LINGUIST List 8.260

Sun Feb 23 1997

Qs: Text, Postdoc, Italian, Repetition

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>

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. Lou Burnard, An enquiry from Her Majesty's Govt
  2. John Hutton, Postdoctoral Research in the US/Canada
  3. Elmar Schafroth, Nonce formations in Italian: verbs in -a/i/ucchiare
  4. Syzranova, Svetlana, Syntactical repetition

Message 1: An enquiry from Her Majesty's Govt

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 21:01:55 +0000
From: Lou Burnard <>
Subject: An enquiry from Her Majesty's Govt

I don't know, it might have been that Chris Whassername out of "Brass
Eye", but the bloke on the other end of the phone sounded kosher. He
claimed to be a researcher for one of the British government's
bankbencher MPs with a special interest in digital television. Could I
give an opinion on what academics thought about the possibility? I
gave him my standard song on corpus linguistics and said I'd ask a few
experts around the world...

Here's the scoop. Everyone knows the V-chip is a disaster. It doesn't
work, and we didn't invent it anyway. But there's a lot of votes in
controlling the awful (perceived) excesses of digital television. We
certainly couldn't unleash all that sex and violence on the British
public without some sort of control, now could we. But setting up
panels and censorship boards and pre-vetting of TV is just too
expensive, not to say deeply unpopular, to contemplate. So surely some
boffins must have come up with a piece of computer software which
could vet the content of TV programmes for us?

Come again?

Well, if you had all the scripts on computer disks, you could run them
through a program which would calculate some kind of content
descriptor, some kind of rating. Then parents could program their TVs
to block out any programmes with certain kinds of descriptor or
rating, right? Some kind of automatic categorization, topic
identification, that kind of thing. Is no-one doing research on that
sort of text analysis? Specifically as applied to broadcasting? Has
anyone tried to apply automatic content identification methods to this
kind of domain?

I'll be glad to digest any suggestions and pass them on to our man in
Whitehall. Suggestions relating to the question asked, that
is. Comments about the state of British politics in general, and the
current government in particular, should be sent to a more appropriate
forum. And if there's any research funding in this, just remember, I
saw him first.

Lou Burnard
>From the Laptop at Burnard Towers
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Message 2: Postdoctoral Research in the US/Canada

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 10:56:06 GMT0BST
From: John Hutton <>
Subject: Postdoctoral Research in the US/Canada

 I would like to know if anyone has any information on sources of
funding for non-US/Canadian citizens to do postdoctoral research in
the US or Canada. I've written to the Fulbright Commission, but I
wondered whether there were any other possibilities I could chase up.

 I am looking at doing research in one of two areas - the role of
the prosodic hierarchy in Optimality Theory, and the other is how
Optimality Theory deals with historical language change.

 Thank you for any information.

 John Hutton

 Department of English,
 University of Manchester,
 Oxford Rd,
 M13 9PL,
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Message 3: Nonce formations in Italian: verbs in -a/i/ucchiare

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 97 22:17:25 +0100 (MET)
From: Elmar Schafroth <>
Subject: Nonce formations in Italian: verbs in -a/i/ucchiare

Sorry if you have already got this message via "Italian Studies"!

I am looking for Italian verbs ending in -acchiare, -icchiare or -ucchiare.
My special interest is focused on verbs of this type which cannot be 
found in the dictionaries. If anyone remembers such a nonce formation 
of his own or of someone else, eg. "veducchaire" (from "vedere") or 
"sciacchaire" (from "sciare"), please let me know.

Thanks a lot

Elmar Schafroth, University of Augsburg

Dr. Elmar Schafroth
c/o Romanische Sprachwissenschaft
Universitaet Augsburg
Universitaetsstr. 10

Tel.: (0821) 598-5738
Fax.: (0821) 598-5501
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Message 4: Syntactical repetition

Date: 19 Feb 97 03:12 GMT
From: Syzranova, Svetlana </>
Subject: Syntactical repetition

Dear linguists,

I am developing my PhD thesis on stylistic functions of syntactical
repetitions used in belle-letters, and I am interested in getting in
contact with people working on this subject. Also, I'm looking for the
related Internet resources.

Any help is appreciated


PS Please e-mail privately, I'm not a member of the list.
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