LINGUIST List 8.521

Mon Apr 14 1997

Qs: Oostdijk, Discourse markers, Papers

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  1. Elisabeth.Burr, Nelleke Oostdijk
  2. dave gough, 'man'+ 'no' as discourse markers.
  3. BRAD COON, Location of Swanton's and Gatschet's papers

Message 1: Nelleke Oostdijk

Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 19:38:30 +0200
From: Elisabeth.Burr <>
Subject: Nelleke Oostdijk

Could anybody please tell me whether Nelleke Oostdijk is a man or a
woman. I wouldn't want to use wrong references in a research paper I
am writing at the moment. 
Thank you very much in advance 
Elisabeth Burr -
Dr. phil. Elisabeth Burr FB 3/Romanistik/Gerhard-Mercator Universitaet
Duisburg GH Lotharstrasse 65/47048 Duisburg +49 203
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Message 2: 'man'+ 'no' as discourse markers.

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 07:46:03 GMT-2
From: dave gough <>
Subject: 'man'+ 'no' as discourse markers.

I's wondering if people on the list could help me with some issues
regarding the use of 'no' and 'man'.


It is often commented by visitors from other English speaking 
countries that South African English speakers say 'no' meaning 
'yes', a usage which has been called by one person the 'affirmative 
negative'. Here are some examples: 

A: How are you?
B: No I'm fine

In Store

A: Could you deliver these for me?
B: No, that will be a pleasure.

In general the basis for the usage appears to be something like:

'You may have other thoughts about the [sometimes imposing] 
proposition you've just put to me. I'll (politely) negate these 
other thoughts before responding', so:

Are you sure you can manage?
No, there won't be a problem with that.

It won't occur in a context like:

A: Is your car new?

Where the 'yes' or 'no' that B. will give will be responding, not to 
a possibly impolite belief, but rather simply to the proposition 
itself. [Basically then, 'no' means 'yes' in limited contexts].

My questions here:

Do you find this type of usage elsewhere in the English speaking 
world or in other languages? (It seems to be a general South African 
feature too - happens in Afrikaans and in African languages).


Another features commented on by visitors to the country is the 
frequent use of 'man' as an interjection by English speaking South 

'Man, it's hot today'.
'Hurry up mom, man'
'Man, I can't get this right'

The interjection is used whatever the sex of the speaker or hearer. 
It generally indicates a 'negative' emotional involvement of the 
speaker of some sort - irritation, impatience or annoyance.

Again the question is: Does this feature occur in other varieties of 
English? How is 'man' used in Jamaican English or 'black' English in 
the USA? [my impressions from American TV programmes are not too 
finely tuned, but it seems different]. Is 'man' used in this way in 
other languages?.

Thanks for your time. 

David Gough
Department of Linguistics
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17

Tel: +27 21 959-2978 (w)
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Message 3: Location of Swanton's and Gatschet's papers

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 14:00:08 EST
Subject: Location of Swanton's and Gatschet's papers

I am trying to track down the present location of the Swanton's
and Gatschet's notebooks, mss, etc. I am particularly interested 
in the materials for Comecrudo and Cotoname. If you know where these
are located or even better, where I can get microfilm copies of 
them, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you.
Thank you,
Brad Coon If you are not living on
COONCVAX.IPFW.INDIANA.EDU the edge, you are taking up too much space.

"Civilize the mind and make savage the body."
 Chinese proverb 
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