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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Official English
Author:   Christopher Mierzejewski
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   I am working on a comparison of French and American language policy
and I would like to know the current status of the Official English
laws in the U.S, both at the federal and state levels (where things
stand at the federal level, how many states have passed Official
English laws, how many have been contested in court). I will post a

Thanks for your help,
Christopher Mierzejewski
University of Paris 7

Sun, 30 Mar 97 15:31:55 MST
Melanie Misanchuk
French loan-words

Dear Linguists:

I hope you can help me. I could *swear* I'd once read that
English had at its peak 10 000 loan-words from French, many of
which are now lost. I had originally attributed it to Jespersen,
but I can't find it in _Language_ (1922) and I don't know where
else I might have seen it.

I would be much obliged to hear from those of you who recognise
this figure (or who want to debunk it). I'll post a summary if
responses warrant.

Thank you


Melanie Misanchuk
Department of French Italian and Spanish
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Tue, 25 Mar 1997 12:54:12 -0800 (PST)
Elisa Vasquez-Iglesias

Dear listers,

I need some grammaticality judgements from as many native speakers of
English as possible.

I have been told by a native speaker of American English that the
following sentences are ungrammatical if the self form is taken to
corefer with the direct object.

(i) Jane(i) gave John(j) information about herself(i) / *himself(j).

(ii) Jane(i) didn't tell John(j) anything about herself(i) /

However, (iii) seems to be grammatical with the nearest antecedent,
but ungrammatical with the long-distance one.

(iii) Jane(i) remained angry upon John(j) hitting

Do you agree with these judgements? What are your intuitions?

Second question:

According to the same native speaker, (ii) greatly improves if
you insert the noun before the ''self'' form, as I show in (iv) below

(iv) Jane gave John information about John himself.

This possiblity, however, seems to be ruled out in (v), (vi) and (vii)

(v) ??Jane didn't tell John anything about John himself.
(vi) ?? Jane remained angry upon John hitting Jane herself.
(vii)?? John told Jane to hit John himself.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance.

Elisa Vazquez
LL Issue: 8.456
Date posted: 05-Apr-1997


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