LINGUIST List 8.141

Thu Jan 30 1997

Qs: Negation, Orwell quote, Readability

Editor for this issue: Susan Robinson <suelinguistlist.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. Matti Miestamo, Qs: Negation vs. Affirmation
  2. Kate Gladstone & Andrew Haber, Orwell quote; imposed social stratification of speech
  3. SHAPERJJm4-arts.bham.ac.uk>, readability

Message 1: Qs: Negation vs. Affirmation

Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 17:23:43 +0200 (EET)
From: Matti Miestamo <matmiesutu.fi>
Subject: Qs: Negation vs. Affirmation

Dear Listers,

I am doing my MA thesis on the relationship between negation and
affirmation. Especially I am interested in the way the marking of
tense/aspect/mood or other categories is affected by negation. I would
be grateful, if you could point out to me languages where for instance
a tense/aspect/mood-distinction made in the positive is neutralised in
the negative (or vice versa!) or any languages that are interesting as
far as the relationship between negation and affirmation is
concerned. I am already aware of a number of languages that could be
relevant for my study, but any information is welcome. Also, I would
appreciate information on books and articles relevant for my study. I
will post a summary.

Thank you,
Matti Miestamo, University of Turku, Finland
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Message 2: Orwell quote; imposed social stratification of speech

Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 08:50:16 -0500
From: Kate Gladstone & Andrew Haber <kateglobal2000.net>
Subject: Orwell quote; imposed social stratification of speech


Hi!

/1/ I'm trying to find the source for a George Orwell quote re an
incident with linguitsic implications which he observed while in
Burma.

INCIDENT:
A Burmese waiter at a British restaurant or officers' club told a
British officer, "I am very sorry, but it is impossible for us to keep
the ice cold in this climate."
 The officer became irate and shouted, "Blast you, how dare you
talk like that?! 'Sorry, can't keeping ice cool ' - that's what you
*should* be saying!" (in other words, it offended the guest that a
person whose social/ethnic-group status "entitled" him only to the
production of non-standard/non-native English should dare to speak as
the officer spoke.

Does anyone have the exact source of the quote?

/2/ Does anyone have any similar incidents to report/reflect on (from
personal experience, observation, or reading)?

/3/ Does any of this have any relation to black/white dialect issues
in the USA: in other words, are there (or have there been) instances
or eras in which competent, native-speaker usage of standard American
English by American blacks has been punished or otherwise
discountenanced by American whites?




Yours for better letters,

Kate Gladstone
Handwriting Repair
325 South Manning Boulevard
Albany, NY 12208-1731

518-482-6763

kateglobal2000.net
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Message 3: readability

Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 09:29:21 GMT
From: SHAPERJJm4-arts.bham.ac.uk> <SHAPERJJm4-arts.bham.ac.uk>
Subject: readability

Does anyone out there know of any text readability formulae which do
not make use of sentence (or word) length?

j.j.shaperobham.ac.uk


Jess J. Shapero,
M.Phil student,
School of English,
University of Birmingham,
England.
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