LINGUIST List 8.46

Fri Jan 17 1997

Qs: Book review, 'we' as /m../, Youth slang

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

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. Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, Book review
  2. Dan Kahn, German, Flemish, Norwegian, Slavic 'we' as /m../
  3. Jannis K. Androutsopoulos, Query: Youth Slang

Message 1: Book review

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 16:32:58 +0100 (MET)
From: Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen <>
Subject: Book review

As review editor for the _Revue romane_, I'm looking for someone who'd
be willing and able to write a 1-3 page review *in French* of the
following volume:

Kronning, Hans. 1996. Modalite, cognition et polysemie : semantique
du verbe modal 'devoir'. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

If anyone out there would like to undertake this task, please reply to
Thanx in advance!
Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen
Dept. of Romance Languages
U. of Copenhagen
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Message 2: German, Flemish, Norwegian, Slavic 'we' as /m../

Date: 17 Jan 1997 11:02 EST
From: Dan Kahn <>
Subject: German, Flemish, Norwegian, Slavic 'we' as /m../

(I cite English words with ' ', non-English words with " ", and
use // for phonetic representations.)

In standard German, the word for 'we' is "wir", while "mir" means only
'me' (dative). Yet I have heard "mir" used with the meaning 'we' by
some German speakers. I believe this usage occurs in
- some German dialects spoken in Germany
- many (most?) Swiss German dialects
- Yiddish

Also, I've seen reference to
- "me" meaning 'we' in Brussels slang in place of standard Dutch "wij"
 (cited by a Linguist list contributor)
- "me" as colloquial Norwegian for 'we' in place of standard "vi"
 (cited by Haugen in a Norwegian textbook)

In addition, one observes in Slavic languages /mi/ (approximately)
as the word for 'we', while 'me' words also typically begin with /m/.
In fact, according to a Serbocroatian dictionary I consulted, "mi"
in that language means both 'we' and 'me (dative)', paralleling the
German dialectal facts.

I'd be interested in corrections and/or expansions on the above
observations as well as a summary as to what is known about the
relatedness of the German, Flemish, and Norwegian facts to each other
and to Slavic. And finally, is all (or any) of this related to the
1st-person plural verb inflections containing /m/ found in several
IE families (for ex., Romance "cantaMus")?

Dan Kahn
Director, Speech Analysis and Synthesis Research Group
Bell Communications Research - Room 1C-253-R
Morristown, NJ 07960-6438 USA
1 (201) 829-4522
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Message 3: Query: Youth Slang

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 16:28:35 MET
From: Jannis K. Androutsopoulos <>
Subject: Query: Youth Slang

Dear linguists, 

the Graduiertenkolleg "Dynamik von Substandard-Varietaeten" at the
University of Heidelberg (Germany) is a research project concerned
with a wide range of nonstandard language varieties from a
sociolinguistic point of view. Since a number of project members are
working on youth slang and related phenomena, the Graduiertenkolleg is
planning an International Colloquium on "Linguistic and
Sociolinguistic Aspects of Youth Slang", to be held in Heidelberg
during the summer term of 1997. The main topics will be:

1) New theoretical and methodological approaches to youth slang 
2) Language-specific or comparative descriptions of linguistic 
 or sociolinguistic youth slang features
3) Youth-specific language behaviour in complex sociolinguistic 
 situations (e.g. multilingual settings, 2nd generation 
 immigrant youth)

We are currently trying to trace any people working on these subjects
all over the world, and to get to know more about their work. If the
above fits your research interests, please send me an outline of your
current research and/or a recent publication of yours. As far as the
further planning of the Colloquium is concerned, interested people
will be kept informed.


Ioannis K. AndroutsopoulosJannis K. Androutsopoulos
University of Heidelberg
Graduiertenkolleg 'Dynamik von Substandardvarietaeten'
Seminarstr. 3
D-69117 Heidelberg / Germany
Tel ++49/(0)6221 - 542748 or 28384 (private)
Fax ++49/(0)6221 - 543572
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