, which show an innate
metaphonological awareness, are often syllabic/moraic, and seldom
segmental or phonemic. Evidence seems to show that children's
awareness of syllabic structures appears earlier than any clear
metaphonemic awareness.

For an anecdotal example, younger toddlers who are told that 't' is
for 'table' and 'r' is for 'rain', and who are then asked "what is for
'tray'?", tend to say 'tr'.

Is there any evidence that necessarily phonemic games (eg those that
split a tautosyllabic consonant cluster) are connected with literate
societies (presumably using segmental writing systems)?
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Message 2: From "Democratic" to "Democrat" (fwd)

Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:57:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: ira ungar <>
Subject: From "Democratic" to "Democrat" (fwd)

I am doing research on the current practice by Republican politicians
when needing an adjective of or relating to the Democratic Party to
say "Democrat" instead of the correct "Democratic," e.g., "the
Democrat National Committee," "Democrat interests vs. Republican
interests." Correctly used, "Democrat" is exclusively a noun. I am
wondering about why dropping the "ic" in the adjective gives the word
a more negative shade. Can anyone enlighten me either about the
specific use of "Democrat" or the more general dynamic of using the
noun instead of the adjectival form?

Thank you.

Ira Ungar
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Message 3: Question on a word

Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 17:30:27 -0500
From: Jonathan Gilbert <>
Subject: Question on a word

Apologies for posting to lists I don't normally read; I'm asking here
on the suggestion of a friend who does read them -- please send
replies directly by email, and thanks.
The question is on behalf of another friend who is working on a
dissertation (not on a linguistics topic, it's social history of a
sort); she wants to describe a situation in which the usage of one
word (in a particular context, by a small group of people) has
diverged enough from its standard usage that it has become
interchangeable with another word, normally either different or
unrelated in meaning. My friend believes there is a word for this
phenomenon, but nobody we've asked so far has been able to identify it
... does anyone out there know?
Jonathan Gilbert
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