LINGUIST List 9.1075

Sat Jul 25 1998

Qs: Tibetan, Spanish, Implicature, Plosives

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <martylinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. Eden Golshani, Tibetan Script
  2. Stuart Robinson, Question regarding Spanish word order statistics
  3. Hiroaki Tanaka, Query: "almost": conversational implicature and entailment
  4. Lim Teck Siong, Shot Gun, Plosives of English and Chinese

Message 1: Tibetan Script

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 16:14:36 -0400
From: Eden Golshani <Eden27hotmail.com>
Subject: Tibetan Script

I am looking for online resources for the U-Me (dbu-med) script for
Tibetan such as a chart with all the letters and a font. I am a high
school student studying some different writing systems on my own, I
appreciate an help with this. Also, if you know anything (I mean
ANYTHING) on the Wardu script, I would love to know. Thanks, visit my
web page with now sixteen different writing systems of Asia!

http://www.geocities.com/athens/academy/9594

-Eden Golshani
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Message 2: Question regarding Spanish word order statistics

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 10:41:46 +1000
From: Stuart Robinson <Stuart.Robinsonanu.edu.au>
Subject: Question regarding Spanish word order statistics

Can anyone point me towards studies of Spanish word order,
particularly those that have statistics concerning the relative
frequency of different orderings of subject, object, and verb in
transitive sentences? Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
Stuart Robinson


______________________

Stuart P. Robinson (Stuart.Robinsonanu.edu.au)
Linguistics Department, Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2612
PHONE: (02) 6249-0703 || FAX: (02) 6279-8214
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Message 3: Query: "almost": conversational implicature and entailment

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:18:56 +0900
From: Hiroaki Tanaka <hiro-tias.tokushima-u.ac.jp>
Subject: Query: "almost": conversational implicature and entailment

Dear all,
 I'm working on conversational implicature theory, about which I am
particulary interested in the word "almost" called "approximates." I
wonder if "almost P" conversationally implicates or entails "not P."
See the following examples.

 Bill almost swam the English Channel.-->Bill did not swam the
English Channel.
 Bill almost killed her.-->Bill did not kill her.

By (generalized) "conversational implicature", I mean "almost P"
implcates "not P" by/via Grice's Quantity maxim which requires the
speaker S to say as much as requried. Because S doesn't say P, I
infer that S doesn't say more than is required and conclude that
saying "almost P" P does not hold in this case, hence "not P". By
"entailment", I mean "almost P" is always true/holds wherever "not P"
is true/holds, but not vice versa. Bill's almost crossing the channel
always means his not crossing the channel, but not vice versa.

 Some contraversial claims made in deciding whether "not P" is
implicated or entailed by "almost P" are that "almost" affects (i)the
acceptability of contradictory sentences rather than "some"/"not all"
contrast, (ii)the acceptability of "but not..." phrase and (iii)the
acceptability of "if not..." phrase. Please check *, ? or OK in each
slot below, which are mostly adapted from Hitzman (1992) and Sadock
(1981)(see the references below), and please explain what the real
meaning of each acceptable sentence and the reason of the unaccaptable
sentences.

(i)Contradictory sentences:
(1) ( ) Mary is almost a cooporal and she's a corporal.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 (2) ( ) There are two dogs in the yard and there are three dogs in
the yard.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 (3) a. A: John washed some of the windows yesterday,
 B: ( ) I heard that he did wash all of the windows
yesterday.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 b. A: John almost finished his homework yesterday.
 B: ( ) He did finish it. I checked it this morning.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

(ii)Acceptability of "but not..." phrase.
 (4) a. ( )His voices were almost, but not quite, angry.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )
 (Parapharse/Real
 )

 b. ( )His voices were almost, and not quite, angry.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 c. ( )His voices were not quite, but almost, angry.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 d. ( )His voices were not quite, and almost, angry.
 ((Un)acceptable
 )

 e. (4a) and (4e'') are probably judged acceptable by most
speakers. If so, please paraphrase the detailed meaning of each
sentence. I may be able to distinguish the distinction of almost/not
quite and some/not all. If "but" in "A but B" allows contrast between
A and B, exactly what is contasted between each conjunct in e' and
e''?
 e'.(=4a) ( )His voices were almost, but not quite, angry.

 )
 e''. ( )Bill ate some, but not all, of the cake.

 )
 e'''. ( )Bill ate some, and not all, of the cake.
 e''''. ( )Bill ate not all, but some, of the cake.
 e'''''. ( )Bill ate not all, and some, of the cake.

(iii)Accaptability of "if not..."

 (5) a. ( )Moore has almost begun to grasp the concept, if he hasn't
already grasped it.
 ((Un)acceptable because 

 b. ( )Moore has almost begun to grasp the concept, if he
hasn't quite grasped it.
 ((Un)acceptable because 

 (6) ( )He hit almost forty home runs, if not forty.
 ((Un)acceptable because 

 (7) a. ( )Frankenstein's monster was almost human, if not human.
 ((Un)acceptable because 

 b. ( )Frankenstein's monster was almost human, if not quite
human.
 ((Un)acceptable because 

 Thank you very much in advance. I will definitely post a summary
when I get a number of replies. Please don't hesitate to make comments
if you have any.

References
Atlas, J.D. (1984) "Comparative adjectives and adverbials of
degree: an introduction to Radically Radical Pragmatics."
Linguistics and Philosophy 7: 347-377.

Hitzeman, J. (1992) "the selectional properties and entailement
of 'almost'." CLS 28: 225-238.

Sadock, J.M. (1981) "Almost." In Radical Pragmatics,
Academic Press, pp. 257-271.

Best wishes,

Hiroaki Tanaka

Associate Professor
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences
Tokushima University, Japan

1-1, Minamijousanjioma,
Tokushima, 770,
Japan

phone & fax: +81 886 56 7125
e-mail: hiro-tias.tokushima-u.ac.jp
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Message 4: Plosives of English and Chinese

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 18:31:50 +0800
From: Lim Teck Siong, Shot Gun <n7339615hacad21.ntu.edu.sg>
Subject: Plosives of English and Chinese

Hello, I am currently involved in research comparing the plosives of
English and Chinese (possibly with a focus on Mandarin). I would be
grateful if you could let me know of any work done in this area.

I will post a summary if there is sufficient interest. 
Thank you. 


Lim Teck Siong 
National Institute of Education 
(Nanyang Technological University) 
Singapore 
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