LINGUIST List 8.1290

Thu Sep 11 1997

Qs: Learning, Syntax, Whorf

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <martylinguistlist.org>


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.

Directory

  1. Alain Thomas, Query (on behalf of a colleague who is not on the list)
  2. jaret, syntax in different genres
  3. Mihai Martoiu Tieu, Sum: Reading after Whorf's "Language, Mind and Reality"

Message 1: Query (on behalf of a colleague who is not on the list)

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:51:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alain Thomas <thomasuoguelph.ca>
Subject: Query (on behalf of a colleague who is not on the list)


I am looking for the name of a learning behaviour/phenomenon and some
bibliographical references to it. I have done some research into the
way learners of Italian approach certain types of grammatical
exercises and I've identified a learning behaviour which I believe is
quite well known. It occurs when students are concentrating so hard
on using a certain grammatical structure correctly that they make a
mistake in another part of the sentence. In the Italian context I'm
referring to, students are learning to use indirect object pronouns in
Italian. ( These precede conjugated verbs.) I've studied data of
student responses to exercises on the topic and have noticed that in
attempting to get the pronoun right, students often leave out the
auxiliary verb (necessary for the past tense) and just put in the past
participle. (Something like when you're learning to park, you
concentrate so hard on getting the parking right that when you're done
you turn off the ignition forgetting to put the car in P.) It seems to
me that this is some kind of cognitive problem or learning strategy
problem. I would appreciate knowing if there is a formal name for
this phenomenon and possibly a bibliographical reference.

- 
Roberta Sinyor
Dept. of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
South 561 Ross
York University Tel: (416) 736-5016
4700 Keele St., North York, ON M3J 1P3 Fax: (416) 736-5483

or e-mail Dana Paramskas at: danapuoguelph.ca
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Message 2: syntax in different genres

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 09:04:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: jaret <jaretu.washington.edu>
Subject: syntax in different genres


Could somebody please help me with a literature reference or two? I am
interested in work that describes the differences in syntactic
constructions in different genres: narratives, conversations,
lectures, written texts of various sorts, and so on.

I assume that construction types that are common in one genre are rare
in another. Is there work that talks about the differences?

Thanks! I'll summarize.

Frank Jaret
jaretu.washington.edu

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Message 3: Sum: Reading after Whorf's "Language, Mind and Reality"

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 09:38:13 +0200
From: Mihai Martoiu Tieu <mart1119exact.nl>
Subject: Sum: Reading after Whorf's "Language, Mind and Reality"

Some time ago I started to ask myself in which manner the language
influences our manner of thinking. I did not search for literature on
the subject but I've read an article in a Dutch magazine that dropped
the name Whorf. Well I thought, maybe there is the time to know more.
Searching the Internet I discovered here some messages about the
subject. The list of books on the subject is rich and I'd like to
begin with the books that interest me most. I wonder what is the
influence of the grammar rules on our thinking. Emigrating some time
ago to Holland and learning Dutch I noticed that some things that
seemed logic in my mother language didn't make any sense anymore in
Dutch. I wonder if anyone can recommend me some books that can give me
more information about this.

Thanks,

Mihai Martoiu Ticu

e-mail mihaiatriserv.nl
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