LINGUIST List 9.121

Sun Jan 25 1998

Qs: English, Verbal Language, Pre-Indo-European

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

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. Erika Lynn Wolfe, English as Official Language of Aviation
  2. JPKIRCHNER, Verbal L1/2
  3. Dipartement de frangais, Pre-Indo-European

Message 1: English as Official Language of Aviation

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 00:58:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Erika Lynn Wolfe <>
Subject: English as Official Language of Aviation

HELP! I am seeking information (literature, research, contacts, etc.) on 
the idea that English is the "official language of the skies." I 
currently work for the FAA and am working on my Master's in public 
administration. I am a linguist at heart (and by undergraduate 
qualifications) and want to relate my thesis to linguistic aspects of 
public admin. 

I am interested in finding out what linguistic barriers exist in 
international airspace because of inadequate (possibly inadequate) 
training in English? Is the flying public's safety in jeopardy because 
there are no strict enough qualitative standards? There are many, many 
issues that go along with this issue, and I am looking for any 
information that may exist on this subject in the linguistic community. 
>From the FAA/ICAO end, I am getting virtually no response.

Any help would be of immense help.

Respond to: Erika Wolfe at either: OR (The first e-mail address is preferable.)
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Message 2: Verbal L1/2

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 07:48:11 EST
Subject: Verbal L1/2

I have just been made aware of what will be an unusual language acquisition
situation and was wondering if anyone knows anything about how verbal language
is acquired by people in the situation I'm going to describe:

A friend of mine has an employee in her 20s who is completely deaf, has a
properly developed vocal apparatus, but has not been taught to talk. She can
lip read Russian and Ukrainian, and she can read and write Russian well enough
to have earned a diploma from a rather demanding technical institute. Now
that she is in the United States, she finds that her deafness is correctable
through surgery, which she will soon undergo.

I assume that once this woman can hear, she will set about learning how to
talk. At home, and to some degree at work, she will be immersed in the spoken
variety of her two L1s, but she will also receive constant English input at
work and in her neighborhood.

This situation obviously cannot be equivalent to that of ferile children who
know no language at all, but I don't imagine it's quite like normal L1 or L2
acquisition. Does anyone know anything about how spoken language is acquired
in adulthood by people who have previously only known written language?

James Kirchner
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Message 3: Pre-Indo-European

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 18:34:59 +0300
From: Dipartement de frangais <>
Subject: Pre-Indo-European

I am studying Western Europe pre-indo-european, via lexic, phonetics and
genetics. I found those three topics very well statisticaly correlated
for France: I correlated pre-indo-european words, phonetic change o>u,
and blood groups, and found very good correlation. I intend to extend
this research to other western european countries. I would like to know
if other people are interested in this field, and have contacts with
My e-mail adress is: florent.dieterlen(at)
(at) stands for the "at" caracter that i don't find on this computer in
Russia. I shall leave Russia within about two weeks, so please answer at
my e-mail address.
Thank you,
Florent Dieterlen
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