LINGUIST List 9.593

Tue Apr 21 1998

Qs: Arab, Japanese, Romance, Universals

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. Mike O'Connell, Arab causatives
  2. Martin Beaudoin, Japanese Lang Teaching
  3. bingfu, prenominal and postnominal adjectives in Romance
  4. AJDeFaz, Universals

Message 1: Arab causatives

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 21:31:17 -0600 (MDT)
From: Mike O'Connell <Michael.OconnellColorado.EDU>
Subject: Arab causatives

 A classmate of mine who is sadly not subscribed to LINGUIST is doing a
paper on causatives in a dialect of Arabic spoken in Eastern Saudi Arabia. 
He is having difficulty finding data containing examples of causatives in
use, so I'm writing on his behalf to ask for any known resources either
discussing Arab causatives or sources of data that would
definiteley contain causatives. 

 Mike O'Connell
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Message 2: Japanese Lang Teaching

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 23:05:02 -0600
From: Martin Beaudoin <>
Subject: Japanese Lang Teaching

Does anyone know of anyone who does Japanese language teaching on the Web?
A collegue of mine is having a hard time finding ways display the
characters and to have the users type in the characters.

Martin Beaudoin
Groupe de recherche sur l'informatisation du francais formel (GRIFF)
Faculte Saint-Jean
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
telephone: (403) 465-8715
fax: (403) 465-8760
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Message 3: prenominal and postnominal adjectives in Romance

Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 07:59:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: bingfu <>
Subject: prenominal and postnominal adjectives in Romance

Dear netters!

I am still organizing the final summary of correspondences to my previous
query about left-right asymmetries in word order variations. I should say
sorry for delay to those who have corresponded to me.

As part of the survay, I need to know more data about the differences
between prenominal and postnominal modifiers in Romance languages.

The following is my issue and inquiries.

	In some languages, adjectives can occur both on the left side and
the right side of the head N. The contrast between pre-N and post-N
positions resembles the same pattern of that between pre- and
post-demonstrative adjectives. For instance, according to Greenber 1978,
in Bedauye, a northern Cushitic language, the order is AN when the phrase
is definite, but NA when it is indefinite. Since I do not have direct
access to Bedauye, I would like to know more about Romance languages,
which normally allow both AN and NA orders.

	The following statistic by Klein-Andrew about Spanish also
indicate that AN order is more correlated with definiteness than NA is.

	a. For NPs occurring as subjects, as compared to
nonsubject NPs. (77% vs. 54%, 
meaning 77% of the subjects with pre-N modifiers while only 54%
nonsubjects with pre-N modifiers)

	b. For NPs accompanied by the definite articles el, la, los, las,
as compared wit NPs accompanied by indefinite articles
uno(s)/una(s) 'one/a (some)'.
		(58% vs. 23%)

	c. For proper nouns (names) as compared with common nouns.	
			(93% vs. 56%)
I tentatively classify the functional contrasts between prenominal and
postnominal adjectives as the following four major types.

1. Purely referential vs. attributive
French example
(1) 	a. 	un ancien roi
		a ancient kin
		'a former king'

 	b. 	un roi ancien
 		a king ancient
	'an old/ancient king'

	(2) 	a.	une autre ducation 
			a differen education
			'another education'		
		b. 	une ducation autre
	 		a education different
	 		'a different education'

	(3) 	a. 	une certaine nouvelle
			a certain news
			'a certain piece of news'
	 	b. 	une nouvelle certaine
			a news certain
			'an unquestionable piece of news'

	(4) 	a.	la premire cause
			the first cause
			'the first, initial cause'

	 	b.	la cause premire 
			the ause first
			'the foremost, primary cause'

2. Specific vs. general
	(5) 	a.	un jeune ministre
			a young minister
			'a minister younger than most ministers'

	 	b.	un ministre jeune
			a minister young
			'a miister young in age' 

	(6)	a.	heureux pote
			happy poet
			'happy post'

		b.	pote heureux
			poet happy
			'successful poet'

	(7)	a.	vie ami
			old friend
			'a long-standing friend'

		b.	ami vie
			friend old
			'old-aged friend'

This type of contrast is similar to that between Russian long-form and
short form predicate adjectives:

 	(8) 	a.	Studentka umnaja (Long form)
			student intelligent
			'a student who is intelligent in her role as
		b.	Studentka umna (Short form)
			student intelligent 
			'a student who is intelligent as a human in

3. subjective evaluative vs. objective property

	(9) 	a.	un pauvre pays riche
			a poor country rich
			'a poor rich country'
			(poor in alue, but rich in wealth)
	 	b. 	un riche pays pauvre
			a rich country poor
			'a rich poor country'
			(rich in value though poor in wealth)

 4. Redundant pre-N adjectives

	(10) 	la negra noche
		the black night

	(11)	dulce miel
		sweet honey

Now, my questions are:

1. I need more data of type 4. Could you please provide some?

2. Do you know any other major types of the contrast?

I will incorporate the replies to my future summary of left-right
asymmetries of world order variations.

	Bingfu Lu
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Message 4: Universals

Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 06:19:45 EDT
From: AJDeFaz <>
Subject: Universals

I am researching the conceptions of universals adhered to by creolists,
generativists, sla researchers, etc. Does any one know of an source which
attempts to put the various definitions in any kind of perspective? I will
post a summary of responses if there is sufficient information. Thank you.
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