LINGUIST List 8.1463

Fri Oct 10 1997

Qs: Gender, Navajo, Extended BNF

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

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. KErmschel, women`s language
  2. Brita Warvik, Help with Navajo
  3. Dale Russell, Query: Extended BNF

Message 1: women`s language

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 05:51:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: KErmschel <>
Subject: women`s language

I don`t know whether you remember me. I am a student of English
linguistics in Bonn, Germany. At present I am still working on my
final paper for the State Exam (on women`s speech). Victoria
A. Fromkin kindly suggested writing to you.

I would now like to ask you some specific questions on that topic.

1.Do you believe that it is women who do all the gossiping? I feel at
times that men gossip as well and not less than women.

2. Do you think that women`s speech styles differ from that of men due
to biological reasons or solely due to socio-cultural factors?

3. Do you think that women should change their style of talking to
gain more respect?

I hope I don`t bother you with my questions. Thanks a lot in advance,

yours Kerstin

Kerstin Ermschel
Koenigsheimstr. 11
53225 Bonn
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Message 2: Help with Navajo

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 15:58:31 +0100 (DST)
From: Brita Warvik <>
Subject: Help with Navajo

I am posting this query for a colleague who is not on the list:

The following sentence in Navajo appears in 'Bone Game' by Louis

Nilchi bee iiniziinii (accent aigu on the first, third and fourth i
and a 'slash' through the l)

What does it mean?

Thanks in advance,

Brita Warvik
Department of English
University of Turku
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Message 3: Query: Extended BNF

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 14:16:18 -0500
From: Dale Russell <>
Subject: Query: Extended BNF

Can anyone give me a reference for Extended Backus-Naur formalism
(BNF), or tell me if there exists a standard set of extensions to BNF?
The kind of extensions I'm looking for include notation for optional
terms, terms used zero or more (or one or more) times, groups of
alternative terms from which one must be selected, variables, and
semantic annotation.

I've looked in a number of books on computational linguistics,
compilers and automata theory, and have found references for basic
(i.e., not extended) BNF, and numerous examples of extended BNF. But
it still isn't clear whether there is any standardization of notation
for the kind of extensions I've listed, or whether everyone just makes
up their own notation. Any help would be appreciated.

 Dale Russell
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