LINGUIST List 8.728

Thu May 15 1997

Qs: German, Intercultural, Japanese

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. Yunsun Jung, 'was-fur' split in German
  2. Christiane Meierkord, intercultural communication
  3. Victoria A Fromkin, Japanese

Message 1: 'was-fur' split in German

Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 16:51:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Yunsun Jung <>
Subject: 'was-fur' split in German

Dear linguists, I am looking for native German speakers who are kind
enough to answer the following questions. I will appreciate any
response. Regards, YS

In linguistic literature, they say that was-fur (what for) split in
German is fine when the predicate (verbs and adjectives and so on)
denotes temporary state. So,

 (i) Was sind fur Tiere auf der StraBe?
 What kind of animals are in the street

 Was can be separate from fur in (i), whereas

 (ii) *Was sind fur Leguane intelligent?
 'What kind of iguanas are intelligent?'

this is not good because 'intelligent' is more or less permanant

 They also say the following sentences are bad:

 (iii) a. *? Was sind fur Trombonisten heiter?
 what are for trombonists cheerful

 b. *? Was sind fur Hunde nervos?
 what are for dogs nervous

is is strange because 'cheerful' or 'nervous' is known as temporary

What I want to know is if the acceptability of (iii) gets better when
the predicate becomes more specific, like 'cheerful with the result of
the concert' or 'nervous about their training'.

I will appreciate if you let me know your opinion and give German
translation for the new sentences (with longer adjectives).

Thank you in advance.
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Message 2: intercultural communication

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 12:54:20 +0100
From: Christiane Meierkord <>
Subject: intercultural communication

- ----
Dear colleagues on the list!

I am working on intercultural communication, especially on pragmatic
issues in non-native/ non-native speaker discourse. When I started to
research my new project (on cultural and gender-specific
characteristics that influence one's ability to communicate in
intercultural situations), I came across a lot of stuff, that was of
no use to me, but found only very few articles which really related to
linguistic problems.

Probably a lot of you are working on some project, thesis, paper
etc. that is somehow related to intercultural communication, such as
native-/ non-native speaker discourse, lingua franca communication and
so on. I thought it may be of great use to all of us, if we knew who
is doing what and who is willing to share her/his knowledge with
others. Maybe we could even come up with some joint projects.

So, if you are working or have been working on anything that is
somehow related to linguistic aspects of intercultural communication,
please let me know your name, e-mail address, and the topics about
which you would like to provide and exchange information.

Please send me an e-mail to and I will gather
everything and distribute it via the list.

Hope to hear from you soon

Dr. Christiane Meierkord
Heinrich-Heine-Universit=E4t D=FCsseldorf
Seminar Modernes Japan
Universit=E4tsstr. 1
40225 D=FCsseldorf

Dr. Christiane Meierkord
Heinrich-Heine-Universit=E4t Duesseldorf
Ostasien-Institut; Seminar Modernes Japan
Universit=E4tsstr. 1; D-40227 Duesseldorf
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Message 3: Japanese

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 12:03:15 -0700
From: Victoria A Fromkin <>
Subject: Japanese

I would appreciate getting reference(s) to the studies concerning the
dissociation between the abiiity to read hiragana, katakana, and kanji
after brain damage of Japanese individuals. I can't find my reprints
and that is probably because I forgot the authors' names and thus
don't kknow where to look in my files. (And I am not to my knowlege
suffering from the result of brain damage.)

Many thanks to anyone who will solve my problem.. Please send
information to

Vicki Fromkin
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