LINGUIST List 9.382

Sat Mar 14 1998

Qs: If-Then,-mt Words in Eng,Service-Industry Lang

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

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  1. Vincent DeCaen, If-Then? Semantics, Crosslinguistics, Biblical Hebrew
  2. alan harris, -mt Words in English
  3. R. Fouser, Service-Industry Language

Message 1: If-Then? Semantics, Crosslinguistics, Biblical Hebrew

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 09:07:08 -0500 (EST)
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: If-Then? Semantics, Crosslinguistics, Biblical Hebrew

dear Linguist List members,

why do logical operators come in two pieces in natural languages?
especially, why if-then?

why are the marked terms in such pairs first: either-or, both-and?
further, why do some languages simply say or-or, and-and? is there a
language with then-then?

re: if-then: if "if" is clearly modal, then does "then" also
participate in such modality? and then, why does "and then" not also
so participate? or does it?

further, why does it seem recursion is ok only on the then-side? ie,
if-then(if-then(if-then)). why?? ie, why a privileged "head" for
such chains?

any assistance in finding recent literature in this area will be
appreciated. what I really want is a semantic representation of "then"
that can be incorporated in work on tense logic. I feel this would
unlock an analysis of systems with mood-like "consecutive" structures
like Biblical Hebrew. thanks in advance.


Vincent DeCaen	 	 	 <>
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative
c/o Deparment of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor, University of Toronto, 
Toronto ON, M5S 1A1
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Message 2: -mt Words in English

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 03:31:32 -0800 (PST)
From: alan harris <>
Subject: -mt Words in English

What words in English end in -mt? are there any? this is the query to
a class of junior high school students. a.

 Alan C. Harris, Ph. D. TELNOS: main off: 818-677-2853
 Professor, Communication/Linguistics direct off: 818-677-2874
 Speech Communication Department
 California State University, Northridge home: 818-366-3165
 SPCH CSUN FAX: 818-677-2663 
 Northridge, CA 91330-8257 INTERNET email: ALAN.HARRISCSUN.EDU 
 WWW homepage:
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Message 3: Service-Industry Language

Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 01:03:23 +0900 (JST)
From: R. Fouser <>
Subject: Service-Industry Language

I am interested in starting a cross-cultural research project on
"service-industry language" in several Asian (Japanese and/or Korean)
and Western nations. By service-industry language, I refer to the
language used by service-industry workers in, among others, the
retail, airline, financial, and food-service industries. Examples of
such language are deferential tone of voice, polite/honorific
expressions, commercial expressions, and repeated conversational
routines. I would appreciate comments on the following topics:

1. References to studies on service-industry language (general or 
2. References or comments on research methodology and data 
 collection, particularly how to obtain natural data. 
3. Comments on technical aspects of data collection (types of audio 
 and video recorders).

Please send your comments to me at: 
I will do my best to post a summary.

Thank you,

Robert Fouser
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