LINGUIST List 9.393

Wed Mar 18 1998

Qs: Transitive verbs, Nazi variants, sacred lang.

Editor for this issue: Elaine Halleck <>

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  1. arian, Statistics on transitive verbs
  2. Michael Best, variants of Nazi
  3. Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton, Sacred language "encoding"

Message 1: Statistics on transitive verbs

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 12:14:31 +0100
From: arian <>
Subject: Statistics on transitive verbs

Hello -- could anyone point me to statistical data on transitive /
intransitive verbs in any language? Thanks in advance! -- Arian
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Message 2: variants of Nazi

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 12:26:56 -0500
From: Michael Best <>
Subject: variants of Nazi

I am interested in word-meaning variants of "Nazi" in English over the
last 50 years. I am particularly interested in the words perjoration.
Has anyone studied the variants of this word?

Please respond to me directly. I will happily post a summary.


Michael Best
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Message 3: Sacred language "encoding"

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 12:40:08 -0500
From: Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton <>
Subject: Sacred language "encoding"

Dear linguists,

I am an historian of religion who does work in East Africa. I am
seeking help in understanding the creation of a "sacred language" by
members of an independent church I have studied. In the 1930s members
of the predominantly Luo Roho (Spirit) church developed a language
they call "Dhoroho" (language of the spirit). Dhoroho is not actually
a language but an encoding of Dholuo in which every vowel and
consonant in Dholuo has corresponding vowels and consonants in
Dhoroho. Today, Dhoroho is used primarily in liturgical contexts
(thus akin to Latin), but church elders maintain that in the 1930s and
40s, members of the Roho movement greeted one another in Dhoroho and
carried on simple conversations in the new tongue.

Have any of you come across encoding (perhaps you can provide me with
a more accurate term!) in your work? I am particularly curious as to
whether other Africanists have encountered similar phenomena-in
religious contexts or otherwise. I would also appreciate references
to general literature on the subject.

Thank you very much.

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton
Assistant Professor
Department of Religious Studies
BO25 Cocke Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
office: (804) 924-6314
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