LINGUIST List 9.1462

Tue Oct 20 1998

Qs: Animacy & Definiteness, Accents, Deixis

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>

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. Andrew Carnie, Animacy and Definiteness
  2. Joseph Tomei, Movies with convincing accents
  3. antje wendtland, Switch in deixis

Message 1: Animacy and Definiteness

Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 18:37:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: Andrew Carnie <>
Subject: Animacy and Definiteness

Dear Collegues,

I'm looking into the relatedness of definiteness and animacy. Does anyone
out there know of a language that overtly marks both (ie has both
animacy and definiteness markers) or a language that has both definite
determiners yet has a phenomenon that obeys an animacy hierarchy?

Many thanks,

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Movies with convincing accents

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 13:48:49 +0900
From: Joseph Tomei <>
Subject: Movies with convincing accents

For a class of upperclass Japanese college students, I am hoping to
'stretch' their ears a little by having them listen to varying English
accents. Taking into account the previous discussions on the list,
especially Benji Wald's post titled 'movies/stereotypes' (which points out
that rather than making the accents phonetically accurate, they are
generally used as a broad brush to mark the characters background) I would
still like to make a list of movies that are relatively accessible and have
relatively convincing accent portrayals. The goal is not to have them
figure out exactly what the difference is between an Alabaman and a
Mississippian accent, but just to get some of the broader outlines and,
perhaps, pique their interest.

I have also noted a previous posting with the subject 'Varieties of
English' which suggested some tapes for drama students wanting to learn
English accents, which I also hope to make use of.

The plan is to use some brief segments in class, thus encouraging the
students to watch the whole movie outside class. The university library has
a large video collection that can only be used on campus and any
recommended videos would be acquired for the library, hopefully avoiding
any potential problems with copyright.

Also, I'd like suggestions as to two or threeBritish English accents that
both have good examples on film and would be useful for showing the range
of accents. At the risk of insulting some (hey, you don't have my accent!)
I've put together the following list of accents that I'm thinking about. If
you are a 'native speaker' of the accent and know of some convincing
renderings of these accents on relatively widely distributed films, please
let me know. Also, if you know of any films with painfully mistaken
renditions of your accent, that would be useful too, as well as any accents
that I've left off that have an accurate rendition in some movie. Will post
the results to the list. Thank you in advance.

List of accents
New Zealand
South African
African (finer grained distinctions are welcome)
US (southern, New York, Midwest, others?)
Hawaiian English
British (suggestions?)
Joseph Tomei
Kumamoto Gakuen Daigaku
Department of Foreign Languages
Oe 2 chome, 5-1, Kumamoto 862-0911 JAPAN
(81) (0)96-364-5161 x1410
fax (81) (0)96-372-0702
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Switch in deixis

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 14:18:05 +0100
From: antje wendtland <>
Subject: Switch in deixis

Dear linguists,

Can anyone tell me about a language in which a switch of deixis has
taken place in the system of demonstrative pronouns (and adverbs)? I
am looking for a language in which the demonstrative denoting
proximate deixis came to be used as the one denoting remote deixis and
vice versa. If such a language exists does it possess a two- or
three-way distinction in its system of demonstratives? Thank you very
much in advance.

Antje Wendtland
University of Goettingen
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue